TRANSPORTATION FORWARD COALITION STOPS IN ST. CLOUD

February 26 St. Cloud News 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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St. Cloud, Minnesota (February 24, 2016) — St. Cloud civic leaders and a new statewide transportation coalition will hold a press conference February 26 at 10:30 a.m. at the Metro Bus Mobility Training Center to urge the Minnesota Legislature to increase statewide funding for all transportation modes.

The new coalition, Transportation Forward, is calling for the Legislature to fund a 21st-century transportation system that improves mobility, economic health, and quality of life in St. Cloud and in communities across Minnesota.

WHO: Attending will be CentraCare Health Foundation Director of Wellness Jodi Gertken; St. Cloud Metro Bus Executive Director Ryan Daniel; Northstar advocate and ISAIAH St. Cloud regional organizer Anne Buckvold; Sartell City Council Member Amy Braig-Lindstrom; St. Cloud Mayor Mayor Dave Kleis has been invited

WHERE: The Metro Bus Mobility Training Center, 700 West St. Germain, Suite 100

WHEN: Feb. 26, 10:30 a.m.

The Metro Bus Mobility Training Center is the first of its kind in the state. The center provides people with disabilities a chance to experience sitting on a bus and offers instruction on boarding and paying fares in a controlled, unhurried environment. It also offers assessments on negotiating hills and curbs, helping them deal with common issues people with mobility issues face in using buses. In addition, the center educates anyone on how to use buses to get around the city.

St. Cloud area government leaders will speak about the importance of better roads, improved transit, expanded bicycling and walking options. “The Minnesota Legislature needs to pass a comprehensive funding package designed to repair and modernize the state’s transportation system—a package that includes funding for pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure for communities throughout central Minnesota,” said CentraCare Health Foundations’s Jodi Gertken, director of wellness. “More and more St. Cloud-area residents of all ages are walking and biking for their health and as a means of getting around. That benefits all of us and we need to make sure they have a transportation system that helps keep them safe.”

Transportation Forward’s chair Dave Van Hattum said the coalition chose St. Cloud 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 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 Rochester. 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 more than 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, visit  www.transportationforwardmn.org.

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