Nail biting time (again) for Southwest Light Rail

The folks who’d like to bring us the Southwest Light Rail line are waiting for a green light.

Wonder where Southwest Light Rail will go? A map of possible routes is here.

They’re in limbo, hoping the Federal Transit Administration grants permission to enter the coveted PE or preliminary engineering phase.

The human equivalent is going from childhood to teen status.

(You’re a grownup transit project when you get FFGA, a full funding grant agreement.)

PE means the planners and engineers are allowed to create even more elaborate blueprints.

Predicting the likelihood of Southwest Light Rail ever becoming a reality is tricky.

Obviously the local boosters like it a lot since it connects the wealthy and car congested southwest suburbs with downtown Minneapolis.

The Metropolitan Council likes the project and has given it a high priority among other transit needs.

And the folks at the FTA reportedly like the project.

But take that with a grain of salt. There are somewhere around 100 rail and bus projects across the country in the FTA beauty pageant, all vying for scarce federal funds.

These projects rise or fall to some degree on a community’s track record, and so far the Twin Cities is showing it knows how to deliver them on time and on budget.