MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With the threat of a government shutdown looming, the Metropolitan Council has planned a series of public hearings to collect input regarding possible reductions in transit service and fare increases.

The council said both of these factors could be necessary as they plan for shortfalls in the regional transit operations budget.

A portion of the budget for transit services comes from state funding but the council says services will continue for a period of time in the event of a government shutdown. Still, the long-term effects on the transit budget are less certain.

Without a state budget, the council said they must begin looking at adjusting services and/or increasing rates — starting with holding public hearings on the possible impacts.

The council said they are looking at a possible $110 million reduction, which was previously proposed by the legislature.

Council Chair Susan Haigh said they are “preparing and planning for a significant impact on the transit service.”

Two public hearings have been scheduled for July 6 and 7 to discuss possible impacts, give an overview of the situation and allow residents to ask questions and give feedback. Preliminary information will be available at the meetings, however specific information on routes that could be affected or exact rate increases will not be.

The July 6 meeting will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Metropolitan Council Offices at 390 N. Robert St. in St. Paul. The July 7 meeting will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Minneapolis Central Library in the Doty Board Room, 300 Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis.

Additional public hearings will be held from Aug. 8 to 18. Those meeting will provide the specific details regarding any rate changes and service reductions.

The seven public hearings are as follows:

Monday, Aug. 8 – 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Bloomington Civic Plaza, Council Chambers
1800 W. Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington
Served by Routes 535, 539

Tuesday, Aug. 9 – 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Hopkins Center for the Arts, Community Room
111 Main St., Hopkins
Served by Route 12, 615, 664

Wednesday, Aug. 10 – Noon to 1 p.m.
Minneapolis Central Library, Doty Board Room
300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
Served by many transit routes

Thursday, Aug. 11, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Maplewood Library, Large Meeting Room
3025 Southlawn Drive, Maplewood
Served by Routes 64, 80, 219, 223

Monday, Aug. 15 – 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Brookdale Library, Large Meeting Room
6125 Shingle Creek Pkwy., Brooklyn Center
Served by Route 722

Tuesday, Aug. 16 – 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Metro Transit Offices – Chambers
560 – Sixth Ave. N., Minneapolis
Served by routes 5, 19, 22 & 55 (Hiawatha LRT)

Thursday, Aug. 18 – Noon to 1 p.m.
Metropolitan Council Offices – Chambers
390 North Robert St., St. Paul
Served by many transit routes

The specific proposals for rate increases and service adjustments will be available on the Council’s website no later than July 29.

Public comments will be accepted starting July 5 through 5 p.m. on Aug. 29. Written comments can be sent to Metropolitan Council Data Center at 390 N. Robert St., St. Paul, 55101. Fax comments to Data Center at (651) 602-1464, text TTY comments to Data Center at (651) 291-0904, email to data.center@metc.state.mn.us and leave a message with comments on the public comment line at (651) 602-1500.

In the event that a budget agreement comes to fruition, the council may reschedule the public hearings. If that happens, the revised proposals will be available 10 days before the first rescheduled meeting.

Comments (4)
  1. Yep says:

    I am glad riding public transportation is only one option for me. I do it to save miles on my car, I don’t have to think about driving with other fools on the road, and it is cheaper than driving. If/when it becomes as expensive to ride transit as it does to drive my car to work I know which option I will choose.

    And actually the only reason it is cheaper is because my work pays for half of it…

  2. pat says:

    The Met Council is the perfect example of taxation without representation. They should be abolished and that in iltself would save the taxpayer money. Also a fare increase is long overdue. The bus system is subsidized and the taxpayer should not have to pay for others free or cheap ride. Also, if the fare is raised you would see a huge decrease in shoplifting at area malls.

    1. Mike says:

      I don’t want to pay for your children’s schooling or tax exemptions for your church either and while were at it, your roads, infrastructure, waterway, corporate welfare, your insurance pool or your tax deductions if you have children.

  3. pat says:

    Everyone uses the roads and bridges not just a few. Corporations put people to work. I am with you on the churches, if they don’t give back at least 10% to the community, say in bus fare to their needy members? Then they should pay taxes. I also think the tax credit for childred is nonsense as well.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Watch & Listen LIVE