A press conference sponsored by Neighborhoods Organizing For Change (NOC) presented requests to the Metropolitan Council to follow up on previous commitments for equity on transit for the north side neighborhoods, specifically:
- Securing bus transit connections to the current and proposed light rail systems – ‘fill the gap in the map.’
- Meet 100% of the need for bus shelters in RCAPs (racially-concentrated areas of poverty). Currently suburbs need only 25 riders per day to get a shelter, in the city 40 riders per day are required.
- Standardizing the criteria for bus amenities across the region.
When asked why the lack of connectivity is surfacing now intead of earlier in the planning process, Minneapolis City Council member Lisa Bender said the SW light rail project was started during the Bush administration when the federal transit emphasis was on suburban service rather than the central cities. She noted the the Uptown area was bypassed as well as no planning for extensive city bus connections. [Video below]