Transit Justice

What is transit justice?

Support for all riders. We envision community-led transit safety that includes unarmed transit ambassadors who support riders and the decriminalization of fare non-payment.

Freedom of movement. We envision transit stops within ¼ mile of every home in the Metro, free fares for folks under 50% of the median income, and phasing out transit fares altogether through guaranteed transit funding.

A system for thriving lives. We envision a transition to zero-emission transportation that prioritizes communities affected most by pollution, transit stops that are safe for all people in all weather, and increased route frequency to improve access to jobs and education.

“My vision, as well as many other community members, is to have a fully staffed transit ambassador program. The ambassadors will treat everyone with compassion and care, as well as be equipped to support those struggling in/about transit. Furthermore, ambassadors will be trained to de-escalate conflict. This vision can only be accomplished with ample funding allocated to the transit system. We are at a pivotal moment where so much progress can be done to invest in transit that will mend and nourish the system. I am pleased to see that with the budget surplus, our legislators are acting at a rapid pace to advocate for a better transit system. However, I would like to emphasize that criminal penalties are not the solution to transit issues and that “behavioral issues” on transit are a reflection of our under-supported social systems.”
— Grace Bassekle testifying at bill hearing March 2023

We are asking our state legislators to:
  • Raise the metro region sales tax for transit to one cent;
  • Constitutionally dedicate a higher proportion of the motor vehicle sales tax (minimum of 60%) to transit;
  • Support efforts to improve and expand access to public transportation in Greater Minnesota;
  • Allocate funds to build four bus rapid transit (BRT) lines;
  • Provide rebates for electric school buses, with priority in communities most impacted by air pollution from vehicle emissions and under-resourced communities;
  • Require that Minnesota Public Schools replace diesel-fueled school buses with electric school buses and allocate funds such that any necessary infrastructure upgrades are possible;
  • Expand Metro Transit’s fleet of electric buses;
  • Develop charging infrastructure for electric vehicles across Minnesota;
  • Develop and implement statewide plans to monitor air quality, with priority in communities most impacted by air pollution from vehicle emissions and under-resourced communities;
  • Decriminalize fare evasion on public transit;
  • Create a Transit Ambassador program in place of armed transit police; and
  • Support legislation for an elected Metropolitan Council that better represents residents of the Metro.
  • Fund the Blue Line Extension while establishing anti-displacement strategies.


Why it matters

Transportation continues to be the number one contributor to climate change pollution in Minnesota and the nation. Minnesota is not meeting its carbon pollution reduction goals. Communities of color and communities of lower-wage workers are disproportionately impacted by climate change, primarily due to emissions from transportation and business activities. 

Prioritizing investments in expanded transportation options will bring about significant reductions in carbon pollution while simultaneously promoting environmental justice by providing transit-dependent communities with better options to get where they need to go. 

With statewide investment in transit, bicycling, and walking we can not only protect the choices Minnesotans rely on today, but we can also create a better and more inclusive system. One that serves people of every age, race, income, and ability. One-time money is not enough. Long-term, dedicated funding is urgently needed.


To learn more about our work, contact Noelle Cirisan.