By Keith Laing - 04/27/11 06:51 PM EDT
Making no mention of the budget Wednesday, LaHood said the train would help Minnesotans deal with rising gas prices.
"The 11-mile Central Corridor will link the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, connecting the State Capitol with the University of Minnesota and the downtown Minneapolis business district along one of the region's most heavily traveled routes," he wrote on his "Fast Lane" blog. "It will offer Twin Cities commuters a convenient, affordable option for getting to work without pumping money into their gas tanks or tailpipe emissions into the air."
FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff agreed, saying in a statement: "Every time Minnesotans take light rail instead of driving, they will be keeping gas money in their own pockets.
"This project truly embodies the president's vision for winning the future through infrastructure investment," Rogoff said.
LaHood said the project would create 3,400 jobs and foster development on its 18 stations.