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Chapter 1 – Why an Investment Plan?

The 2010-2030 Greater Minnesota Transit Plan, completed in 2009, laid out a 20-year strategic framework for transit including goals and objectives transit should strive to achieve. The plan also calculated the unmet public transit need in Greater Minnesota. In 2011, the Minnesota Legislature directed Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to develop a Greater Minnesota Transit Investment Plan (GMTIP) to connect the vision and goals for transit with a series of investment strategies that can achieve the vision. The plan is updated every five years.

Under Chapter 174.24 of the Minnesota Statues, MnDOT must:

  • Conduct an analysis of ridership and total transit needs in Greater Minnesota
  • Calculate the level of service required to meet total transit service demand in Greater Minnesota
  • Prepare an analysis of costs and revenues
  • Develop a plan to reduce total (unmet) transit service needs

The legislation also directs MnDOT to identify the passenger levels, levels of service, and costs necessary to address the following targets:

  • Meet 90 percent of total transit service needs in Greater Minnesota by 2025.
  • Identify costs of meeting 100 percent of total transit service needs every five years from 2015 to 2030.

Objectives of the 2017-2037 GMTIP

The Greater Minnesota Transit Investment Plan 2017-2037 meets these requirements. This plan is designed to achieve the following:

  • Updates the 20-year strategic plan for preserving current public transportation systems while improving mobility for the general public with emphasis on older adults, low-income households, individuals with disabilities and commuter consumer groups.
  • Refines the investment priorities for expanding, maintaining or reducing transit service according to future state and federal funding levels, as well as the strategic direction of transit in Greater Minnesota.

What is "Greater Minnesota?"

The MnDOT Office of Transit oversees transit operating in Greater Minnesota, which includes all areas of 80 counties outside the Twin Cities. Transit funding in the Twin Cities goes directly to the Metropolitan Council. In Minnesota, urban systems within the other seven urbanized areas are direct recipients of funds from the Federal Transit Administration; however, in Greater Minnesota, transit funding is received by the state. This distinction means that the Office of Transit is responsible for overseeing funding and performance of transit agencies in Greater Minnesota. Figure 1-1 provides shows the boundaries between Greater Minnesota and the seven MnDOT districts.

Figure 1-1 - MnDOT District Boundaries