Other Investments

East Metro Strong: A public-private partnership of businesses, cities, and counties working together to bring more and better transit investment to the East Metro and catalyze job growth and economic development opportunities.  Building off of Green Line successes, EMS provides technical assistance, research, and advocacy to communities and partners working in Ramsey, Dakota, and Washington Counties.

Fostering East Side Transit Equity Conversations: In spring of 2013, District Councils 1, 2, 4, and 5 (located on Saint Paul’s East Side), the East Side Prosperity Campaign, and the East Side Area Business Association came together to engage the community in conversations about transit planning. This work created an organizing apprenticeship program to assist with deeper community involvement in setting decisions and priorities for transit development. The initiative was a community-run effort with a team of ten organizers; nine from communities of color, immigrants and indigenous communities. The team engaged underrepresented voices around transit development early; developed a set of Transit Equity ideas and priorities; and created a plan to sustain community engagement as transit development is planned on the East Side.

From There to Here” an exhibit at the Minnesota Museum of American Art: Running from August 21 – October 19, 2014, the From There to Here exhibit explored the ways that public transportation intersect with community and connects people to places and the opportunities they offer. Featuring the commissioned work of local artists Xavier Tavera, Wing Young Huie with Ashley Hanson, and Katherine Turczan, the projects considered the neighborhoods that light rail users move through but never visit, the temporary community formed by people waiting at the same stop and riding the same train, and the glimpses of them seen through the window of a passing train.

Scholarships for MSP residents to attend national conferences:  The Funders Collaborative supported dozens of scholarships so that Green Line stakeholders could attend the 2009 Rail~Volution conference in Boston, MA (site of the famous interaction between community leaders and then Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff regarding the missing stations at Hamline, Western, and Victoria and the role that federal policy played in that decision), the 2011 PolicyLink Equity Summit, and the 2012 Rail~Volution conference in Los Angeles, CA.

Storytelling through multiple media:  For several years, the Funders Collaborative invested in news platforms such as The Line, MinnPost, and Twin Cities Daily Planet to expand their coverage on Central Corridor issues.  You can find a number of these stories in our news archive.

Transportation Leadership Certification: Offered by Transit for Livable Communities, this certification program was designed to encourage non-profit organizations to take advantage of the Green Line and other non-single occupancy vehicle transportation modes.  Having completed training, demonstrations, and behavior change measurements, TLC certified 18 organizations as Transportation Leaders in 2015.

Trusted Advocate Community Engagement Pilot: The District Councils Collaborative of Saint Paul and Minneapolis partnered with Metro Transit to help support and enrich community engagement in their transit study focused on service changes to transit along the Green Line. The DCC implemented a Trusted Advocate pilot project which contracted with proven community organizers, advocates and leaders of different communities.  More than 1,200 community members participated in the engagement sessions. Advocates built relationships with community groups and individuals that allow them to “loop back” for additional feedback. The advocates also developed a positive working relationship with Metro Transit staff.