TRANSPORTATATION FORWARD COALITION KICKS OFF STATEWIDE CAMPAIGN IN DULUTH

February 18 Event Calls On Legislature To Fully Fund Minnesota’s Transportation Needs Now

For Immediate Release
Contact: Robb Leer 612.701.0608

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Duluth, Minnesota (February 11, 2016) — Led by Duluth Mayor Emily Larson, local leaders will convene at the new Duluth Transportation Center to urge the Minnesota Legislature to increase statewide funding for all transportation modes to connect communities and ensure residents and businesses have safe, efficient options for getting where they need to go.

A new statewide coalition, Transportation Forward, will hold a media event calling for the Legislature to fund a 21st-century transportation system that improves mobility, economic health, and quality of life in Duluth and in communities across Minnesota.

WHO: Transportation Forward. Speakers include Mayor Emily Larson, Duluth Transportation Authority General Manager Dennis Jensen, Duluth Bikes Advocate and Bicycle Alliance of MN Board Member Shawna Mullen Eardley, Laborers #1091 Duluth Business Manager Dan Olson

WHERE: Duluth Transportation Center, 213 W. Michigan Street

WHEN: Feb. 18, 10:30 a.m.

“Duluth is one of Minnesota’s largest cities and the demands on our transportation system only continue to grow,” said Emily Larson, Duluth’s newly elected mayor. “Our local investments in biking and walking routes have made us a national leader that attracts visitors and families year round. But the cost of maintaining and expanding our public transportation options and repairing our roads and bridges continues to grow. With a budget surplus in place, now is the time for the state to pass a long-term transportation package for communities across the state.”

Duluth Transportation Authority General Manager Dennis Jensen will speak about the importance of bus connections to jobs and health care, while Shawna Mullen Eardley with Duluth Bikes and the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota will address planning to make it easier and safer for people in Duluth to bike and walk. Duluth is a good example of a city that has made significant investments in its transportation infrastructure as seen in its new transportation center and plans for the reconstruction of Superior Street.

Transportation Forward’s chair Dave Van Hattum said the coalition chose Duluth to remind legislators and residents that transportation is a statewide issue. “In many cases families in Greater Minnesota are faced with limited transportation options and aging roads,” he said. “They need reliable bus service, bridges in good repair, and more walking and bicycling options to get to where they want to go.”

To ensure Minnesota communities of all sizes can succeed and address these transportation problems, funding is critical. Current funding is not keeping up with a growing population or with rising construction costs, leading to billions in budget gaps, crumbling infrastructure, and an inability to expand affordable, accessible transportation choices.

**Attention local radio/TV and newspaper assignment editors: 
Local transportation newsmakers are available to be booked for interviews, including early morning shows, regarding this Transportation Forward tour stop in Duluth. To make coordinating and scheduling easy and hassle free, contact media liaison Robb Leer at 612.701.0608 or robbl@leercommunication.com.

About Us
Transportation Forward is a statewide campaign of 50 organizations dedicated to building broad support for new investments in all modes of transportation in Minnesota, in the belief that transportation underpins quality of life, the way our communities function, access to economic opportunity, and the health of our residents and the environment. For more information go www.transportationforwardmn.org.

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