Dark Age Ahead

Existing Bus Service

2300 Hour Service Reduction Scenario

Take a moment to peruse the Met Council’s plans to deal with the $109m cut the legislature passed.  It includes:

  • 25-50 cent fare increase
  • resulting in 2.5-6.8m riders lost
  • 25% reduction in bus service
  • resulting in another 8-10m riders lost
  • at least 200 fewer buses at peak hour
  • 71 routes would be eliminated on one or more days of the week
  • “the Hi-Frequency Network… would probably be reduced to the point at which it almost becomes irrelevant as a network” (about 15:30 on this video)

These cuts are nothing less than an attack on our way of life.  It is important to let the legislators who voted for them know that if they go through, they will be answered in kind.

Red routes will be eliminated

9 comments on “Dark Age Ahead

  1. Joey says:

    The problem is most of the transit users who would write their legislators are likely in districts with representatives who don’t support these cuts to begin with. It’s tough to convince outstate Minnesotans to support funding urban initiatives that don’t impact them. I live in Burnsville and use the bus system every day (we have just one car anyway) but I hardly know anyone in the suburbs who ride the buses, even the express lines.

  2. Agreed.

    This really displays our cultural road building bias: cutting $109m that will directly effect public transit, but apparently $125m for the 169/494 interchange doesn’t raise any real opposition?


  3. mulad says:

    I agree, this cut demands a response. Democrats are good at what I’ve started calling “the audacity of knuckling under.” Liberal-leaning politicians and individuals have done that for far too long. Now that the Republicans staked out the $109 million cut, we can be pretty certain that Democrats will be willing to take more than the $30 million cut that we were pissed off about earlier in the year, but that’s still an unacceptable situation.

    I’m not accustomed to figuring out nasty things to do, so my best thought had been to make 100% cuts to transit in Republican-held districts, but they’re mostly out on the fringe of the metro area and didn’t have much service to begin with, and they are probably served by one of the suburban providers which likely has more than one year’s worth of budget money in the bank. They’d barely notice. What sort of power do we have to embarrass, demean, and discourage the Republicans? I haven’t figured it out yet.

    • Dayton has some power – can’t MnDOT revise the MSA rules at any time?

      Could the Commissioner of Education eliminate Driver’s Ed classes and institute Bike Safety and Repair classes? How about preventing new schools from having student parking lots?

      • Froggie says:

        Assuming that MSA = Municipal State Aid (for streets), Dayton’s power is basically zero. Article 14 of the state Constitution dictates that cities of 5000+ population receive state aid funds for streets, and that the Legislature, via legislation, dictates the apprtionment process.

  4. mulad says:

    [Ugh, the video requires Silverlight. Bah.]

  5. Froggie says:

    Three things to consider here.

    – I’m assuming with your first bullet that you meant a 25-50 cent INCREASE in fares, not a fare reduction.

    – The Legislature gave the Met Council funding authority to reduce/eliminate the gap. Unfortunately, it means digging into the metro sales tax funds normally set aside for transit corridor expansion. I’d also hasten to point out that some suburban legislators see this as a victory against “boondoggle rail”.

    – The $125M for 169/494 that Nathanial notes is a poor argument to use for several reasons. A) fixing that mess has been sorely needed for years; B) that money was appropriated in a previous year, just as the money for Central LRT construction was (and note that Central LRT construction is continuing despite the shutdown, unlike MnDOT’s road projects); C) the 169/494 money comes from both the state gas tax (which is Constitutionally dedicated to roads) or Federal highway funding that for the most part is not transferrable to transit.

    • Thanks for the correction, Froggie.

      While the legislature did give the Counties Transit Improvement Board authority to fund transit operations, the board has not yet voted to do so, and Metro Transit is apparently not counting on it. One reason may be that the CTIB money is needed to fund Central Corridor LRT construction. As you noted, LRT construction is proceeding despite the shutdown – that is because Met Council money is being used for it, and most of that actually comes from CTIB. See page 2-7:

      Click to access 2011CapitalProgramBudget.pdf

      Note that $96m in CTIB money is budgeted for Central LRT construction in 2012. This giant transit cut may be the GOP’s last ditch effort to stop Central.

  6. […] rest until he’s chased every last Minnesotan off of transit.  You’ll remember the somber mood last summer when his transportation bill basically eliminated transit, proving once again that the […]

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