I must admit that I have mixed feelings about this. Would I love to see a high speed rail from the Twin Cities to Chicago, of course I would. Now living in the Twin Cities and growing up in Chicago this would be a great way to travel between the two (rather than driving, busing, or flying). Is this really the best use of federal and state funds in a metro area that is lacking in a good comprehensive public transportation system?
The plan was ordered last year by the state Legislature, well before a scramble erupted in many states to push their own high-speed rail plans. That was triggered by the infusion of $8 billion in federal stimulus money specifically earmarked for such rail lines nationwide.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty, previously not a big advocate of high- speed rail, endorsed the Twin Cities-Chicago route last spring. The plan recommends that both St. Paul and Minneapolis would have stops on the line.
While this would be a great long term investment in transportation for the upper Midwest, I am not sure it is still the most relevant transportation project. I think the Twin City region really needs to worry and work on building a network that connects our current region that connects to local cities and destinations. Are people going to be commuting everyday to Chicago from the Twin Cities via high speed rail? I doubt it.