2050 Stakeholder Engagement

The Met Council strategically approaches public participation to meet the needs of the region. It is important to reach out to stakeholders from all backgrounds and perspectives to have well thought out policies that benefit everyone. Public participation is done holistically and comprehensively with the practice of collaboration and inclusion. 

The Transportation Addendum to the Public Engagement Plan establishes a framework for the region’s stakeholders to influence both long-term transportation policy development and short-term transportation programming. It details the methods and strategies that the Met Council will use to engage a wide range of stakeholders, from policymakers and business interests to residents of the region. It also identifies specific ways those stakeholders can connect to the transportation decision-making process. 

Partner agency engagement 

Technical stakeholders 

This plan was developed with the experience and perspective of implementing partners. The Met Council implements few projects itself other than transit projects, working in partnership with cities, counties, state agencies, and non-profit organizations to deliver transportation projects. Engagement with these partners is key in developing all aspects of this plan. 

The Imagine 2050 Transportation Policy Plan Technical Working Group was formed underneath the Transportation Advisory Board’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to assist with plan development and review. The Imagine 2050 TPP Technical Working Group consisted of 39 members, including all represented on the TAC’s Planning subcommittee (see Committee members), and additional members representing city, county, state, federal, non-profit, and academic stakeholders. This group met 24 times over the course of two years to advise Met Council staff on engagement practice, setting goals and objectives, developing policies and actions, and drafting investment and goal related plan narrative. The TAC received regular reports on Imagine 2050 TPP Technical Working Group discussion and seven informational presentations on development of Imagine 2050 plans since 2022. 

The TAC, Imagine 2050 TPP Technical Working Group, Bicycle & Pedestrian Planning Technical Working Group, and Transit Planning Technical Working Group together provided over 2,600 comments on draft plan content in addition to in-meeting discussion. 

Policy stakeholders 

Transportation Advisory Board 

Providing a regional multimodal transportation system meeting the needs of many users requires coordinated planning among partners implementing the system. The Met Council works with its regional partners, including state agencies, cities, counties, and other stakeholders, to ensure regional transportation investments support the Imagine 2050 vision for the region, accommodate projected growth, and use public resources wisely and cost-effectively. 

The Met Council serves as the federally designated metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for the Twin Cities region. Congress created MPOs to ensure that decision-making for federally funded or regionally significant transportation investments are based on a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive regional planning process. 

The Met Council’s sixteen members and chairperson are appointed by the Governor of Minnesota, a structure which predates current requirements that MPO governing boards include local elected officials, state and regional transportation agency officials, and transit agency officials. In our region, the Transportation Advisory Board (TAB), which was created under state statute to provide advice to the Met Council on regional transportation issues, serves as the conduit for local policymaker and agency input. TAB’s membership includes city and county elected officials, state and regional transportation agency leaders, and appointed citizens representing geographic districts and transportation modes. TAB is an integral part of the region’s transportation planning process and leads the solicitation, evaluation, and recommendation of projects funded with regionally allocated federal transportation funds. 

Advisory Work Group 

The Imagine 2050 Transportation Policy Plan Advisory Work Group was formed under the Metropolitan Council to discuss key plan issues. It was a focused group of Met Council members, Transportation Advisory Board members, and leaders representing state and transit agencies. This group met 15 times over the course of two years to provide Met Council staff regional perspectives and local context during development of objectives, policies, and actions. 

Listening sessions and development workshops 

The early work to gather deeper feedback from stakeholders started in early 2023 with a series of listening sessions and interviews. The purpose of these interviews was to reflect on the 2040 Transportation Policy Plan’s successes and limitations and learn about what issues were most pressing for the region’s transportation system. These engagement sessions were both transportation partner stakeholders and community-based stakeholders. The engagement ultimately led to draft Imagine 2050 Transportation Policy Plan objectives that were then further discussed and refined within the broader plan development processes.  

Once a working structure of goals and objectives were in place, the work began on drafting policies and actions. This was done through eight policy development teams structured around the plan’s goals and objectives. These teams include technical experts that made recommendations and reviewed content that eventually led to a draft list of policies and actions. This draft list was further shared with a wider audience of technical staff through a series of virtual and in-person workshops. The feedback from these workshops was used to create updated versions of the policies and actions that were then further discussed and refined within the broader plan development processes. 

Community-based public engagement 

Because the region is growing and the people are changing, public participation needs to be coordinated and deliberate. Those who have not been historically engaged in policy conversations with the Met Council are a key constituency and have been intentionally included in engagement for the Imagine 2050 Transportation Policy Plan.  

In 2022, the Met Council initiated a three-year contract to support engagement with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), Hispanic, low-income, and other traditionally underrepresented communities. 

That contract has supported efforts that have directly impacted the development of the Imagine 2050 Transportation Policy Plan including the Regional Travel Demand Management Study, the Transportation Needs in Daily Life Study, and the Imagine 2050 Transportation Policy Plan Goals, Objectives, Policies and Actions. 


Each effort took different approaches to engaging traditionally underrepresented communities, including:  

  • Community events and intercept surveys 
  • Online surveys 
  • One-on-one and small group interviews 
  • Listening sessions 
  • Small group discussions 

In community-based public engagement, we strive to prioritize quality over quantity. This creates deeper, more meaningful interactions that foster genuine connections and long-term commitment. The true value lies in the richness of the engagement, where individuals feel heard, valued, and actively involved. High-quality interactions build trust and collaboration. Quality-driven engagement is essential for nurturing resilient and vibrant communities. 

Engagement on the Imagine 2050 TPP goals, objectives, policies, and actions 

We broke this engagement into two phases, connecting with as many of the same groups and individuals as possible to create continuity across these areas that ground the Imagine 2050 Transportation Policy Plan. Phase 1 focused on the goals and objectives and phase 2 focused on the policies and actions. 

Phase 1 engagement resulted in five themes to consider as we developed the goals and objectives.

  1. Equity is a top priority for many, but it needs to be more clearly defined. 
  2. Safety is viewed by most community members as transit, rather than all modes. 
  3. System maintenance brought up tensions between investing in existing infrastructure versus transforming for the future. 
  4. Elevate climate change above and beyond naming climate in the Imagine 2050 vision  
  5. A multi-node future where community members imagine a future of many regional nodes. 

Phase 2 engagement followed up with the proposed policies and actions and asked for community groups and individuals to respond and react. These themes emerged from community-based conversations. 

  1. The housing / transportation connection is important and would benefit from explicit acknowledgement. 
  2. Going deep on equity is seen as important to making progress on achieving the Imagine 2050 goals. 
  3. Balance behavior change with technology change in the proposed policies and actions instead of relying on technology. 
  4. Successful implementation relies on effective coordination across jurisdictions and sectors. 

This engagement was all done ahead of drafting the Imagine 2050 Transportation Policy Plan, so the themes could be an included consideration when drafting the content.  

Study-level engagement 

This valuable community input influenced and helped shape the foundational elements of the Imagine 2050 Transportation Policy Plan, while engagement at the study level brought a community-based lens to key study areas.  

In particular, the Transportation Needs in Daily Life project brought forward community voices in a unique and impactful way. Participants’ willingness to share their personal stories has created a deeper understanding of the regional transportation system and, more broadly, of how to work better with our communities. We recognize that we must, in turn, share their stories in the most true and meaningful ways we can while making the feedback actionable. 

Comment on our transportation plans and processes
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Transportation Policy Plan Information
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