10 Ways in 10 Days Four: Invest in Transportation

Day Four of Invest in Minnesota’s 10 Ways in 10 Days focuses on the importance of investments in transportation. It features a St. Paul resident who is a frequent public transit user:

Marc Wayman’s job requires him to be available at different hours of the day. He recently moved from Vadnais Heights to St. Paul to be closer to better transit.

When he was living in the northeast metro, he said, “I couldn’t get anywhere without a car.” When his car broke down, he got another, but it broke down too.

Marc tried to depend on the bus to get to work, but it was a three-mile walk from his house to the bus stop, and service is limited to six buses a day — three in the morning and three in the afternoon. “It was a cut-off situation: unless I could make those times, I couldn’t get to work,” Marc said.

Marc is grateful he can now connect to transit options that allow for more flexibility and cost savings, but he recognizes that not everyone has that opportunity.

“Now I’m spending significantly less on transportation monthly,” he said. “I have many more bus options and it will be even better when light rail comes. I can get to my job, but for many people that’s still a challenge.”

According to Transit for Livable Communities, only 25 percent of Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area residents and 30 percent of metro area jobs are within range of convenient transit — meaning service that runs at least every 30 minutes. “We need to get going,” Marc said.

Suburban and express bus services are some of the fastest growing in terms of ridership. But, fair and adequate revenues are needed to add more buses and expand coverage to help more Minnesotans get to their jobs or wherever they need to go.

The 10 Ways in 10 Days campaign features people from around the state like Marc who have first-hand experience with critical state services – and know their value. The campaign highlights how fairly raised revenue and state investments benefit all Minnesotans and why it’s time for policymakers to invest in prosperity for all.

-Leah Gardner

About Leah Gardner

Leah Gardner was the Minnesota Budget Project's outreach coordinator.
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