"Take the existing assets, and sell them to California. They don't seem to mind losers. Then take the money from the sale, and put it towards adding more lanes onto Highway 10."
Dang it! Okay - here is a secret. I usually start crafting my next day's article in the afternoon. Sometimes in the evening, or early morn. I had a whopper ready to go for today - until I read the paper. I could not resist this one. At first I thought it was a joke, or something out of the Onion. Nope - it is for real. And being backed by a (drum roll please) - a Republican!
I have railed against the North Star many times now. Some think picking on the North Star is unfair - kind of like a bully picking on a weakling. I make no excuses for my rants on this worthless piece of train trash. This train was supposed to be the best thing since canned beer. Take the traffic on Highway 10, which has been horrible since I started to drive, and tame it down. This bright new and shiny yellow, blue and white train would buzz people from as far away as St. Cloud, into downtown Minneapolis to work very high paying jobs. It all sounded good except for one thing - it was not true.
Yes, it was built and went into service with a Democrat controlled House and a Republican Governor (Pawlenty). My wife and I were even invited to take a sample ride before normal service started (pictured above). The legislature and the Governor did not quite have enough juice to get the thing built up to St. Cloud, but maybe later they said. So service started from Big Lake with some stops down to Target Field.
So how is it going? First off, traffic on Highway 10 sucks even worse than before. The cost to run this thing? Lets ask an independent source like WCCO. On a Reality Check segment in 2017, they disclosed the cost TO THE TAXPAYERS for each round trip on the North Star is $18.31. A mistake? A typo? Nope. Fact.
Never let it be said that our government does not know how to pour good money after bad. And also how to tell the taxpayers a whopper from time to time. Representative Jim Knoblach (R-St. Cloud), is pushing a bill to have the line extended up to St. Cloud. And it would cost practically nothing to build(huh?). Our current Democrat Governor is taking after the Republican Governor who built the first part of the North Star - he is all in. In fact (hold on), Dayton wants almost a million more tax dollars to study to death this proposed expansion!
I wish this were tongue in cheek, but it is not. The best thing we could do for the taxpayers of Minnesota is to just park this thing. We tried it, and it did not work out well. Take the existing assets, and sell them to California. They don't seem to mind losers. Then take the money from the sale, and put it towards adding more lanes onto Highway 10.