MINNEAPOLIS – For a cool $1.7 billion, the Twin Cities could have a third light rail operating by 2018. The so-called Southwest LRT would actually be a 15-mile extension of the Green Line light rail that opened earlier this summer.

The current line runs from downtown St. Paul to downtown Minneapolis, but the next plan is to extend to line from Minneapolis to Eden Prairie through several of the Twin Cities’ wealthier suburbs in the southwest part of the metro region.

The first light rail line, the Blue Line, opened in 2004 and connects Minneapolis with the airport and the Mall of America in Bloomington.