Never in my life have I seen so many people excited about public transit! Everyone's pumped about the new Green Line that connects downtown Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul. NOC and its members are excited as well. This train will connect the two sister cities and provide access to jobs, business development and more. Major projects like the Green Line, Blue Line, SWLRT, and Bottineau are going to be great, but we have to engage the community and make sure these systems work for everyone.
So what’s next for transit in Minnesota? Our next steps in transit should be to work with the community, transit riders, organizers, Met Council, and the city of Minneapolis to create a comprehensive community benefits agreement that lays the groundwork for all major transit projects being built in Minnesota. We need a document that promises our community equity and a voice when dealing with these major transit projects. Although the Green Line opening is a great and exciting thing, we can't forget there was a community in Midway, St. Paul (a black community) that was going to be completely skipped over. Thankfully the community and community organizations organized and won those stops. A whole community of folks wouldn't have had access to the light rail if the community hadn't pushed for a voice in what goes on in their community. We applaud the organizations and community folks who wouldn't let a system be built in their community without giving them access to it. The comprehensive community benefits agreement would be a blueprint for equity. We have to make it so these projects don’t get built if the community interest is not first priority, and this blueprint isn’t followed. We do this by organizing the folks who ride the system and live in these communities to take a stand and push to have a say in these projects. Transit is a gateway to access jobs, business development, housing, and so much more. Communities need a voice in these major projects, and communities need to benefit from these projects.
See you at the next transit event,