The Center’s CEO Brad Finstad talks with Jim this week about what’s going on at the State Capitol in this very short-session year. In this first part, they take a look at the discussion that has been going on so far around transportation.
Broadband is expected a big topic at the state legislature this year. This week on RuralMN Radio, Jim and Marnie discuss some of the basic issues of broadband and how it gets to rural areas.
Tom Gottfried, program director for the Office of Transit at MnDOT, joins us again to conclude our discussion on public transportation in Greater Minnesota. This week Tom talks about planning for transportation services beyond what public transit can do. Regional transportation coordinating councils are forming around the state that will serve as local forums and think tanks where residents can discuss and make decisions on how to provide those services that MnDOT’s public transportation can’t provide. Many of these services are human services-related and support the elderly and disabled. While MnDOT will be helping with the structure of coordinating these services, local residents will have to make the decisions on how to make things work.
The essential problem of providing public transit services anywhere is geography and population density, says our guest, Tom Gottfried, program director for the Office of Transit at MnDOT, in part 2 of our interview. Transit systems in Greater MN are constantly seeking a balance to create the most efficiency while providing the right services to meet the needs of the people who need them.
In part 2 of our conversation with ag analyst Kent Thiesse, we talk about the coming year in ag. Things are looking good for livestock, but it could be a tough year for grain.
Last week on Rural MN Radio, Jim and Marnie discussed the trends that are threatening transportation funding nationwide, but especially in rural areas, as outlined in the Center’s latest policy brief, Roads Less Traveled. This week they continue the conversation by talking about some of the potential solutions being looked at to make up that funding gap.