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Letter: Courage Center Supports Bottineau Transitway

Courage Center CEO Jan Malcolm says that the transitway would increase transportation options to Courage Center.

I am writing to express Courage Center’s strong support for the selection of the B-C-D1 alignment of the Bottineau Transitway as the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA). We see the proximity of this proposed line to our Golden Valley location as a huge benefit to our clients, employees, and the community at large.

As Minnesota’s largest independent nonprofit rehabilitation services provider, serving more than 12,000 individuals each year, we understand that access to reliable transportation is critical to the independence of those with disabilities and complex medical conditions. Our customers rely heavily on public transit and Metro Mobility to access our Golden Valley programs. A 2011 examination of Metro Mobility data showed an average of 3,000 riders each month to our facility. An equal number of clients each month come to us via private medical transportation providers. Most of these riders cannot drive themselves, or do not own a vehicle. What they have in common is the need for reliable and safe transportation.

We also have a population of individuals who live on site at our Golden Valley location. These are individuals with brain and spinal injuries residing in our 48-bed Transitional Rehabilitation Program. We often arrange public outings for them to Minneapolis and beyond. It’s not uncommon for them to ride the bus, or travel independently via sidewalk to enjoy Wirth Park and its beauty. Access to LRT would provide a wealth of additional options.

As an employer of 503 individuals, we have felt the sting of budget cuts and the subsequent declines in Metro Transit service on Golden Valley Road. While we applaud the Metropolitan Council for preserving service to Courage Center, the frequency of stops has greatly diminished over the last several years.

The Bottineau Transitway, specifically the B-C-D1 alignment, would greatly increase transportation options to Courage Center. We clearly see the potential benefits to our employees and clients, and hope you’ll agree.

I thank you for your consideration of our comments.

Sincerely,

Jan Malcolm

CEO, Courage Center

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