No Small Starts for aBRT...I think it's too "small". The A-Line only cost $27MM, and I believe the on-hold B-Line was projected about the same, though I could see other lines being more expensive.As proposed, would aBRT qualify for Federal Small Starts funding? If not, then if you're going to gauge the difference in what you can build, you should go off what the local contribution to a streetcar would be. That said, it would likely be more than just one line.
I'm not 100% sure on the funding schemes, but I believe they were cobbled together from every nook & cranny of transportation funding. Bus purchases with federal CMAQ grants, state bonding money, MNDOT money (since Snelling & W 7th are state routes), Met Council money, etc.
I'm hopeful that once the A-Line is running and is a smashing success, we'll be able to get future state bonding money more easily. Or if the transit sales tax increase ever happens, funding the aBRT system is an absolute given.