By Jennifer Harmening Thiede, Communications Manager
Transportation advocates, civic leaders, and other stakeholders gathered today at the University of Minnesota where Transit for Livable Communities and St. Paul Smart Trips—two major players in the field of transportation advocacy, outreach, and programming—announced they will officially join forces as a merged organization beginning January 1, 2017.
Bringing together complementary strengths and a shared vision for the future, Transit for Livable Communities and St. Paul Smart Trips are both deeply committed to expanding equitable, sustainable, and multimodal transportation options in Minnesota. Both organizations see this merger as an opportunity to advance transportation issues on a region-wide scale and to ramp up efforts to ensure underserved groups have a voice in transportation decision-making.
Jessica Treat, Executive Director of Transit for Livable Communities, has been tapped to lead the newly merged nonprofit organization. Treat is also the former Executive Director at St. Paul Smart Trips.
“This decision to merge comes at a pivotal moment,” said Treat. “We see that our region has critical work to do to create widespread access to bus, rail, car sharing, bicycling, and walking options—and to build stronger, more equitable communities. Through this merger, Transit for Livable Communities and St. Paul Smart Trips will be well-positioned to lead an even broader, more powerful transportation movement to make that change.”
“Merging will enable the organizations to strategically expand our advocacy and programming and to make a larger collective impact, rather than competing for funding and resources,” Treat noted.
“This is an exciting opportunity,” said Amber Dallman, Chair of the St. Paul Smart Trips Board of Directors. “We will continue to do amazing work in St. Paul as a result of this merger. At the same time, it’s clear that the transportation issues people face don’t stop at city borders. We believe that coming together as a single organization will better serve people walking, bicycling, and using transit in St. Paul and in our metro-wide community.”
The merger officially takes effect on January 1, 2017, building on prior conversations between the two organizations. St. Paul Smart Trips will be moving from their current location in downtown St. Paul in early 2017 to the Transit for Livable Communities offices near University and Raymond Avenues.
Current programming at both organizations will continue as committed, with the potential for future growth based on the new organizational model.
A new name and brand for the merged organization is expected to be unveiled in spring 2017.
About Transit for Livable Communities
Transit for Livable Communities (TLC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization leading the movement for transportation reform in Minnesota. Through advocacy, community engagement and collaboration, innovative programming, and research, TLC promotes a balanced transportation system that encourages transit, walking, bicycling, and thoughtful development throughout the metro region and beyond. Founded in 1996 and located in Saint Paul, Transit for Livable Communities is dedicated to transforming Minnesota’s transportation system to strengthen community, improve health and opportunity for all people, foster a sound economy, and protect natural resources. Learn more at www.tlcminnesota.org.
About St. Paul Smart Trips
St. Paul Smart Trips is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that improves access and mobility for those who travel in and around Saint Paul. St. Paul Smart Trips collaborates with advocates, neighbors, workplaces, and government staff and officials to address the city’s transportation needs. Learn more at www.smart-trips.org.