Smart Investments


Minnesota’s transportation systems are out of date and overdue for needed repairs and improvements. With comprehensive and balanced statewide funding, we can create a clean, efficient transportation system in Minnesota, an investment that will pay valuable environmental dividends.

Transportation generates 24% of the carbon pollution in Minnesota, second only to the power sector. 1 Air quality is often worst near areas with bad traffic congestion. This means residents in suburban and urban areas, especially those living close to major roads and highways, confront the highest health risks due to poor air quality.

  • Building out the metro regional transit system would save $185 to $395 million in reduced emissions. 2
  • Bus transit produces 33% less carbon pollution per passenger mile than the average single-occupancy vehicle. 3
  • Minnesota’s roads are in poor condition, costing the average motorist $396.25 per year in extra vehicle repairs and operating expenses. 4
  • Inadequate funding is the biggest challenge faced by 94% of Greater Minnesota transit providers. 5
  • In the Twin Cities metro area, 70% of jobs are not reachable by transit in 90 minutes. 6
  • More than 50 communities across Minnesota have unfunded Main Street enhancement projects, while statewide in 2013 MnDOT received proposals for nearly four times as many Safe Routes to Schools projects as it could fund. 7

Minnesota’s transportation problems cannot be solved with one-time stop-gap fixes. We need a 10-year plan that solves our transportation problems by dedicating new investments in roads, bridges, transit and safe walking and bicycling infrastructure throughout the state. We support:

  • A 10% increase in license tab fees and a 6.5% sales tax on the business of selling fuel at wholesale (also known as a gross receipts tax), with proceeds dedicated to our aging roads and bridges;
  • Dedicating the existing leased vehicle sales tax revenue to suburban county road work and meeting Greater Minnesota residents’ transit needs with new bus routes and expanded service hours;
  • Increasing the current metro sales tax for transit by ¾-cent, with 10% devoted to safe and accessible pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure in the metro, and 90% to complete the current metro  transit plan, including expanded bus service; and
  • Reallocating $16 million in current flexible federal transportation funds to help Greater Minnesota communities create vibrant downtowns and develop safe, accessible pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.

 Read more about our position on transportation from our 2015 Briefing Book


1 Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
2 Itasca Project. 2012. Regional Transit System Return on Investment Assessment.
3 Federal Transportation Administration, Public Transportation’s Role in Responding to Climate Change,
4 American Society of Civil Engineers,
5 MnDOT. Greater Minnesota Transit Plan 2010 – 2030. December, 2009
6 Adie Tomer et al., Missed Opportunity: Transit and Jobs in Metropolitan (Brookings Institution, May 12, 2011). Twin Cities data available at
7 MnDOT. MnDOT Safe Routes to School grants support 101 Minnesota schools. News Release. Feb. 10, 2015