Does Minneapolis Desire a Streetcar?

The Minneapolis city planners are looking for feedback from local residents on a new idea to establish a streetcar or “enhanced bus” corridor along Nicollet Avenue. The “Nicollet-Central Transit Alternatives Study” attempts to determine what form of transit residents would prefer, a fixed-rail streetcar or new buses that are more flexible and able to mix in with traffic.

The transit line would travel through downtown Minneapolis and up Central Avenue NE. Part of its goal would be to foster real estate growth along the line. The Metropolitan Council said the Central Corridor light-rail project created almost 40 commercial/retail and housing developments and 5,100 units of new housing along its route, city officials hope a Nicollet-Central transit would have a similar effect.

The new line is even more enticing because it would link some especially popular downtown locations, such as the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Minneapolis Convention Center, the central business district, the East Hennepin entertainment area, and the Northeast Minneapolis arts district.