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Twin Cities rallies to protect Metro Transit

By Austin Jensen |
May 17, 2017
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Rally against public transit budget cuts and fare hikes. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

St. Paul, MN - More than 100 people rallied at Leif Erickson Park, near the Capitol Green Line Light Rail station, May 16, to voice their opposition to proposed public transit budget cuts and fare hikes. The rally was organized by the Transportation Forward Coalition who has been promoting resistance to Republican budget proposals at the Minnesota state legislature.

Chants of "Fund transit now!" and "Shame!" were heard from the crowd between speeches made by transit riders and transit workers. Under the proposed budget cuts of 40%, some bus routes would have to be eliminated completely, while some buses would run shorter hours and have longer wait times.

Mel Reeves, an organizer from Minneapolis, spoke about the proposed transit cuts and fare increase: "On some level what they are doing represents a storm, a human storm, one that lacks empathy, one that lacks sympathy. Why is this storm cloud of human beings threatening public transit?"

With legislative end-of-session negotiations underway for the May 22 adjournment approaching, Transportation Forward is pushing for Governor Dayton and legislators to "at a minimum, provide sufficient funding to maintain current Metro Transit service levels and current fares" in addition to increasing the current transportation budget.