Over 150 transit supporters show up for hearings!
March 20, 2009
Transit for Livable Communities (TLC) and our Transit Partners coalition supported successful public hearings on March 4th and 5th!
All told, over 170 people showed up to encourage legislators to prevent service cuts and fare hikes by finding
additional resources for transit. Over 100 people filled the
Minneapolis hearing and spilled out into the hallway; another fifty
filled the Maplewood City Hall council chambers.
Senator Scott Dibble, chair of the Senate Transit Subcommittee chaired the hearings, which were official meetings of this committee. In Minneapolis, he was joined by Sen. Jim Carlson and Rep. Frank Hornstein (chair of the House Transit Subcommittee). In Maplewood, they were joined by local electeds Sen. Wiger and Representatives Slawik and Lille from the Maplewood area, as well as Senators Sieben and Saltzman.
Great testimony matters. Speakers made the case not just to maintain, but to increase transit service. Urban and suburban residents, professional advocates and community members, transit-dependent riders and choice riders (including people who want to ride more!) shared their experiences and spoke to the need for transit.
As Kathleen, one of our long-time members and hardest working volunteers, wrote the day after the hearing:
"I just wanted to say I really think that we had the best public hearing that I've ever been to in a long time. I think our work is paying off with a lot of our volunteer people speaking out. I had not planned to testify but, I just felt it was time to bring things together and say why TLC is there for the long haul and to thank Senator Dibble and the committee for their support."
See media coverage and photos at these links:
MinnPost: Transit agencies forced to tighten belts, even as demand rises
Daily Planet: http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/article/2009/03/05/riding-bus-worrying-about-transit-deficit-fare-hikes.html
Photos, courtesy of TLC staff and volunteer Andy: