News & Events

News & Events

March 2015 Newsletter

Commuter Connection March 2015 Newslettercommuter connection newsletter fall 2013
 Commuter Connection’s March 2015 Newsletter includes:

2015 Downtown Transportation Summit

Join Commuter Connection for the 2015 Downtown Minneapolis Transportation Summit on Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 11:00am – 1:30pm at US Bank Plaza • North Tower, 31st Floor,  200 S. 6th St., MinneapolisThe 2015 Transportation Summit features transportation professionals who will provide the inside scoop on new infrastructure, programs, and services that will impact downtown employers, commuters, residents and visitors. Topics include:

  • Welcome by Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin
  • Commuter Connection Update by Executive Director Dan MacLaughlin
  • Air Quality Alert Program Update by MPCA Project Manager Rebecca Place and XCEL Energy Air Quality Manager Rick Rosvold
  • Downtown Minneapolis 2015 Paving Projects & Lane Closures Update by City of Minneapolis Project Engineer Tim Drew
  • Metro Transit Update by Public Relations Manager Howie Padilla

The event is open to all downtown Minneapolis residents, employers and property managers. Due to space limitations, we ask for a maximum of two representatives from any one organization. Lunch will be provided. Please register online: or phone: 612.335.5910.

Free Metro Transit Rides On St. Patrick’s Day


Joshua plays it smart on St. Patrick’s Day. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day responsibly and get a free ride on Metro Transit on Tuesday, March 17. If you’re celebrating that night – or want to avoid driving alongside those who are – riding the bus or train is a worry-free and safe alternative.

Ride free from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. on all Metro Transit routes – buses, METRO lines and Northstar. Simply hop on and take a seat for free.

Miller Lite Free Rides is a community service program made possible through a partnership with Metro TransitMillerCoors and J.J. Taylor Distributing Company

2015 ZAP Twin Cities Bike Maps are nearly here!

     Where, What, How & Why of ZAP!

We are excited to announce the 2015 ZAP  Twin   Cities Bike MapZAP Twin Cities is a  bicycle education, encouragement and rewards  program that uses RFID technology to provide  members with metrics on number of bike trips  made, miles biked, calories burned, fuel saved,  and CO2 emissions reduced.

 The new map showcases the network of 49 ZAP  tations, tagging locations and the bike trails  network of Minneapolis. Inset maps feature ZAP stations at the U of M St Paul campus and Saint Paul.

Watch for the ZAP maps to be released in later this month at over 35 Twin Cities locations. The ZAP maps are FREE to the public through the generous support of our map sponsors including: ABC Ramps Bike FacilitiesAmerican Diabetes Association’s Tour de CureCalhoun CycleCar2GoDeroEnterprise Car-shareFreewheel BikeMidtown Bike CenterHave Fun Biking.comHOURCARHub Bike Co-op,  U of M Bike CenterOne On One Bicycle StudioPENN CycleSaint Paul Smart-tripsSeward Co-opSunrise CyclerySurly Brewing Co., Varsity BikesVELOWedge Co-op and Zipcar.

Public Transportation Reaches 48 Year High In USA


According to a report just released from the American Public Transportation Association, a record 10.8 billion passenger trips were taken via public transportation in 2014, the highest number since 1956. The Twin Cities also did their part; Metro Transit reported that buses and trains carried passengers on 84.5 million trips in 2014, the highest ridership total in 34 years. The ridership figure reflects an increase of more than 3.1 million rides, or 3.9 percent over 2013.

This marks the ninth consecutive year public transport trips topped the 10 billion mark, according to the APTA. Even with lower average gas prices in 2014, public transport trips still saw a nationwide 1.1% increase over 2013.

Millennials, those in the 18-34 age group, are often credited for this steady increased use of public transportation. A 2014 survey from Transportation for America found that three out of every four respondents would prefer to live in a city where they did not need a car to get around. A good public transit system, walkable neighborhoods and bike lanes are highly desired for livability.

Another report  by the U.S. Department of Transportation found that Americans have been driving less every year since 2006. Millennials in particular are driving less than ever before and putting off getting driver’s licenses. According to the report, the number of licensed drivers under 34 decreased between 2001 and 2012, despite a growing population.

April: 30 Days of Biking in Minsk, Madrid & Minneapolis


An April tradition started five years ago when Patrick Stephenson of Minneapolis challenged friends and fellow bicycle enthusiasts to pledge to ride their bikes everyday for 30 days. It did not matter if the ride was 50 miles or just around the block, the challenge was to do it everyday for 30 days.  The idea was to get people conditioned to riding their bikes for everyday transportation and provide encouragement to make it a daily habit. Stephenson wanted to get everyone hooked on cycling. The month of April was chosen to keep the momentum going into spring and summer. 30 Days of Biking movement was born!

By riding 30 days in a row, many hesitations associated with bicycle commuting melt away. The extensive trails network in the Twin Cities provide safe and quick routes to get where you need to go. Riding for a month prepares you to dress for the weather – good or bad. It is also a long enough time to realize just how much money is saved on parking and gas expenses. Daily traffic jams become just a bad memory. Perhaps the greatest benefit comes from the daily physical exercise in the fresh air.

Globally, the concept of 30 Days of Biking caught fire on social media. Today cyclists from around the world are pledging to ride and tweet from Finland, Brazil, Belarus, Canada – more than 80 countries are represented.

To date, over 2,100 have taken the pledge to pedal starting on April 1st this year. Participants aren’t required to keep track of the time they biked. After signing up, it’s up to individuals to hold themselves accountable, but they know they have the support of thousands of other cyclists from all over the planet. As and added incentive for the Twin Cities, for every 30 pledges, a bike is donated to Free Bikes 4 Kidz, a program that provides new and reconditioned bikes to kids in need. To pledge: 30daysofbiking  and follow the movement at #30daysofbiking.

Skyway to ABC Ramp to Reopen April 15th

Making the connection to the west side of downtown is about to get easier. The construction that closed a major skyway route is just finishing up. The skyways crossing Hawthorne Ave. and Hennepin Ave. are reopening on April 15th! Reconnecting LaSalle Plaza, Pence, Hampton Inn, ABC Ramps and Hawthorne Ramp, these newly constructed, security-patrolled skyways will be open 6am-midnight. Please visit for the latest information.

Minnesota Bicycling: A Work In Progress

               MN Biking: Planning for the  Future

On Wednesday, March 25, 6:30 pm, at the Summit  Brewery, come listen to a discussion on bike lanes,  sharing the road, and planning for the future, led by  Lisa Austin, Planning Coordinator with MNDOT. One  complimentary beer (or rootbeer) and light snacks will  be provided.

The event it located at the Summit Brewery’s Ratskeller  Community Room, 910 Montreal Circle,  St Paul.  This is a free event with a ticket required for registration.

This lecture is part of the Goldstein Museum of Design’s exhibition Design Cycles: A Bike Show.


Climate Solutions and Economic Opportunities

Environmental Initiative is working with the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB) to help engage stakeholders in the Climate Solutions and Economic Opportunities (CSEO) process.  Attend an upcoming meeting on Transportation and Land Use hosted by Environmental Initiative. 

  • Learn the results of the analysis of emissions reduction strategies and the process to engage stakeholders in discussions around opportunities for action.
  • Gather input into how potential policies and programs intended to reduce greenhouse gases and grow the low-carbon economy might be designed.
  • Identify potential partners in the implementation of priority strategies.

Friday, March 20, 2015, 8AM – 12PM,

Minneapolis Central Library
Mary and David Doty Board Room
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55401

This meeting will include discussions about what it could look like to implement the CSEO policy options focused on the transportation and land use sector: