Twin Cities Suburbs on an Anti-Bus Crusade
Bob Shaw reports on the anti-transit controversy embroiling a suburban city east of the Twin Cities. The project in question would add the Gold Line, which Shaw describes as Minnesota's first all-local rapid-transit bus line. As proposed, the Gold Line would run from Woodbury to Downtown St. Paul and cost $485 million. That price tag is relatively high for a bus transit project. In fact, reports Shaw, per passenger, "it would be twice as expensive as the Green Line light rail between St. Paul and Minneapolis."
Shaw notes that much of the opposition to the project focuses on the project's cost, but there is also a vocal group, embodied in the person of Oakdale resident Virginia Zeitz, who argues that the new transit service would "urbanize" the suburban areas east of the Twin Cities. Shaw quotes Zeitz directly: "This is why we don’t want to live in the city; we do not want to bring the city to us….This is the suburbs. People do not move to suburbs to take a bus."
Zeitz's political platform is supplemented by an anti-bus advocacy group called Citizens for Smart Transit and the actions of nearby Lake Elmo, which voted in January to ban the Gold Line from its city limits.