Transportation affects the economic outlook for Minnesota and both the economic well-being and quality of life for the state’s workers and residents. Economic growth and development are influenced and shaped by smart, cost-effective public-sector investments in a transportation system that makes places accessible and allows for the efficient movement of goods and people. A well-designed, quality transportation system connects Minnesotans to jobs and other key destinations and offers strong links among Minnesota’s communities and its businesses. Read More
Transportation issues for low-income Minnesotans and those with limited transportation options rank high in importance because of their magnitude and impacts. Transportation costs consume a very large share of the budgets of low-income residents across Minnesota. Often low-income travelers face the problematic choice of high-cost car ownership or dependence upon transit service that may be very limited or not available at all. Low-income workers in the state’s urban areas face a trend toward job growth in outlying areas at scattered locations hard to reach by transit. Minnesotans with disabilities need access to key destinations, including jobs and health care facilities. Read More
A well-functioning freight transportation system is essential for a strong, growing state economy. The timely and efficient movement of goods, equipment, crops, ore and other freight is important to Minnesota’s corporations, smaller businesses, farmers, workers and consumers. Freight’s importance will only grow, with freight loads in Minnesota expected to double from their 2002 level by the year 2035 or thereabouts. Read More
The cars and light-duty trucks we drive make travel fast and convenient, but the greenhouse gases (GHG) that these vehicles emit contribute greatly to the broadest environmental challenge of our time: climate change. Minnesota in 2007 enacted the Next Generation Energy Initiative, setting in place state goals for a reduction in GHG emissions of 30% from 2005 to 2025 and a reduction of 80% from 2005 to 2050. With the transportation sector accounting for one-fourth of all greenhouse gas emissions in Minnesota, strategies to reduce vehicle-related emissions will be critical to achieving these goals. Read More
Minnesota is shifting gears in its approach to Twin Cities traffic congestion. With the region already home to more highway miles per capita than most comparable metro areas, the recent statewide transportation policy plan from the Minnesota Department of Transportation moves the Twin Cities further away from “attempting to build its way out of congestion by adding more highway lanes.” And the Metropolitan Council’s recent transportation plan states flat out that, because of constraints, highway system expansion will not eliminate congestion in the Twin Cities area or even significantly reduce it. The shift is a smart one. Read More
Intercity personal travel is of vital interest, particularly to residents of Greater Minnesota. In Greater Minnesota – especially the more rural areas – trip destinations are far less concentrated than in the Twin Cities metro region, meaning that the residents are more likely to make frequent trips in between urbanized areas and between smaller cities. It is important that the government in Minnesota both preserve and enhance the ease of intercity travel in Greater Minnesota. Read More
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