Golden age of Twin Cities transit?

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Yes, as measured by rising transit use.

Numbers released today by Metro Transit show a two percent ridership increase over last year likely related to rising gas prices and better weather.

But, no, not as golden as 2008 when ridership was even higher, again as gas prices flirted with four dollars a gallon.

But, yes, taking a longer view, the Twin Cities modern transit era includes rail with Hiawatha and Northstar commuter and, in three years or so, Central Corridor light rail.

And, yes, it’s a golden era as measured by plans to offer bus rapid transit, LRT, service on 35W and build a southwestern suburbs light rail service.

But, no, maybe not so golden since money for those projects is not nailed down.

And, no, maybe not so golden since lawmakers are hashing over transit funding which includes a proposal that amounts to a net loss of money for transit.

The Twin Cities transit future is truly a mixed picture.

Single occupant vehicle drivers continue to account for the vast majority of daily commuter trips.

Transit – bus and rail – use continues to be a much smaller wedge of the commuter pie, so small in fact numbers from the national household transportation survey show walking and biking numbers higher than bus and rail ridership.

How would an extended period of $4 gasoline, should it occur, alter the picture?

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