Editor’s Note: The Counties Transit Improvement Board, a five-county agency that invests in transit using a quarter-cent sales tax and $20 a motor vehicle sales tax, published this article Thursday.
The election results make it clear the dialogue about transit in the State of Minnesota has changed.
“Voters throughout the State of Minnesota expressed the desire to shift the state’s focus to fundamental questions about how we can best invest in our communities to achieve a prosperous and thriving future,” said Counties Transit Improvement Board Chair Peter McLaughlin. “Transit is part of the solution that will make our region competitive.”
Major opponents of transit lost their 2012 re-election bids, particularly in the areas representing the Southwest Light Rail Transit (LRT) Corridor. With new leadership in the Minnesota House and Senate, the opportunity to secure funding during the 2013 legislative session is more likely than ever before.
Other corridors benefiting from a pro-transit legislature include the Bottineau Transitway from the northwest suburbs that ultimately connects with the Interchange transportation hub in downtown Minneapolis, and the Gateway Corridor connecting the east metro suburbs to Union Depot Station in downtown St. Paul.
While there were no specific transit measures involved in Minnesota’s 2012 election, throughout the rest of the country transit leaders and projects in states like North Carolina, Indiana and Hawaii won voter approval.