Messages from the Council Chair

Moving forward on transit and highway funding

June 2013

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.

Council Chair Susan Haigh

Governor Dayton proposed a half-cent metro-wide sales tax to fund the 21st century transit system build-out that this region needs to remain competitive nationally and internationally. Many legislators, advocates, business and labor leaders fought to see the proposal become law, but what we know now is that it was incomplete.

The simple fact is that transit relies on a strong network of roads and bridges. From bike lanes, to bus-only shoulders on major highways, to neighborhood bus stops at busy intersections, we need good roads.
That’s why Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle and I are planning to spend more time talking to Minnesotans across the state about the importance of improving both our roads and our transit system.

We hope to eventually develop a new proposal that not only funds a 21st century transit system for the metro, but that also improves roads and bridges throughout Minnesota. Transit and transportation are two sides of the same coin, and funding for both is key to Minnesota’s economic progress.

Video: the future of transit and transportation in Minnesota