Report: Twin Cities minorities have longer commutes

A new report says minorities in the Twin Cities have longer commute times than white people, and this "transit time penalty falls hardest on communities of color because of geographic segregation and the disparate rates of public transit use."

The 12-page report is called, "It's About Time: the Transit Time Penalty and its Racial Implications," and was released Tuesday by Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, TakeAction Minnesota, ISAIAH and the Center for Popular Democracy.

According to the report, black people using transit in Twin Cities spend 146 hours or about 3 and a half weeks more of their time commuting than white drivers taking their cars.

"If you are Latino it's closer to five weeks -- every year when you are on a bus when you could be with your family, when you could be at work, other things than literally being on a bus on public transportation," Neighborhoods Organizing for Change spokesman Anthony Newby said. The report cites 173 hours for their "transit time penalty."

Part experiment, part social awareness, several lawmakers took the transit challenge themselves. One found it took him two hours to get to the Capitol from Golden Valley.

"My experience shows first hand that the transit time penalty is real," Rep. Mike Freidberg (DFL-Golden Valley) said.

The groups involved with the report aren't bashing Metro Transit, but rather, they emphasized the agency has a good plan for more arterial transit routes. They just say it needs more funding.

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