In this edition...
  • Register for 2021 Transportation Summit
  • New Downtown Telework & Commuting Survey
  • Improved Vanpooling Options
  • Your Input on The Blue Line Extension
Road to Ruin? America’s urban highways are nearing the end of their useful lives, including Interstate 94 between Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Built for civil defense and to hasten suburban development, it’s time to reconsider their value to users, neighbors, and the cities they divide. Billions of reconstruction and maintenance dollars are on the line. Communities remain devastated by pollution and disconnection. Everyone wonders whose interests will own the day when it’s time to decide how to proceed. Will we double-down on cars and trucks, or will climate goals, equity concerns, economic opportunities and transit innovations mean the end of the road for urban highways?

Join us at this year’s Summit and hear from national transportation leaders about the health, equity, economic, and social impacts of urban highways. Discover exciting new federal goals for access and mobility that put people over pavement. Registration is free. See you at Revisiting the Urban Interstate: Freeway to the Future, or Road to Ruin?

Our Speakers: 
  • Beth Osborne, Director, Transportation for America
  • Regan Patterson, Ph.D., Transportation Equity Research Fellow, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
  • Keith Baker, Managing Director, Reconnect Rondo
  • Oni Blair, Executive Director, LINK Houston
  • Ben Crowther, Ph.D., Program Manager, Congress for the New Urbanism Freeways Without Futures
  • Aaron Brown, Organizer, No More Freeways Portland
  • Ian Lockwood, P.E., Livable Transportation Engineer, Toole Design
  • Dr. Karilyn Crockett, Author, Chief of Equity and Inclusion of Boston, MIT 

Move Mpls Telework & Commute Survey Results
The pandemic has dramatically altered the working and commuting norms of the downtown workforce. Move Minneapolis conducted a survey to gain insight into commuting and telework habits the State of Minnesota eased telework restrictions this Spring. The 2021 Minneapolis Telework and Commute Survey was sent electronically to 5,429 contacts on March 18 and closed on March 28. 555 complete responses were received from people with employer locations in downtown Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota.  
The survey found that people tended to live close to their workplace; 43% of respondents lived within 5 miles, 24% had a 6-10 mile commute, and 27% were 11-25 miles from work. Only 6% had a one-way commute of more than 25 miles. 
Transit took a dramatic downturn during the pandemic: 38% took transit pre-pandemic (32% bus, 6% LRT), and currently only 7% take transit (6% take the bus, 1% LRT). Biking to work also dropped between pre-pandemic at 13% versus 4% currently, although overall biking counts across the metro area have increased. Pre-pandemic, 27% of respondents drove alone (4% parked at ABC Ramps, 23% at a non-ABC Ramps location).
As one might expect, the largest change in commute mode between pre-pandemic and now was with telework. While 1% of respondents regularly teleworked pre-pandemic, 59% telework three or more days per week at present. Of the people who are currently teleworking, 50% anticipate their employer bringing them back to the worksite in 3-6 months, and 19% within 6-9 months, although Move Minneapolis wasn’t able to distinguish if this was merely employers allowing people to come back to the office or requiring people to work from the office.
Teleworkers shared both benefits and challenges from their experience. 30% of teleworkers marked the survey box that said, "I am feeling isolated working from home", 24% checked they did not have enough communication with coworkers, and 18% checked the box that read, "I am more stressed" with telework. In contrast, respondents overwhelmingly reported a teleworking benefit of time savings by not commuting to work, marked by 95% of teleworking respondents. The other major benefits of teleworking included saving money (gas, car maintenance, parking) and spending more time with family.
New Improved Vanpool Options
What is a Vanpool?
A vanpool fills the gap between a carpool and a bus. Metro Vanpool is a regional program, subsidized by the Metropolitan Council, for commuters that live in the seven-county metropolitan area. Vanpools have four to 15 people sharing the ride to and from work. If you have a long commute and no regular transit service nearby joining a vanpool is a great option. Vanpool requirements have changed to allow just four riders (including the driver) to start a vanpool.

How Does it Work?
Vans are rented monthly to one member in the vanpool group. Commute with Enterprise (a vehicle rental company under contract with the Metropolitan Council) has established monthly rental rates for three different sized commuter vans: 7-, 12- or 15 passenger vans. The monthly rent includes the cost of a newer model van, insurance, basic repairs, maintenance, and roadside assistance. To be eligible to rent a van, drivers must be 25 years old, have a good driving record, and agree to have their record checked.

Average costs are $110 per month for each participant (about $ 5.50 per day for a M-F workweek). Vanpooler fares are based upon shared van expenses, including the monthly rent amount, fuel costs, parking, and car wash expenses. Vanpools can park at the ABC Ramps for FREE. Some employers also provide a vanpool subsidy, check with your HR department if your workplace provides one.

Vanpool Driver Benefits!
Primary drivers can use van for personal trips (up to 250 miles per month). Drivers receive $100 after the first six months of driving and $100 annually thereafter. One back-up driver receives $50 after the first six months of driving and $50 annually thereafter. Each van assigns a recordkeeper for their vanpool group.

Vanpooling During COVID-19
Van family: Riding with the same commuters each day (your “van family”) provides a level of assurance and accountability to one another. It’s your commute; you and your fellow passengers can set the rules, share driving, cleaning and maintenance responsibilities. Each new vanpool is provided a Complete Clean starter kit that includes: disinfectant pads, masks, gloves, a cleaning checklist, and the latest health guidelines. 

Your Input On The METRO Blue Line Extension!
The Metropolitan Council and Hennepin County recently announced revised routes for the METRO Blue Line Extension. The exciting project will extend the Blue Line LRT from Target Field Station northwest to Brooklyn Center. While much of the route remains intact, the revised route options provide opportunities to better serve key destinations in North Minneapolis and into downtown Minneapolis.

Learn more about the project and revised routes:
Provide your input by completing a community survey (below). The survey will remain open through May 28, 2021.
Move Minneapolis is a 501c4 nonprofit that promotes sustainable transportation.

Support is provided by a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant in partnership with the United States Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Council, the City of Minneapolis, MnDOT, Hennepin County, and the downtown community.