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Please also see our blog for the latest updates about transportation issues, including transit, bicycling, walking, and transit-related development.


Transportation Options Infographic

infographic quotes
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Transportation on Tap. Five to six times per year, TLC hosts Transportation on Tap, a social discussion of transportation topics, including the following.

TLC's Summer 2013 print newsletter (PDF1MB)

Hard copies of back issues of Transit for Livable Communities' publications can be ordered by calling us at 651-767-0298 or emailing us at tlc [at]


Transit Funding

Learning from St. Louis. In the mid-2000s, the St. Louis area Metrobus and Metrolink tranist system was in danger of being severely cut because of budget shortages and limited revenues. Then, in 2008, an effort to raise revenue from a ½ cent sales tax increase failed. Despite this setback, transit advocates and community leaders re-grouped and went back to the voters in 2010. As Executive Director for Citizens for Modern Transit, Tom Shrout was at the front lines of this year-long campaign to build support for operating and expanding the public transit system of buses and trains. Tom recently visited the Twin Cities to share the St. Louis transit story.

Transit in Minnesota: An Introduction (PDF)

Transit Funding 101 (2010; powerpoint with video)

Sources of funding for transit in peer regions 2012. A TLC Policy Brief. Scroll down for more policy briefs.

Metropolitan Council and Thrive MSP 2040

Thrive MSP 2040 TLC Comments April 2014. Thrive MSP 2040 and the accompanying system plans (for housing, transportation, water, and parks) are foundational to achieving the region's overarching goals of equity, sustainability, prosperity, stewardship, and livability. To meet those goals, TLC encourages the Metropolitan Council to strengthen the plan in key ways.

Metropolitan Council Regional Development Framework 2040. Transit for Livable Communities March 2012 comments (pdf) and presentation (pdf) about the new Framework.

Long Range Planning in Peer Cities: 10 Themes to Inform Thrive MSP 2040 (pdf)
A number of peer regions, including Atlanta, Denver, Portland, Salt Lake City, Sacramento, San Francisco and Seattle, have recently released similar plans, many with a strong land use component. Transit for Livable Communities reviewed these plans from around the country. Here are ten themes consistently advanced by our peer regions. (Aug 2012, pdf)

Parking, Transit-oriented-development, and bike/ped access along transitways (2011). Transit for Livable Communities' blog about key provisions in guidelines from other cities and comments on the Metropolitan Council's proposed Regional Transitway Guidelines.

Minnesota Go Comments. Transit for Livable Communities applauds the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) for completing this long-range (50-year) vision and using a broad range of techniques for soliciting input from the public and outside experts. It is very encouraging to see the bold, transformative vision of Minnesota Go.  Our comments include 1) where we support the vision as outlined and 2) suggested additions and questions.

Letter to the Metropolitan Council Chairman Peter Bell regarding TH169/I-494 Interchange expansion. Another interchange expansion project is moving ahead --this one with a price tag of $172 million. For over a decade, Mn/DOT and the Metropolitan Council have said that Minnesota can't build its way out of congestion.

Minnesota Department of Transportation

MnDOT Statewide Multimodal Plan--TLC Summary of Concerns (pdf) Every year, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) oversees nearly $2.5 billion for projects across the state. The agency released for public review by July 31, 2012, a draft of the 20-year Statewide Multimodal Plan that will guide these investments. The MnDOT Plan is rooted in the recently completed Minnesota GO vision for statewide transportation. While much of MnDOT’s vision is poised in the direction of a more sustainable, multimodal transportation network, TLC has identified concerns with the plan that, if not addressed, could undermine outcomes and the ability to realize the vision of Minnesota GO. Read TLC's summary of concerns here (pdf).

Response to the MnDOT 2008 Statewide Transportation Plan. This letter from TLC provides several big‐picture comments and then provides a listing of specific chapter by chapter comments.

Legislative Agenda and Advocacy

Minnesota Voter Attitudes Poll 2013 (pdf) A statewide poll conducted in January by the bipartisan team of Fairbanks, Maslin, Maullin, Metz& Associates (D) and Public Opinion Strategies (R) shows public transportation is broadly supported and that a majority favor including bicycle and pedestrian projects in transportation funding proposals.

2012 Legislative Agenda. The 2012 Minnesota legislative sessions opens Tuesday, January 24, 2012. The big focal point from a transportation perspective will be the bonding bill. There are several important transitway infrastructure projects that need a  financial contribution from the state to move forward. These transitway projects are important investments for the region’s economic competitiveness.

TLC's Response to 2011 Budget. Recognizing that we are at the beginning of the process of eliminating the state's $6 billion deficit projected for 2012-2013, TLC, with our more than 10,000 members and diverse organizations in the Transit Partners coalition, calls for the Governor, legislature, Mn/DOT, and the Metropolitan Council to protect our existing transit system from service cuts or fare increases.

Dave Van Hattum's testimony before the Minnesota House Transportation Committee on January 24, 2011. Comments on the Legislative Auditors report and the important role tranit plays in maintaining a vibrant Metro region.

Keep Transit Moving 2011. In the metro area, the transit system is the vital link to work for 60% of riders and a lifeline for low income households and people who can't drive, including the state's elderly population. This page recaps the fight to preserve transit funding in the 2011 Legislative Session.

Complete Streets

Minnesota Complete Streets Case Study (2010). Focusing on four sites throughout the state, the Minnesota Complete Streets Coalition completed case studies to highlight the successes and missed opportunities for creating Complete Streets that are safe and accessible for pedestrians, trasnit riders, bicyclists, and drivers - all users, regardless of age or ability.

Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) and Complete Streets Toolkit. CSS is a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach that involves all stakeholders in providing a transportation facility that fits its setting. This resource comes from the University of Minnesota.

Complete Streets Sample Caucus Resolution
Also available, background on Complete Streets.

St. Croix River Crossing

Minnesota Environmental Partnership letter to Governor Dayton on the St. Croix River Crossing Project. Transit for Livable Communities, as a member of the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, signed on to this letter in support of developing an appropriately-scalled bridge proposal.

Letter to Congressman Oberstar regarding the St. Croix River Crossing Project. TLC believes it is time to re-evaluate the $670 million bridge proposal by taking into account new economic realities and the new federal direction to emphasize livable communities and multi-modal transportation.

Candidate & Election Resources

Be Active this Election Season--Tell Candidates and Friends Why Transportation Matters to You (pdf) Transit for Livable Communities (TLC) is a 501 (c) (3) organization. We cannot and do not endorse candidates running for office. The materials we provide are intended to encourage participation in the electoral process and to educate about transportation issues. The PDF linked above encourages you to talk with friends, family, and individuals seeking to represent you about why transportation matters.

Candidate Questions: 2010 Minnesota Governor's Race. These questions were prepared for the Governor Candidate Forum held on January 25, 2010.

Sample Precinct Caucus Resolution for Transit Funding (pdf) Please consider bringing this resolution supporting transit investments to your precinct caucus. Transportation is the second largest household expense, after housing itself. For working families, transportation takes up 30% of the household budget versus 27% for housing (Source: "A Heavy Load: The combined housing and transportation burdens of working families." Center for Housing Policy, Washington D.C. 2006).


Twin Cities Transitways, Bus, and Bike/Ped Connections (2014) A map showing what is currently funded and what is not in a system of LRT, BRT, arterial BRT, and streetcars as well local bus and bike/ped connections. (PDF)

Twin Cities Transitways: 2020. A map showcasing how the Twin Cities region could look with eight new light rail, commuter rail, and express bus lines by 2020.


TLC Comments on FTA's New Starts and Small Starts Project Justification Criteria. TLC provides comments on the suggested changes tot he cost effectiveness index, economic development and land use, and environmental impacts.

TLC Comments on CEOs for Cities' "Driven Apart" Report. A recent report by CEOs for Cities finds big problems with old ways of measuring traffic congestion. Commuting in the Twin Cities may be worse than we think --but not because of congestion.

Official comments by Transit for Livable Communities about St. Paul's off-street parking requirements. TLC is very supportive of the changes being proposed to St. Paul's off-street parking requirements. The changes will facilitate development and redevelopment, encourage transit use, bicycling, and walking, and reduce air and water pollution.

Statement by Transit for Livable Communities about investment choices for transportation stimulus spending in the metropolitan area. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act or “stimulus” provided slightly more than $300 million to the metro region for transportation projects.  While the majority of that money has been erroneously characterized across the country as “highway” money, the funding can be used for nearly any transportation capital project by any agency.   None of it requires a local match and it shouldn’t.

TLC Position on Congestion Pricing. Congestion pricing refers to charging drivers a variable, time of use fee on a road, bridge, or highway lane. Congestion pricing offers the potential to more efficiently use highway capacity and to substantially increase transit ridership.

TLC Position on Central Corridor LRT. The Central Corridor will be the core transit connector for the Twin Cities region, connecting the two largest downtowns, the University of Minnesota, and the state Capitol. Improving transit in the Central Corridor will provide current and new transit riders with faster, more reliable, more frequent and more cost-effective service.

TLC Position on Southwest Corridor LRT. Southwest LRT will be the high speed, high frequency transit connector for the southwest portion of the Twin Cities metropolitan region, linking four suburban cities with downtown Minneapolis (and beyond). LRT is a key piece of an expanded regional transit system that includes LRT, streetcars, commuter rail, bus rapid transit (BRT) and a greatly expanded bus service.

TLC Position on Minnesota's Investment in Intercity High-Speed Rail. Intercity high-speed rail provieds a critical investment to spur regional economic development, provides an energy-efficient transportation option for travelers, and provides a travel option that contributes to reduced car and airline congestion.


Planning to Succeed? An Assessment of Transportation and Land Use Decision-making in the Twin Cities Region. 2010. Today, the Twin Cities is the 16th largest metropolitan region in the nation, generating three-fifths of Minneseota's jobs and 75% of its wealth. Planning to Succeed? was jointly prepared by the Surface Transportation Policy Project Partnership, Transit for Livable Communities, and the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy.

Investments for a Competitive and Healthy Minnesota: A Playbook for Minnesota's New Governor. (2010). TLC, and several other organizations, contributed to this recent report by 1000 Friends of Minnesota. Our next Governor needs to make smart and strategic investments.

Bike Walk Twin Cities 2013 Count Report (PDF)
From 2007-2013, bicycling increased 78% and walking 16%, based on counts of bicycling and walking at benchmarked locations.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Count Results: Bike Walk Twin Cities 2009. (2010). This annual report provides a detailed local view of bicycling and walking at numerous locations across the Twin Cities. This ongoing collection of accurate, timely data about nonmotorized traffic suplpements existing data on motorized traffic to develop a more complete picture of overall travel behavior in our communities.
--Executive Summary

--Bicycle and Pedestrian Count Locations Map
--Bike Walk Count Locations and the NTP Funded Project Map

Stranded at the Station: The Impact of the Financial Crisis in Public Transportation (2009). A new report released by Transportation for America and the Transportation Equity Network shows that service cuts and fare increases in Minnesota’s public transportation systems are part of a national epidemic, making it harder for families as well as some our most vulnerable citizens to get to work and access essential services.

Minnesota and the Stimulus: Did Minnesota use the federal stimulus to
create jobs, catch up on needed repair, and expand travel options?
This new report by Transit for Livable Communities and several allies evaluates the process used in Minnesota to allocate stimulus dollars and the projects selected.  This report is being released in conjunction with a report from Smart Growth America entitled The States and the Stimulus.

Spending the Stimulus: How Minnesota Can Put Thousands Back to Work Building a 21st Century Transportation System (2009). As families all over America struggled during this recession, elected officials are under pressure to spend the federal stimulus money soon to pour into state capitols. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), better known as "the stimulus," provides a critical opportunity to boost our economy by advancing a 21st century transportation system.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Count Results: Bike Walk Twin Cities 2008 (2009). At locations where counts were performed in both 2007 and 2008, walking increased by six percent and bicycling increased by 29 percent. By itself, this information is little more than an interesting statistic. Over time, counts and other data collection—combined with strong collaboration with local governments, businesses, organizations, and residents—can help local leaders make better informed decisions about bicycling and walking investments.
--Executive Summary
--Report Without Maps Attached
--Map 1: Count Locations
--Map 2: Bike Counts
--Map 3: Pedestrian Counts

Transportation Performance in the Twin Cities Region (2008). Are the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Council adequately measuring the key indicators that would drive Minnesota to address the challenges of rising gas prices, an aging population and climate change?

Snapshot Minneapolis: Bicycling and Walking 2007 (2007). All across America, there is a growing effort to encourage bicycling and walking. Transit for Livable Communities wrote Snapshot Minneapolis to develop a baseline of information for the Bike Walk Twin Cities initiative. Bike Walk Twin Cities is a federally-funded initiative to increase bicycling and walking, and reduce driving in Minneapolis and its 13 neighboring communities.

Citizens' Agenda for Transportation in the Twin Cities (2004). As the Twin Cities region adds one million new residents by 2030, we need communities designed to provide a range of transportation options. The Citizens' Agenda is a blueprint for how Twin Cities residents can reform transportation and build a better region.

Sharing the Road: Encouraging Biking & Walking in Minnesota (2003). Walking and bicycling are good for our bodies, our environment, and our communities--and we're less likely than ever before to walk or bike to where we want to go. Sharing the Road describes how our region must level the playing field so that government, institutions, and businesses make biking and walking a priority.

The Myth of Free Parking (2003). The Myth of Free Parking raises fundamental questions about parking and identifies ways in which employers, municipalities and state agencies can improve their approch to parking. The report discusses parking innovations from the Twin Cities region and around the country.

Policy Briefs

TAB Regional Solicitation—Priorities for Flexible Funds (2011). The Transportation Advisory Board (TAB) awards approximately $180 million in federal transportation funding every two years to projects in the Twin Cities region. Given the importance of TAB funding decisions, TLC analyzed TAB spending by mode and geography over several solicitations.

Crash Facts (2013) (PDF) Bicycle and pedestrian crashes combined were 3 percent of all crashes but 12 percent of all traffic deaths in 2012.

Highway Lane Miles (2010). The Twin Cities region has one of the nation's largest regional highway systems -- more lanes don't necessarily mean less congestion.

Minnesota Complete Streets Case Study (2010). Focusing on four sites throughout the state, the Minnesota Complete Streets Coalition completed case studies to highlight the successes and missed opportunities for creating Complete Streets that are safe and accessible for pedestrians, trasnit riders, bicyclists, and drivers - all users, regardless of age or ability.

Vancouver Gets the Gold for Transportation (2010). The influx of visitors and athletes to an Olympic host city will test any transportation system but Vancouver is well prepared. This breif goes over the systems Vancouver has in place and what the Twin Cities could learn from Vancouver's experience.

Twin Cities Traffic Congestion (2009) The Twin Cities congestion ranking is lower than many peer regions.

Transit Fares in Peer City Regions (2011). Regular users of the Twin Cities
transit network generally pay higher fares than transit users in comparable metro areas throughout the U.S.

Sources of Funding for Transit in Peer Regions (2014). A dedicated sales tax is the funding mechanism of choice in most regions.

Climate Change (2008). Minnesota joined the growing list of states developing plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Minnesota's plan was released in 2008 and it identified numerous transportation and landuse strategies long supported by TLC.

You Can Help Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transportation (2008). In Minneosta, the transportation sector is responsible for 25% of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate Change. Everyone can do something to reduce emissions --policy makers, employers, and you!

Denver, Colorado: Transit Expansion Continues (2012).Nearly every major metropolitan area in the United States has made a strong financial commitment to a transit system. Learn how Denver is making a difference.

Driven to Spend (2005). The average Twin Cities household spends 17 percent of its income on transportation. This is $1,500 more than the amount spent by the average U.S. household.


On the Way. On the Way is Transit for Livable Communities' monthly e-newsletter. To subscribe, send an email to AmberC [at]

December 2011
November 2011

September 2011
August 2011
July 2011

June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011

December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010

You can view all content from our e-newsletters plus much more on our blog.

Print Newsletters

Transit for Livable Communities' paper newsletter provides in-depth coverage of transportation issues in Minnesota and Transit for Livable Communities' work to address those issues.

Fall 2012 Newsletter (PDF, 1.66MB)

Fall/Winter 2011 newsletter and 2010 annual report
June 2011
December 2010
July 2010
August 2008

September 2007
June 2006
December 2005
June 2005


Related links


TLC Blog

Action Network.