Move Minnesota (the product of a 2017 merger of Transit for Livable Communities and St. Paul Smart Trips ) is a Minneapolis-St. Paul-based environmentalist organization that lobbies local, state, and federal governments throughout the country to improve ease of access for bicyclists and pedestrians. Move Minnesota has lobbied the Minnesota state legislature for a policy package called “Transportation Choices 2020,” a proposal to increase state support of public transportation and non-motorized personal transportation.
Transit for Livable Communities (TLC) was founded in 1996 by Barb Thoman and John DeWitt to advocate for non-motorized transportation.
St. Paul Smart Trips, the other group which merged into Move Minnesota, worked closely with local government on public transportation issues. In 2014, St. Paul Smart Trips accepted a $5,000 event sponsorship donation from Minnesota-based left-wing grantmaking organization the Bush Foundation.
Advocacy and Initiatives
Transit for Livable Communities became a beneficiary of the 2008 federal highway reauthorization bill. The law provided $215 million to four communities around the country to evaluate how investments in planning, infrastructure, and public education can increase rates of bicycling and walking and reduce driving. The four pilot areas were Minneapolis and its adjoining communities; Sheboygan County, Wisconsin; Marin County, California; and Columbia, Missouri.
Since 2004, Transit for Livable Communities has headed a coalition of ten organizations, including Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, the public transit workers union Amalgamated Transit Union, Fresh Energy, the Gamaliel Foundation-affiliated community organizing group ISAIAH, the League of Women Voters, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Minnesota Public Transit Association, the Senior Federation, and the Sierra Club, known collectively as the “Transit Partners.” The Transit Partners’ are lobbying the Minnesota State Legislature to pass the Transportation Choices 2020 initiative. The plan would double bus service by 2020, construct eight bus and railway transit systems and provide additional revenue to local governments for transit, bicycle and pedestrian projects.
In FY 2016, Transit for Livable Communities had total revenues of $599,345, all of which came from Contributions, gifts and grants. Expenses in that year totaled $774,751, $517,636 of which was spent in program services, $192,164 was spent on administration, and $64,591 was spent on fundraising. Identified contributors to Transit for Livable Communities include the Knight Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.
Effective January 1 2017, Transit for Livable Communities and St. Paul Smart Trips merged to form Move Minnesota. Commenting on the merger, Move Minnesota’s Executive Director Jessica Treat stated, “This decision to merge comes at a pivotal moment…[w]e see that our region has critical work to do to create widespread access to bus, rail, car sharing, bicycling, and walking options to build stronger, more equitable communities.”
Executive Director Jessica Treat currently heads Move Minnesota, the post-merger entity resulting from the combination of Transit for Livable Communities and St. Paul Smart Trips. Before becoming the executive director of Move Minnesota, Treat founded and served for eight years as the executive director of St. Paul Smart Trips.