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Light Rail Permitting


Parties planning construction on or within 50 feet of Metropolitan Council/Metro Transit LRT right-of-way, facilities, or structures are required to submit project information for review and permitting prior to construction. Rail facilities or structures are defined as all light rail and commuter rail right-of-way, facilities, and structures that are owned, operated, and/or maintained by Metropolitan Council/Metro Transit. The purpose is to review the design for potential conflicts with and hazards to rail operations. Parties are defined as developers, agencies, municipalities, property owners or similar organizations proposing to perform or sponsor construction work near, on, over, or under Metro Transit rail right-of-way. Each project will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  

Projects will also be reviewed to ensure that proper insurance coverage is obtained by the parties.  

Proposed long-term uses on, over, or under LRT right-of-way, facilities, or structures will be subject to additional review by the Metropolitan Council Real Estate Department.  An additional site license or access agreement may be required as determined by the Real Estate Department. Subsequent access to long-term use installations will be subject to site licenses and access agreements. Long-term uses include but may not be limited to any installed structures or utilities that are not intended to support the construction or implementation of other structures or utilities and that are intended to remain or operate on a permanent basis.

All construction activities within 50 feet of Metropolitan Council/Metro Transit LRT right-of-way will be subject to scheduling with Metro Transit Rail Operations. Any work that affects train movements or safety will be scheduled at a time to be determined by Rail Operations.

NOTE: Issuance of this permit does not grant permission to begin construction. Construction activities are subject to scheduling with Metro Transit Rail Operations and may require issuance of a Right-of-Way Access permit.

Required Information

The completed Permit Application must include:

  • Legal company name of applicant
  • Applicant contact information
  • Project information and location
  • Explanation and duration of overall project beyond impacts to Metropolitan Council property
  • Duration of project’s impact to Metropolitan Council property
    • Proposed Start Date
    • Proposed End Date
  • Permanent or temporary use
  • Utility type
  • Underground or overhead utilities
  • Total Value of project work within 50’ of Metro Transit right-of-way
  • All other information required by the Utility Permit application

The permit application must include plans for the work to be performed.
Plans must show:

  • Metropolitan Council property lines
  • All Metropolitan Council property to be used
    • Project footprint
    • Square footage of temporary use
    • Square footage of permanent use
    • Distance to top of rail (vertical profile)
    • Distance to center of rail (horizontal profile)
    • Metropolitan Council facilities

Incomplete applications will be rejected and must be resubmitted in their entirety. A permit will not be issued until plans and insurance are approved by the Metropolitan Council.

Payment Information

The permit application fee is $1000. Payment must be received before the permit is approved. The application fee is payable to Metro Transit by certified check.

Insurance Requirements

NOTE: Compliance with Metropolitan Council’s insurance requirements is mandatory.

Parties must maintain insurance coverage subject to the requirements and examples detailed here. This includes Commercial General Liability, Business Automobile coverage, and Workers’ Compensation. Contractor’s Pollution Liability insurance may also be required.

Parties must furnish Metro Transit with certificates of insurance and with copies of endorsements demonstrating required coverage. The certificates and endorsements for each insurance policy are to be signed by a person authorized by that insurer to bind coverage on its behalf. All certificates and endorsements must be received and approved by Metro Transit before a permit is approved.

Review Process

The review process is as follows:

  1. Applicant submits permit application via application portal.
  2. Permit is reviewed for administrative, engineering, and risk requirements.
    1. If additional information is required, application will be required to resubmit application.
  3. Applicant pays permit fee.
  4. After approval of Utility Permit, project is forwarded to Rail Operations for scheduling.
    1. Additional information may be required by Rail Operations to schedule work.
  5. After completion of work, applicant submits as-built information for filing by Metropolitan Council.

The administrative, engineering, and risk reviews may take up to 60 days.

Tips for Successful Applications

  • Ensure all plans clearly show affected rail facilities.
  • Review insurance coverage carefully to fully comply with above requirements.
    • Review requirements for contractual liability endorsements for work within 50’ of Railroad right-of-way and Additional Insured Endorsements.
  • Submit permit application early to ensure scheduling is completed in a timely manner.
  • If both temporary and long-term uses are being requested, the plans must denote separately the property required for temporary use and the property required for permanent use.
  • All underground installations must be a minimum of 10’ below the top of rail within 50’ of any track. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in rejection of the permit application.

LRT Utility Permit Application

 Access LRT utility permit application form.

For more information

Please contact [email protected] with any questions regarding the LRT permitting process.