Custom “Choose How You Move” Guides Meet Unique Needs Along the Green Line
Even in transit-rich areas, policies and practices often over-emphasize or encourage driving when they don’t really need to. The financial and environmental costs are high. Move Minnesota is tackling this head-on through our work to increase renters’ transportation options along the METRO Green Line. By reaching out to rental property managers and building owners, city officials, and renters themselves, we’ve been able to shift approaches to transit and transportation with the goal of ultimately reducing car trips and improving quality of life in the Twin Cities.
This grant-funded work involves providing customized toolkits and guidance for rental complexes, impacting city policies that affect renters’ transportation outcomes, providing direct behavior change tools to groups of residents, and working directly with property managers to help them better understand their renters’ transportation needs and habits. Through surveys and interviews Move Minnesota has worked to identify those needs and create relevant resources to help get renters where they need to go.
One of the tools in this growing toolkit is our “Choose How You Move Guide.” These customized guides provide renters with information about transit routes, bike infrastructure, carshare, and walkability—all within the context of their apartment building. We list relevant locations to renters and explain how to get to them through different modes complete with overall travel times. A small map orients the user to transit stops and transportation routes. These guides supplement move-in materials for new renters and also function as a web resource for property managers to help illustrate how folks can get around sustainably and affordably! These resources can work to attract, retain, and support renters who don’t own a vehicle or show renters how to get around while driving less. Through a variety of engagement—including renter surveys, interviews, and focus groups, as well as conversations with property managers—we can identify the most useful information for a Choose How You Move Guide for each unique property.
In our recent work with Model Cities, for example, we spoke with property managers about how their renters get around before designing and implementing a resident survey as well as interviewing several renters. This engagement let us know that many renters had children, were knowledgeable about transit, and didn’t necessarily own a car. Surveys showed that residents were comfortable taking many different forms of transportation and would use transit to get to many different kinds of places. Many were new to the area. With all this in mind, we customized Model Cities’ Choose How You Move Guide with a focus on local transit connections, family resources, and carsharing through HOURCAR.
In the months ahead, Move Minnesota will continue to expand our partnerships with property managers and individual buildings up and down the Green Line. We will continue to engage residents to better understand their needs and offer innovative transportation tools like the Choose How You Move Guide along with other transit-focused and place-based solutions to benefit renters, properties, and our communities as a whole.
If you rent within a mile of the Green Line or manage an apartment within a mile of the Green Line and you think your building could use materials like these, reach out to project manager Erik Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about this ongoing work, visit Move Minnesota’s Green Line Renters initiative page.