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Key Initiative

Prioritizing Transit in COVID-19 Response & Recovery

Move Minnesota is working with federal and state policy makers to ensure transit funding and operations are a priority in all legislative decisions.

The Issue

In early- to mid-March 2020, COVID-19 infections accelerated across the United States. Social and economic institutions began to shut down in a hurry. The week of March 14, over 280 thousand people filed for unemployment in the U.S. Two weeks later, the number jumped 2400% to 6.9 million. With the pandemic upending daily life and keeping many people at home, transit ridership plummeted. Transit systems here in Minnesota and across the nation were in trouble, and would require significant infusions of money to stay afloat.

Why It Matters

Transit is an essential service to sustain our communities. Many of our most vulnerable community members rely on transit to get to work, the grocery store, and the doctor. Many of these community members are essential workers—people whose jobs are to care for the sick and elderly, people who keep childcare centers running, people who pick up the trash and process shipments. Transit is critical at all times and is crucial for our future.

Our Actions

In the face of these realities, Move Minnesota advocates for emergency and ongoing transit funds at the state and federal level. We coordinate with national transportation and transit advocacy organizations, including TransitCenter and Transportation for America, to push for transit stimulus money and to ensure that funds designated for transit can be used for transit operations as well as capital expenses. We organize partners in Minnesota to boost transit funding on the priority list for the Governor’s administration and for leaders of both parties in the Minnesota House and Senate.

Recent Accomplishments

In April 2020, in response to all of our work and that of others around the country, Congress allocated $25 billion for transit nationwide.

Minnesota will receive $226 million for metro-area transit, $27 million for transit systems in other urban areas around the state, and $54 million for our rural transit systems as a result of this win.

Our Continued Efforts

  • Move Minnesota continues to coordinate with national organizations, local advocacy groups nationwide, and transit providers to monitor federal funding for transit in stimulus packages and to advocate for adequate levels of funding.
  • Move Minnesota continues to advocate for transit funding in state, county, and local budgets in Minnesota.

How can you take action?

Sign up for our Advocacy Alerts

Move Minnesota is tracking COVID-19 response efforts, and our advocacy team is working to secure more funding for transit at the local and federal levels. Sign up for our email or text alerts and we’ll update you about ways to support transit during crisis and recovery.