The House Republican's transportation bill would be pretty bad for those who rely on public transit to get around, says the group in charge of running buses and trains says. Which is why members are urging lawmakers to withdraw the proposal.
The bill increases funding for roads and bridges across the state, but also cuts millions of dollars in public transportation funding, Session Daily reported. And Metropolitan Council (the agency that runs Metro Transit) says funding cuts would force them to reduce the Metro Transit service area and cut back on the number of hours public transit runs. It would also force the agency to "dramatically increase fares," Adam Duininck, the chair of the Met Council, said in a statement.
Here are four ways this bill could affect Metro Transit, according to the Met Council.
That's how much Metro Transit's budget deficit could go up by over the next two-year funding cycle if the bill passes. And that's even if the agency's proposed fare increases pass.
To make up for the large budget deficit, Metro Transit could be forced to cut service by 40 percent, meaning fewer routes and shorter hours. And if the fare increase doesn't pass, service cuts could be even higher.
“Potentially four out of 10 buses could not be on the roads for many people around the Twin Cities region," Duininck said, according to WCCO.
That's the percentage of rides taken on Metro Transit by people who are commuting to work or school. But if service is cut, these people could have trouble getting to work and school on time, which would "harm hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses," Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jonathan Weinhagen said in a statement. He also noted having a good public transit system helps businesses compete and retain workers.
"Cut back on buses and employers will be forced to move out of our city just to ensure employees can find a place to park," Weinhagen said.
That's how many Minnesotans with disabilities use Metro Mobility – a figure that's gone up 5-8 percent in a year and shows no sign of slowing down. But the bill does nothing to address the projected shortfalls in the program, which is required by law.