LETTER: You should care about transportation proposals

To the editor:

 

Whether you drive a car, take the bus or carpool to work each day, you should care about the transportation proposals being considered by the Minnesota Legislature.

The House Transportation Bill contains a budget cut to Metro Transit that would force a 40 percent reduction in basic bus service. This is despite a $1.6 billion state budget surplus.

A cut of this size will literally put thousands more cars on the road every day. Forty percent of downtown Minneapolis workers take the bus every day; in Saint Paul that number is almost 30 percent. That’s a lot more cars crisscrossing the metro region each day to get to work. 

While transit can’t eliminate congestion, it can ease it a lot. At rush hour, a single bus can take 40 cars off the road. Multiply that by the 151 bus routes serving our region, and that’s a lot of cars removed from the congestion equation. 

Better yet, think of all the people who drive to a Park & Ride to then take the bus to work. In our region, there are more than 15,000 Park & Ride spaces for those looking to ride a bus.  

These cuts are despite the fact that every major business group in the region supports more investment in transit. 

It’s difficult to understand why lawmakers are ignoring the business community and cutting this essential service. If you are concerned about your commute to work or other transportation needs, now is the time to contact your legislator.

 

 

Sandy Rummel

Metropolitan Council Member

District 11, representing Oakdale, Vadnais Heights, White Bear Lake, White Bear Township, Gem Lake, Lino Lakes, Hugo and Centerville

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