The podcast this week is a conversation with Ethan Fawley, the director of the transportation and built environment program for Fresh Energy, a local energy and economy nonprofit. Ethan is one of the lead lobbyists for a coalition of groups trying to get transit funding passed through the state legislative session. There are at least three different bills this year proposing changes to how we fund transit in Minnesota, and its one of the #1 issues on the agenda for both the DFL and the governor.
Ethan and I sat down a little while back at the Acadia Café, and I got to pick his brain about the history of State Transit funding. We got deep into the weeds of different funding sources, some of the changes proposed by different bills, and what the metro area transit might look like if we increased state funding for nonmotorized transportation.
A little bit has changed since I recorded this podcast. Governor Dayton’s initial tax proposal has changed, and the details of some of these proposals aren’t exactly the same. (Most of the overall impact is the same, however.) But Ethan makes a convincing case that right now is the chance of a lifetime to invest in state transit. I hope you enjoy this important conversation. [Audio below]
Photo: LRT construction outside the state capitol last summer.