Coalition calling for increased investment in transportation


Move MN, a 150-member coalition, is pushing for urgent action on transportation improvements throughout the state.

The group announced a transportation funding package today it is pushing legislators to support this session. The 2014 legislative session convenes Tuesday, Feb. 25.

Barb Thoman, executive director of Transit for Livable Communities, said the state is “falling out of medal contention on transportation.”

“We’re not taking care of what we have — roads and bridges — and we’re not adapting fast enough to meet growing demand for transit, bicycling and walking options,” she said. “Last year, 10 states passed comprehensive transportation funding with bipartisan support — including Virginia, Nevada and Wyoming. The Move MN proposal is about making sure our businesses and our working families have a shot at success.”

The funding package was presented to a joint meeting of the state House and Senate transportation committees today. Highlights of the policy reform and funding package include:
— more transparency about transporation projects;
— dedicating all of the leased vehicle sales tax to highway and Greater Minnesota transit funding;
— increasing the metro sales tax by 3/4 cent to generate $335 million in new revenue annually to help pay for transit improvements, including new LRT, rapid bus lines and improvements to bike and pedestrian infrustructure;
— adding a new 5 percent sales tax on wholesale fuel to generate an estimated $360 million annually in new transportation funding; and 
— allowing Greater Minnesota communities more flexibility in using federal dollars to allow for spending on biking and transportation projects.

For a list of Move MN coalition members, click here.