By Jada Wollenzien
In his State of the State Address, Governor Dayton briefly mentioned the need for transit funding. Ennumerating the urgent needs across the state, he stated, “and I have not even mentioned tonight, nor does my budget address, the critical need to invest in improving our highways, roads, and bridges statewide; our public transit systems; [and] our aging infrastructure. . . We can choose, as others in our positions have before us, to ignore these growing problems . . or, we can lead. That is what the people of Minnesota elected us to do.”The Governor’s message of the need to create a better Minnesota for everyone is inspirational. He outlines ways of bettering Minnesota through education, more jobs, and improving our environment. Critical investments in transit, biking and walking options bridge all of these issues. However, the Governor’s brief message on transit is less than inspirational. We know he supports funding for transportation options in his budget, but this was not strongly communicated in the Address.
Photo credit: Transit for Livable Communities.
A better rail, bus, bike and pedestrian system will help get all Minnesotans to and from work, and where they need to go. Transit creates jobs, gets students to school, and improves our air quality. Governor Dayton’s budget proposal sends a clear signal that transit is essential to building a stronger economy. It includes new revenue for essential services such as transit. The Transit for a Stronger Economy coalition and the majority of Minnesotans know that public transportation is a good investment for the state.Let’s put the brakes on climate change, put more people to work with good jobs, and invest sustainable communities. Ask your legislators to support transit funding today. More transit, biking and walking = less pollution and a Better Minnesota for Everyone.