Editorial: Leaving MVTA would have given city optionsIt’s hard to blame the city of Rosemount for its decision to stick things out with the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority. These are uncertain times, and the prospect of striking out your own with a new transit service when budgets are tight can be intimidating.
It’s hard to blame the city of Rosemount for its decision to stick things out with the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority. These are uncertain times, and the prospect of striking out your own with a new transit service when budgets are tight can be intimidating.
So when the MVTA board met last week and agreed to give the city much of what it was asking for in the first place — improved bus service, a park and ride as early as this year — it made sense to stick around.
Still, we’re a little disappointed. We’re disappointed Rosemount was only able to get what it wanted by becoming the squeakiest of wheels. And that, as some council members pointed out last week, the decision to improve service in Rosemount seemed based more on keeping the city around than on any detailed financial analysis.
We’re also disappointed because of what will not happen now. As the city considered withdrawing from the MVTA city staff started looking at the opportunities for the city to provide its own transit services. IT was a very preliminary analysis, and taking over transit would have had a steep learning curve. But at first glance the numbers looked good. It looked like the city could provide at least the level of service Rosemount residents are already getting.
But it’s what else the city might have been able to provide that was most intriguing. Taking control of its own transit would have given the city an opportunity to branch out. The new routes that could have given residents connections to Burnsville Center or Apple Valley.
Those routes might still come, but by sticking with the MVTA the city has given up at least some of its ability to figure out what options are best for its residents.
We think that’s too bad.