Community demands just, clean transportation at Met Council forum

A coalition of transit riders and neighbors showed up at the Metropolitan Council’s public hearing last week to demand the council plan for a safe, clean, and accessible public transportation system.

MN350 and allied organizations at the Metropolitan Council’s transportation policy hearing.

Turnout was high for the little-advertised hearing on the Council’s updated long-term transportation plan. MN350, the Twin Cities Transit Riders Union, ISAIAH, and the Sierra Club – Northstar Chapter all brought members out to testify on important considerations for the Twin Cities’ public transportation system, which the council runs.

Several neighbors talked about the importance of a transition to clean, zero-emission buses. Chelsea DeArmond, a MN350 member and resident of St. Paul’s East Side, described living near a bus stop, where pollution often covers her garden. “My zip code has the lowest car ownership per capita [in the region], but we are among those who suffer most from air pollution,” she noted.

But not all of the commentary was focused on clean buses. Some neighbors were worried about the council’s planned fare hikes, which could make public transportation less accessible at a time when it’s needed more and more. Others testified about the danger that the Metro Transit Police pose to many neighbors, calling for a policy change to allow civilians to collect fares.

Those interested in getting involved in this clean transportation work can join in through the volunteer-led Solutions Team. To get involved, send an email to noa@mn350.org.