MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – City planners and transportation officials in the Twin Cities unveiled an action plan Tuesday that seeks to remove 20,000 cars from the metro area within the next five years.
The plan was developed by the Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC), a national nonprofit dedicated to increasing the use of bikeshare, carshare and rideshare programs in communities across the United States.
Joined by the Metropolitan Council, Ride Nice Minnesota, The McKnight Foundation and others, the SUMC laid out the Twin Cities-focused plan that seeks to shift homes away from single-occupant vehicles and toward ridesharing and public transit.
More People, More Cars, More Congestion
According to the Met Council, the Twin Cities metro is expected to add more than 800,000 residents by 2040, outpacing the growth of other large metro areas, such as New York City and Los Angeles.
The increase in population is expected to bring about 675,000 personal vehicles to Twin Cities roads. The increase is cars would likely lead to nasty congestion, increased carbon dioxide emissions and an overall decrease in the quality of life for area residents.
What’s The Plan?
The SUMC plan seeks to reduce the number of the cars coming to the metro area. Over the next five years, the plan aims to cut the number of cars in Minneapolis and St. Paul by 20,000 – a 5 percent reduction in the number of personal vehicles.
The strategy to make this possible involves encouraging 30,000 more people to take public transit daily, sustaining 600 carshare vehicles, adding 800 bikes to the Nice Ride program, and fostering 1,000 daily vanpool users.
If this initial plan proves successful, the next goal would be to get 50,000 cars off Twin Cities roadways in the next decade. That’d be a 8-10 percent reduction of the number of cars in Minneapolis and St. Paul. It’d be a 3 percent reduction in the number of cars across the entire metro region.
Concern For All Minnesotans
As the Twin Cities metro is expected to grow, the authors of the plan cautioned area leaders to make sure developments in transportation don’t only benefit affluent, white Minnesotans.
Citing Urban Institute estimates, SUMC says that people of color will make up 40 percent of Twin Cities population by 2040.
As such, the nonprofit is encouraging transportation officials to make sure future developments are accessible to many communities and planned with diversity in mind.