The state’s newest think tank, Minnesota 2020, has a post up today on transit funding. The group was unveiled just a couple of weeks ago. Former House Minority Leader Matt Entenza is the Founder, who is supported by some former House staff and a couple of reporters – including Conrad deFiebre, who wrote today’s transit piece:
Minnesotans are voting with their feet and their dollars for mass transit, pushing commuter bus and train travel across the entire state to record levels. Unfortunately, the state is doing little to keep pace with the public’s increasing desire for alternatives to the family car and $3-a-gallon-plus gasoline.
Transit patronage is on the rise both in the Twin Cities and outstate. For example, ridership on the Hiawatha light rail line grew 18.6 percent last year, boosting Metro Transit to a 22-year high of 73.8 million trips. And Greater Minnesota’s far-flung public transit services logged 350,000 more trips in 2005 than the year before.
He rightly concludes:
The costs of inaction on Minnesota’s economy and quality of life are too great to keep putting off building a 21st century transit system. It’s vital for the Legislature and governor to find a way to get the state moving again.