Messages from the Council Chair

April 2022
Charlie Zelle

Planning for 2050: We want to hear your voice

We can’t make good plans that impact so many key sectors in our society and economy without talking to people from all walks of life. Between now and early 2025 we will be meeting with people in every part of the seven-county metro area.

March 2022
Charlie Zelle

Met Council has the poop on COVID-19

Out of the 176 million gallons of wastewater coming from nearly 2 million people in 66 communities every day, our scientists can capture and measure about 10 viral RNA molecules that can tell public health officials how COVID-19 is impacting our region.

December 2021
Charlie Zelle

Pandemic and progress: A look at 2021

Even in the face of big challenges, people are figuring out how to band together to create community and help each other out.

November 2021
Charlie Zelle

Building better for a brighter future

It doesn’t matter if you drive, take transit, bike, walk or roll to get around — the new federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is going to have a big impact on your daily life. Strategic, thoughtful investments in transportation are essential to maintaining a high quality of life and are critical to our region’s economy.

October 2021
Charlie Zelle

Our budget reflects our values and priorities

The budget document we’ve laid out tells an impressive story of the large scope of Met Council services that are foundational for this region’s prosperity and livability.  

September 2021
Charlie Zelle

We’re acting on climate change now

The Met Council has long been committed to the sustainability of the region through our work in wastewater treatment and monitoring water quality, providing transit service, and funding the regional park system. But in recent years we have become increasingly focused on actions that will further reduce regional carbon emissions, help communities adapt to climate change impacts, and increase the region’s resiliency.

August 2021
Charlie Zelle

Prioritizing safety and equity on our transit system

This month, the Metropolitan Council took an important step that builds on the community engagement around transit safety we’ve been doing in partnership with the Citizens League over the past year: we established a Metro Transit Police Work Group.

July 2021
Charlie Zelle

Making progress on a better I-494

No matter where you live in the seven-county metro area, if you drive a car, you will eventually get stuck in traffic on Interstate 494. But the good news is we’re making progress on a better I-494.

June 2021
Charlie Zelle

A heron, a duck, and a frog walk into a wastewater treatment plant

We’ve been working to update the most downloaded file on our website, Wastewater Treatment for Kids, into the 21st century as an animated video. A heron, a duck, and a frog tell the story, explaining how wastewater is cleaned and returned to the environment.

May 2021
Charlie Zelle

A deeper look at our regional parks

The way that many of us experience our state’s beauty is through our regional park system. This summer, we’re looking with our partner park agencies at how to promote the overall system, to expand access to even more Minnesotans.

April 2021
Charlie Zelle

A new commitment to anti-racism and addressing economic disparities

I signed a commitment to participate in the Regional Anti-Racist and Economic Justice Trust as part of our ongoing partnership with the Center for Economic Inclusion. It commits us to important actions and measures that will move us and the other members of the trust more intentionally toward a more equitable region. This is not merely a commitment on paper.

March 2021
Charlie Zelle

I’m on board the bicycling trend

As we continue to plan and build the region’s transportation system, we are adding more choices for people to get around. People should be able to choose between driving on excellent roads, taking world-class transit, or the joy of cycling to work on a well-maintained bikeway. This approach is friendly to changing lifestyles.

February 2021
Charlie Zelle

Livable Communities Act has changed lives and our cities

Any city in the seven-county metro area can participate in the LCA program. It has helped build new supermarkets on Saint Paul’s East Side and in Oakdale. In Hopkins, it helped to connect the city’s downtown to the new Southwest light rail stop across Excelsior Boulevard. And the program has supported the creation of thousands of affordable housing units across the region.

January 2021
Charlie Zelle

Ensuring transit safety and enforcement

We have formally partnered with the Citizens League to engage our customers, employees, and communities in conversations about their experiences with the Metro Transit Police Department. It’s one aspect of our commitment to bolder action on racial equity and more directly addressing its impacts on our region.

December 2020
Charlie Zelle

Safe shelter in a pandemic

Too many people living in our region don’t enjoy what should be a basic right — safe, dignified housing. Expanding affordable housing opportunities is a Council priority. We’ve been doubling down our efforts in 2020.

November 2020
Charlie Zelle

Keeping the public safe, working for the future

This is a tough time for Minnesota as the COVID-19 pandemic wears on. Here at the Met Council we are working hard to keep the public safe now while we also focus on the region’s future.

October 2020
Charlie Zelle

Investing in people’s lives

Transit is part of a comprehensive transportation system, and transportation connects people to the destinations they need to live their lives and is foundational to our economy. The investments in D and B Lines aren’t just bus projects, they are an investment in people.

September 2020
Charlie Zelle

Looking forward to a thoughtful debate

The Governor’s Blue Ribbon Committee is taking a hard look at the Met Council: what works, what doesn’t, where can we do better? No idea is off the table.

August 2020
Charlie Zelle

Engagement in the time of COVID-19

While the COVID-19 pandemic has dulled one of our best tools – the ability to go out into neighborhoods and communities to meet with people where they live – we have not stopped our work to engage the public. I’m proud of the work all of the Met Council’s divisions are continuing to do to maintain the ongoing regional discussion.

July 2020
Charlie Zelle

The region is making a course change

Examining how we build a more equitable region is no longer just one task before the Met Council. It must be part of everything we do.

June 2020
Charlie Zelle

Metropolitan Council planning review of Metro Transit Police Department

This review will require robust and authentic public engagement. We will rely on people across our region to ensure the review is informed, comprehensive, and substantive. We all look forward to hearing from community members, policymakers, and staff who regularly interact with and depend on transit police.

June 2020
Charlie Zelle

We need bold action on racial equity

We cannot continue to set lofty goals to include people of color and indigenous people in our region’s prosperity by doing things the way we always have. What’s clear about this current crisis in our community, particularly on top of the COVID-19 pandemic, is that there is no acceptable normal to return to.

January 2020
Charlie Zelle

The humanizing effect of communities

Everything we do at the Met Council has one common, long-term goal: creating a great quality of life for all the people in our region.

November 2018
Alene Tchourumoff

Investments that will endure for generations

As we head toward the close of the year, contractors are preparing to break ground on the largest public works project in Minnesota’s history — a project in the works for more than two decades. Construction to extend the METRO Green Line to Eden Prairie will employ more than 7,500 people from almost every corner of the state.

October 2018
Alene Tchourumoff

Planning for a prosperous region

We support seven counties and 181 cities and townships as they update their local comprehensive plans every 10 years. We review the plans to ensure that they plan for areas to grow, enough housing, good transportation, and use of critical infrastructure like wastewater treatment. It’s a big job. But because we’ve been working together, not as big as it could be.

September 2018
Alene Tchourumoff

Partnerships to solve complex problems

Through partnerships with cities, neighborhoods, and residents, we can identify problems and employ real solutions to reduce inflow and infiltration from homes and businesses.

July 2018
Alene Tchourumoff

We’re engaging and listening to residents

Whether we’re planning a new bus line, improving access to regional parks, or developing long-range regional plans for housing, we engage residents so that our plans and services reflect the desires and needs of the people we serve. We need your involvement and feedback.

June 2018
Alene Tchourumoff

Our commitment to lead on energy

We signed an agreement with Xcel Energy to power the work of the Metropolitan Council with clean, renewable energy. It embodies our commitment to bring to life the Thrive MSP 2040 principles of good stewardship and sustainability for the benefit of the region.

May 2018
Alene Tchourumoff

Building success on success

Housing prices are rising quickly, which also means affordable housing is in short supply. More people are on our roads getting to work and school, adding to congestion. Early warning signs point to the importance of making key investment that promote prosperity now.

April 2018
Alene Tchourumoff

Bus Rapid Transit – a faster ride

We’ve taken a lot of the ideas we use in light rail trains and applied them to BRT, for a better customer experience and a trip that can be up to 25% faster.

March 2018
Alene Tchourumoff

Planning together for a prosperous region

Local plans are critical to having a thriving, prosperous region. As individual communities add population, housing, and industry we must ensure that the infrastructure is in place to support that growth. When we work as partners, the entire region benefits.

February 2018
Alene Tchourumoff

Time to focus: transit funding, affordable housing and equity

At the start of the 2018 session of the Minnesota Legislature, I think it’s important to refocus our attention on the three biggest challenges facing our region today. How we address these issues now, will have impacts that could – for better or for worse – impact our region for generations to come.

January 2018
Alene Tchourumoff

Hosting a great, safe Super Bowl

I’m proud of the tireless effort Metro Transit and Met Council staff have put into making sure that we host a great event. Even though the Vikings didn’t make it to the big game this year, the Twin Cities region will still come out a winner on Super Bowl Sunday.

October 2013
Chair Susan Haigh

Equity: 'the superior growth model'

Much of the region is recovering from the recession, but poverty continues to increase in communities of color. Together, we can alter employment and income disparities by taking a regional approach.

August 2013
Chair Susan Haigh

Southwest LRT: Building a line that stands the test of time

The Southwest light rail line offers us an opportunity to accelerate the already positive economic momentum of the greater Twin Cities region while simultaneously moving our regional transit system closer to being the modern, intermodal system residents desire.

June 2013
Chair Susan Haigh

Moving forward on transit and highway funding

The 2013 legislative session is over and although many great legislative accomplishments will positively impact the work we do here at the Metropolitan Council, many of us are disappointed that the transit sales tax did not become law.