By Dave Van Hattum, TLC

The TAB or Transportation Advisory Board was once called by a MPR reporter, the most powerful board you have never heard of.  TAB allocates approximately $180 million every two years to transportation projects in the Twin Cities metropolitan region, through what’s known as the regional solicitation. See link for the most recent list of funded projects. 

This funding comes from the Federal Highway Administration and unlike most other federal transportation funding these dollars can be used flexibly across different transportation modes (i.e. transit, roads, bike/pedestrian, and freight). While the TAB’s focus is on the regional solicitation, the TAB also comments on the Met Council’s Transportation Policy Plan and is a forum for discussion of a broad range of regional transportation issues.

TAB consists of 33 members – 7 County Commissioners (one per metro county), 10 mayors or council members from metro cities, 8 citizen representatives, 4 state and regional agency representatives (MnDOT, MPCA, MAC and the Met Council) and 4 modal representatives (2 transit, 1 non-motorized, and 1 freight).   

I was appointed to the TAB this fall as one of the transit sector representatives. After only one meeting, I am very excited to serve on the TAB. TAB provides critical funding for a wide variety of transportation projects, and the importance of selecting the right priorities is nearly certain to increase with tightening budgets at all levels of government. 

The TAB will add 5 new people in early 2012.  The Met Council is seeking citizen representatives from Districts A, B and C (cities listed below).  They are also seeking another transit representative and a non-motorized representative.  Applications are due on October 21st. Read here for more details.

Amongst my fellow TAB members, the TAB Administrator Kevin Roggenbuck, and Met Council staff there is a tremendous level of expertise and experience to bring to TAB’s deliberations.  If you have an interest in regional transportation issues, consider yourself an innovator, and enjoy diving into the details, I strongly encourage you to apply to join me on the TAB

District A (Council Districts 1 and 2)
Includes the Hennepin County cities of Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Champlin, Corcoran, Dayton, Greenfield, Independence, Loretto, Maple Grove, Maple Plain, Medicine Lake, Medina, Osseo, Plymouth, Robbinsdale and Rogers, and the town of Hassan, and the Anoka County cities of Columbia Heights, Fridley, Hilltop, and Spring Lake Park.

District B (Council Districts 3 and 4)
Includes the Hennepin County cities of Chanhassen, Deephaven, Eden Prairie, Excelsior, Greenwood, Hopkins, Long Lake, Minnetonka, Minnetonka Beach, Minnetrista, Mound, Orono, St. Bonifacius, Shorewood, Spring Park, Tonka Bay, Wayzata, and Woodland, Carver County and Scott County, except for New Prague

District C (Council Districts 5 and 6)
includes the southwest portion of Minneapolis and the Hennepin County cities of Bloomington, Crystal, Edina, Golden Valley, New Hope, Richfield, St. Louis Park and the unorganized territory of Fort Snelling.

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