"No" to Public Transport cuts and Fare Hikes.
A concerted effort by MN GOP to stifle, defund and rollback Metro Transit, particularly light rail, is underway. This will impact families and workers who rely on transit every day. This will affect the inner city, the city in general as well as the suburbs, and particularly hurt the elderly and the disabled.
a) These bills will come to the floor very soon: HF 1480 raises fares; HF2058 makes it more expensive to build light-rail systems by removing eminent domain exceptions just for light-rail (not for any other types of transportation); SF1490 prevents the council from undertaking light rail projects (and only light rail) without the legislature approving it.
Contact your representative and senator to tell them to oppose these bills when they come to the floor.
b) This bill has been voted on and passed and now goes into conference committee. HF861 – Transportation Finance Omnibus. It cuts public transportation funds in the Twin Cities by 40%, eliminates the southwest light rail project and cuts all state funding for light-rail projects. Basically, it’s extremely hostile to public transportation. We need a good and well-funded transit system in the city to accommodate growth and mobility for people who cannot afford cars. Additionally, light rail has a lower per person subsidy than buses so it does not make financial sense to cut rail.
If any of these reps and senators are yours, contact them asap and tell them why you want them to oppose this bill: Senator Scott Newman, Sen. Jasinski, Sen. Kiffmeyer, Sen. Osmek, Sen. Sparks and Representative Paul Torkelson, Rep. Petersburg, Rep. Howe, Rep. Runbeck, and Rep. Koznick
Otherwise, contact the Governor and tell him to oppose these bills and stand strong on supporting transit riders and affordable, equitable, and clean transportation options in the metro. A healthy public transport system is an essential part of vibrant city life.