The transportation proposal passed by the Minnesota House of Representatives is going to have a serious impact on thousands of Minnesotans who depend on transit every day. The House Transportation Omnibus Bill contains cuts to Metro Transit that will balloon its budget deficit from $74 million over the next two years to $140 million. At a time when the state has a $1.6 billion budget surplus, the legislature is considering cuts that will force a 40 percent reduction in basic bus service.
This bill harms multiple populations for which transit is a daily necessity. Many people in our region are transit-dependent; taking a car to work, school or on errands is not an option. Half of local bus riders in Minneapolis and St. Paul don’t have a driver license, while 58 percent don’t have access to a car. In addition to the steep service cuts or elimination of every bus route, the House bill requires fare increases well above the increases already under consideration, effectively pricing those transit dependent riders out of the system.
Eighty percent of all transit riders are either traveling to work or school, meaning that this service reduction would negatively impact hundreds of families and businesses. Minnesota should be making it easier for people to get to work or class, not making it harder.
Metropolitan Council Member
District 7, representing Central, Downtown and North Minneapolis, and Robbinsdale