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BRT Lines and the Safe Routes to School Program receive hearing in House Capital Investment Committee

Thursday, February 25, 2021

St. Paul, MN - Today in the House Capital Investment Committee, the Metropolitan Council gave a presentation on Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) development, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation gave an overview of the Safe Routes to School program. The committee, chaired by Rep. Fue Lee (DFL - Minneapolis), then heard testimony on related legislation from members. 

“Whether it’s commuting to work or school, Minnesotans deserve safe, reliable forms of transportation,” said Rep. Lee. “The BRT lines connect metro residents to hundreds of thousands of jobs, and Safe Routes to School provides secure, walkable and bikeable routes for our students, with both measures cutting down on traffic and improving air quality. Leveraging state investment in these projects is a prudent measure that results in better, more connected communities.”

Rep. Erin Koegel (DFL - Spring Lake Park) presented HF 1381, which would fund a BRT line along Central Avenue in Columbia Heights; and Rep. Mary Murphy’s (DFL - Hermantown) bill, HF 1108, provides funding for the Safe Routes to School program. Both bills were laid over for possible inclusion in the omnibus bonding bill. 

“BRT has proven successful throughout the metro. This BRT route would improve our community's connection with the rest of the metro, and give residents along these corridors a practical alternative to traveling by car,” said Rep. Koegel. “Many intersections along these routes are dangerous, a BRT network in conjunction with the safety improvement study I was able to secure in 2019, will significantly improve pedestrian safety.”

Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL - Minneapolis) presented his legislation that would fund a BRT line from Minneapolis to the Southdale Transit Center. Since the bill was not yet introduced, this measure only had an informational hearing in the committee.

“Bus Rapid Transit is a successful and cost effective way to connect our communities,” said Rep. Hornstein. “Expansion of rapid buses promotes jobs, economic vitality, equity, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions”

More information, including presentation slides and other supporting materials, is available on the committee’s webpage. Video recording of today’s hearing will be made available on the House Public Information YouTube channel