Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Transportation Finance Advisory Committee

New ways of thinking about how we finance transportation in Minnesota

Keep Moving to Keep Ahead: Investing in transportation for the next 20 years

The TFAC committee

Created by Governor Mark Dayton in January 2012, the Minnesota Transportation Finance Advisory Committee (TFAC) was charged with developing recommendations for the Governor to reverse the decline of the state’s highways, roads, bridges and public transport systems as well as air, rail and port facilities for the next 20 years. The committee was responsible for considering all modes throughout the entire state. The committee was composed of 19 members and included state legislators, agency heads, county and city representatives, as well as representatives from business and academia.

The TFAC mission was to identify investment opportunities to support a thriving economy and high quality of life for Minnesotans over the next 20 years to analyze various revenue sources and non-traditional approaches to transportation funding and financing, and to examine opportunities for public/private partnerships to invest in transportation.

Keep moving to keep ahead

Minnesota is a great place to live, work, play, start a business and visit. We're known for our innovation, medical technology, healthcare, arts and culture, a strong economy and robust lifestyle. And our transportation system connects us to all of this.

To maintain what we have and position Minnesota for the future, we need to invest in our transportation infrastructure.

If we do not invest, we will not have a transportation system that enhances our high quality of life and gives Minnesotans efficient, affordable transportation options to connect us to our jobs, family, schools, healthcare, shopping, entertainment, recreational opportunities and everything else that matters.

We want a transportation system that:

  • Will help Minnesota businesses access labor, move products, prosper and stay in Minnesota.
  • Will help Minnesota compete for jobs, talent and economic growth with other states and regions that are investing in their transportation systems.
  • Is designed to handle Minnesota's growing and changing population.
  • Is modern and better than ever before.
  • Will be funded through balanced and sustainable means.

If we invest in this transportation system now, we could save billions of dollars over 20 years. It will create thousands of jobs in Minnesota. It will help us to not just react to the future, but to plan for it, build it and prosper from it.

Investing in transportation pays off

TFAC, together with civic and business leaders, the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Council, agree that investing in transportation should be a priority for the state of Minnesota in the context of economic development and overall competitiveness of the state. We must keep moving to keep ahead.

The following pages help underscore how transportation in Minnesota impacts all of us, the need to keep up with future demands and how investing in transportation would benefit the entire state.

Our transportation system is a vital part of keeping Minnesotans connected

An enhanced transportation system will ease commutes and give businesses access to over 500,000 more employees. Minnesotans told us that these connections are important to our quality of life.

Our transportation system connects us to: 

Infographic: Our transportation system connects us to jobs, family, shopping, healthcare, school, entertainment, recreation and places of worship

How much do we drive?

Infographic: Comparing the average number of miles Minnesotans drive versus other expenses

Our transportation system needs to accommodate our growth and changing population

By 2030 the Twin Cities metro area population is expected to add almost one million new people. Movement of freight is set to increase by an average of 25 percent across the state. As we become larger and more productive, it's important that our roadways and transit systems keep up with demand.

The amount of goods we're moving is growing by 2030

Infographic showing the amount of goods we are moving by 2030

Our population is growing and putting greater demands on our daily commutes

Infographic explaining how the population growth puts greater demands on daily commutes

Our transportation system is aging and needs updating

Our aging transportation system faces serious challenges in the coming years. Investing in strong 10-ton highways and well-maintained, reliable paved roads are key to making sure that businesses can move large freight efficiently, and that farmers can get their products to market more easily.

Seasonal changes, a short construction season and inadequate funding all contribute to the condition of our interstate highway pavements, placing Minnesota 44th in the nation.

Infographic showing weather

Minnesota has over:

  • 140,000 miles of highway
  • 4,458 miles of freight track
  • 20,000 bridges
  • 9 shipping ports

50 percent of MDOT's pavements are over 50 years old and 40 percent of MDOT's bridges are over 40 years old.

Investing now will return billions

The state, counties, municipalities and townships are seeing significantly escalating costs for maintaining and enhancing an aging highway and bridge infrastructure. As the costs for maintaining these systems rise, the impact those dollars have greatly decreases.

Expected trunk highway funding and inflationary impact

Inforgraphic explaining the buying power of projected revenue is expected to decrease over the next 20 years

Projected growth

$4.4 billion investment = $6.6 billion to $10.1 billion in benefits*

An expanded transit brings enhanced mobility to the region, which has benefits for both highway and transit users. The direct benefits of a build-out system (e.g. savings in travel time, shipping costs and vehicle operating) total between $6.6 billion - $10.1 billion.

Focused growth near transit stations would increase net benefits of a transit build-out by $2 billion - $4 billion.

*Itasca Project | Regional Transit System | ROI Assessment

Investment and economic growth go hand in hand

A strong, efficient transit system is key if we want to remain prosperous. In order to compete for outside talent and businesses, we must ensure that people and goods stay moving. We're currently being outspent by other regions and metro areas around the country. Minnesota is only meeting 63 percent of our Greater Minnesota transit needs, well below the 90 percent goal set by the Legislature.Infographic showing how an efficient transit system competes with other reasons for jobs and outside businesses

Other regions know transit matters and are investing more

Infographic showing regional tax dedicated to transit

Transportation investment would benefit all Minnesotans

Infographic showing how transportation investment would benefit all Minnesotans

Regional transit service carries 94 passengers each year, and while efficient and cost effective, it needs to expand to meet population and economic growth.

The state transportation network needs to be updated and maintained. And new technologies that are available today will make this system more efficient and longer lasting.

We propose a fair, balanced, sustainable approach

Minnesota's transportation system has to meet the needs of a growing population. To compete economically, both regionally and nationally, we must invest in our transportation system or we will fall behind. Our economic viability as well as the quality of life for all Minnesotans depends on a sound transportation system.


  • TFAC Summary Report and Recommendations
  • Itasca Project ROI Assessment
  • MnDOT Minnesota GO Multimodal Transportation Plan