Buses could help people find work

by Daily Editorial Board

This spring Metro Transit will begin using its first rapid transit bus line. The “A Line” will run from Rosedale Mall down Snelling Avenue and end at the 46th Street light rail station. Metro Transit hopes that by combining the speed of the light rail with the affordability of city buses, the rapid transit buses will attract more riders and make the Twin Cities more accessible.
As city planners continue to develop innovative transit options, we urge them to consider expanding access to public transportation. 
If the A Line is successful and the city is able to procure funding, the next rapid transit bus line will be built on Penn Avenue in North Minneapolis next year. Currently, the north side has few effective public transportation options as many new routes don’t access the area, about 50 percent of whose population is black. 
The unemployment rate for black residents in the Twin Cities area is about four times the average rate. High-speed public transportation in North Minneapolis would attract riders because a new transportation line would provide much-needed access to jobs for those without personal vehicles or time for long commutes. 
Plans to build high-speed public transportation in North Minneapolis in the future are commendable, but we also urge Metro Transit to prioritize providing access to that part of the city right now. Until public transportation can offer high-speed access to all parts of our city, the economic opportunities for low-income and minority populations will continue to lag.