Everyone deserves to live in clean, safe and healthy communities. Investing in buses, bicycling and walking infrastructure will make that a reality for more Minnesotans.

Convenient transit and safe walking and bicycling are essential to helping our aging neighbors (the fastest-growing segment of Minnesota’s population), children and family members stay mobile, active and safe in the months, years and decades to come.

That’s why we need to invest in Bus Rapid Transit and Safe Routes to School ($75 million and $10 million respectively) this year. I call on Rochester Sen. David Senjem, Gov. Tim Walz, and our representatives in Saint Paul to vote yes this year on these bonding bill priorities. Be bold. Our health, and our future, can’t wait.

Kids should be able to walk or ride their bikes to school and feel safe. Seniors should be able to conveniently ride transit to get their groceries or go to a medical appointment. No one should have to turn down a job or housing because they can’t afford a car to get there. Smart transportation investments will keep our air cleaner, our bodies healthier, our elders active and independent, and open up opportunities for our neighbors here in Rochester and throughout the state.

Transportation is one of the highest costs in household budgets, greater than education and health care! Sen. Senjem, Gov. Walz, and our representatives in Saint Paul need to prioritize funding for transit, walking, and bicycling – not just roads – for everyone in our state.

Paul L. Claus, M.D., Rochester