FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2020
MN Organizations Call for Major Investment in Clean Transportation During 2020 Legislative Session
Both Bonding and Long-Term Funding Are Urgently Needed
January 15, 2020 – A coalition–which includes Move Minnesota, Sierra Club North Star Chapter, MN350, East Metro Strong, and Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota–has called for a major investment during the 2020 legislative session to improve transit, electric vehicle infrastructure, walking, and bicycling throughout Minnesota. The organizations calling for these investments represent thousands of members and institutional members across Minnesota.
Several of the coalition’s recommendations are in the governor’s bonding proposal released today, including:
- Arterial bus rapid transit (BRT) in the Twin Cities, including the shovel-ready D Line and the mostly planned B Line
- Capital investments for transit facilities in Greater Minnesota
- Increased grants for Safe Routes to School, creating bike-walk connections for students across the state
- Capital funds for statewide electric vehicle and bus charging infrastructure
The coalition’s top stated priority, however, is for ongoing, statewide investment in transit, bicycling, and walking. That includes new dedicated budget funding for Greater Minnesota transit systems, and a sales tax increase in the Twin Cities metropolitan area to sustainably fund transit needs.
“We are heartened to see Governor Walz propose fifty-five million in bonding for urgently-needed shovel-ready transit projects and additional funds for transit, bicycling, and walking in communities statewide. These capital investments are essential to make immediate and meaningful progress in 2020,” said Sam Rockwell, Executive Director of Move Minnesota and Chair of the Transportation Forward Coalition.
“However, if we are serious about fighting climate change and serious about providing equitable access to economic, social, and educational opportunities for our families and children, we’ll also need significant, reliable, long-term funding to build out a full transit system. We need to transform our patchwork of lines into a comprehensive transit system that really meets people’s needs and we need to do it fast—anything shy of that underestimates our region’s and our state’s potential.”