St. Paul, MN— A provision authored by Representative Jon Koznick, R-Lakeville, that expands Metro Mobility service to Lakeville has been included in the Transportation finance bill as part of the budget agreement struck between the House, Senate, and Governor Walz.
“Since taking office in 2015, I have been fighting to make sure that this critically important service was extended to our community,” said Rep. Koznick. “Thankfully, the end of Taxation without Mobilization is near! I appreciate Senator Dan Hall for carrying the companion bill in the Senate and for his work with me to garner bipartisan support.”
Metro Mobility is a shared ride public transportation service offered by the Metropolitan Council for certified riders who are unable to use regular fixed-route buses due to a disability or health condition.
“Thanks to this provision, Metro Mobility will finally be available in Lakeville after nearly ten years of our community paying for a service that it did not receive. This will be tremendously beneficial for seniors who no longer can drive and folks with disabilities in our community and I am proud to have carried and fought for this important piece of legislation. I am so excited about the independence this will bring to people like Lakeville resident Nick Jones who testified in favor of my bill. Thanks to this legislation, Nick will have greater independence and will be able to get to work without depending on rides from family and friends.”
Rep. Koznick carried legislation during the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions that would have extended Metro Mobility to Lakeville. Unfortunately, the legislation was tied up in end-of-session negotiations both years.
Part of the effort also included a data sharing provision between the Met Council and Department of Health to obtain federal reimbursement for most of the rides Metro Mobility provides. That provision is expected to save about $8 million a year. The federal reimbursement will help offset the costs of providing the service to the city of Lakeville. This is an issue that was first brought to Koznick’s attention in 2014.
The city of Lakeville added this issue to its legislative priority after Koznick won support and first introduced it last biennium.
Lakeville resident, Nick Jones, joined Rep. Koznick and testified in favor of the bill at a committee hearing earlier this year.
The provision is expected to be approved as part of the Transportation Finance bill during the upcoming special session.