LETTER: Consider faster, safer travel offered by bus-rapid transit
As a group of college students at the University of Minnesota, we ask the citizens of Woodbury to consider the benefits of public transit for the younger members of Washington County.
While high schoolers and college students cannot speak to things like property values and tax revenues, we can give a glimpse into how systems like the proposed Gold Line bus-rapid transit (BRT) connecting Woodbury and St. Paul will affect our lives.
We're privileged enough to have grown up in the metro area with easy access to family cars. However, not all families have spare cars for every child, particularly if you have siblings who claim seniority — and, by extension, the keys — over you. The new BRT will give regular, dependable transportation to the area while vastly reducing traffic along Interstate 94, creating benefits for transit users and car drivers alike.
Speaking of traffic, the BRT will make travel incredibly more efficient. For people using BRT, the line will create fast and reliable transportation to jobs around-the-clock, opening up cars for our siblings and parents to use while we build up money to pay for college. For people who choose to use their own cars, buses will move the equivalent of 1.5 lanes of traffic during rush hour (per the Metropolitan Council). This puts fewer cars on the road, making travel faster and safer.
As your children and grandchildren reach college, they'll run into some stark realities. At the U of M, parking is incredibly scarce and it's often years before students even consider using their own cars on campus. Transit like the Gold Line provides access to jobs and the means to visit home for the holidays.
Hopefully, this letter provides some unique perspective into how the Gold Line will benefit Woodbury's younger generation. We thank you for your time and consideration.