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Minnesota transit advocates lament lost opportunities at Capitol

A sales tax increase in the metro area for bus and rail transit didn’t pass, leaving advocates frustrated.

A half-cent sales tax increase in the metro area to fund bus and rail transit didn’t get through the Legislaturethis year, leaving transit advocates frustrated.

Barb Thoman, executive director of Transit for Livable Communities, said in a statement:

“Minnesota had a chance to make a decisive move on transportation but decided not to take it. Instead of moving sensibly to expand our transit system, we’re stalled. No increase in local bus, minimal progress on rail. This is a huge disappointment, especially to all the people who need more affordable options for getting to work and school, and for the health and economic vitality of our region. Minnesota is not a national leader today.”

The Transit for a Stronger Economy coalition had pushed for the regional transit tax increase, as well as a higher gas tax, which also failed to pass. The group said in a statement:

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“The new law keeps the region and state far behind competing regions that invest far more in transit.”