A COMMITMENT TO CLEAN AND EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION STATEWIDE
Minnesota’s transportation systems are out of date. Repairs and improvements are necessary. Public transportation, bicycling, and walking options are key to a more sustainable future—and essential to quality of life in communities of all sizes. With comprehensive and balanced statewide funding, we can create a cleaner, more efficient transportation system in Minnesota, an investment that will pay valuable health and environmental dividends.
Transportation generates 25% 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 long-term plan that solves our transportation problems by dedicating new investments in roads, bridges, transit, and safe walking and bicycling and accessibility infrastructure throughout the state.
- 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 transitways;
- A statewide gas tax increase to address statewide needs for maintenance and safety improvements on aging roads and bridges;
- Dedicating 50% of leased vehicle sales tax revenue to meeting Greater Minnesota residents’ transit needs by adding new bus routes and expanding service hours. Remaining revenue would go to suburban county road work;
- 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; and
- Substantial General Obligation (GO) bonding for key public transportation projects, including both bus facilities and Safe Routes to School statewide, as well as Twin Cities metro light rail expansion.
1 Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, January 2015, https://www.pca.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/lraq-2sy15.pdf
2 Itasca Project. 2012. Regional Transit System Return on Investment Assessment. http://www.corridorsofopportunity.org/sites/default/files/Transit_ROI_Executive_Summary.pdf
3 Federal Transportation Administration, Public Transportation’s Role in Responding to Climate Change, www.fta.dot.gov/documentsPublicTransportationsRoleInRespondingToClimateChange2010.pdf
4 American Society of Civil Engineers, http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/minnesota/minnesota-overview/
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 http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Series/jobs%20and%20transit/MinneapolisMN.PDF
7 MnDOT. MnDOT Safe Routes to School grants support 101 Minnesota schools. News Release. Feb. 10, 2015