Supporters of funding for mass transit will rally Tuesday, May 16, at 6 p.m. at the state Capitol, next to the Capitol stop on the light rail green line.
The rally is sponsored by Transportation Forward, a coalition of more than 50 community, faith, health, business, environmental and labor groups.
According to its website, Transportation Forward believes Minnesota should fund a multifaceted approach to modernizing our state’s transportation system. Such an approach not only recognizes the need to improve and rebuild roads and bridges, but also to develop and enhance public transportation, and to ensure infrastructure for bicycling and walking is safe, efficient, and accessible.
The state Legislature has been trying to push through a budget that does not include enough money for mass transit, the coalition said. Possible impacts include:
- A 40 percent cut in bus and light rail service
- Fare increases of as much as 50 cents per ride
- Reduction in Metro Mobility services for people who are elderly or have disabilities
“This would impact just about everyone who takes public transit,” the coalition said. Cuts to transit result in more crowded roads as people who have cars choose to drive.
Some 1,500 Minneapolis public school students receive discount passes to get to school. Any in Metro Transit fares would make it difficult for the school district to continue this service, advocates said.
The Legislature needs to approve a state budget, including funding for transportation and transit, before adjourning May 22.