House GOP Transportation Funding Plan Raises Transit Concerns

March 27, 2017 01:09 PM

A week after Minnesota House Republicans rolled out their transportation funding plan, public transit proponents are sounding alarms.

With transit riders by their side, Met Council Chairman Adam Duininck and Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin voiced their objection to the plan Monday at the state capitol.


Duininck said the proposal would lead to a $122 million budget shortfall that would hurt the entire transit system, including bussing. 

"Even if we did a fare increase, which is something we have to deliberate and work through a public process, we would have to look at potentially 40-percent reductions to the service to metro transit customers," Duininck said.

The plan released last Tuesday would put $2 billion toward transportation over the next two years, largely by diverting existing taxes on car parts and rentals.

The plan envisions spending $6 billion on roads and bridges over 10 years with no tax increases.

Absent from the plan, though, is operational funding for light rail projects, like the controversial Southwest Light Rail Transit.

McLaughlin had sharp criticism for GOP lawmakers who proposed the plan.

"They beat up on the LRT and say 'the buses are great,' and then when it's time to fund the buses they're not there," he said.

"That is the reality. That's been the reality for years and years and years."


Tyler Berg

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