A major reason for congestion on urban roadways is that they are not priced properly. For years economists have argued and demonstrated that congestion pricing is the only viable solution to reducing and managing traffic congestion. Since 1994 the State and Local Policy Program has conducted policy research, education and outreach activities to demonstrate how effective pricing is a critical tool in managing congestion. SLPP outreach activities have directly contributed to the adoption on high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes or MnPASS lanes on I-394, 35W, and I-35E in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region as well as policies adopted by MnDOT and the Metro Council to incorporate managed lanes with MnPASS lanes in future Metro area highway projects.
Transportation Finance Database
The Minnesota Transportation Finance (MNTF) Database is a longitudinal and spatially integrated database for Minnesota transportation finance, as part of the multiple-year Transportation Policy and Economic Competitiveness project funded by the 2013 State Legislature. The database is composed annual data of transportation funding sources as well as transportation expenditure allocations in Minnesota, beginning in 1980 and to be updated each year. The database will serve as a solid foundation for understanding transportation finance issues in Minnesota, for easy public access to enhance public engagement and informed decision making, and for facilitating transportation studies in relating transportation investments to other data regarding transportation inputs, outputs, or outcomes.
Public-Private Partnerships in Transportation
The Policy Task Force on Public-Private Partnerships in Transportation (PPPs) was convened by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) in April 2011 to identify and examine the potential for expanding the use of PPPs in Minnesota and to recommend strategies for implementation. The PPP Policy Task Force consisted of two dozen members that included state legislators, local-elected officials, transportation, business, labor, environmental and community leaders, who were asked to consider the potential opportunities and challenges related to transportation PPPs in Minnesota.
- Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Transportation – Policy Task Force Recommendations, December 2011
- Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Transportation – Technical Report, March 2012 (PDF)
Mileage-Based User Fees
The Mileage-Based User Fee (MBUF) Policy Task Force, appointed by Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel, was formed to identify and evaluate issues related to potential future implementation of an MBUF system in Minnesota. Under a potential MBUF system, drivers would be charged based on the number of miles they drive, regardless of the type of energy source used to propel the vehicle, and instead of being charged by the gallon for fuel consumed in operating a vehicle.
The goal of the MBUF policy study was "to engage stakeholders and a Policy Task Force, with the intent of identifying and evaluating issues for potential implementation of MBUF in Minnesota." The MBUF Policy Task Force was asked to stay true to this goal, and not expand its scope to other transportation finance issues.
The report was prepared by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota in December of 2011. The report represents the views of the MBUF Policy Task Force and does not necessarily represent the views or policies of the Minnesota Department of Transportation or the University of Minnesota. The Humphrey School is hospitable to a diversity of opinions and aspirations and does not itself take positions on issues of public policy.