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Echo Press Editorial: How much do you know about transportation?

Quick, name a statewide issue that directly affects you and your family.

Chances are you answered taxes, education funding or health care. But there’s another big issue residents should know more about: transportation.

Transportation affects practically everyone every day, from the drive they make into work, to the goods they receive via freight, to the money they pay at the pump – 28.5 cents of every gallon of fuel goes toward state transportation funding.

Fortunately, getting involved in transportation issues, learning why it’s important and asking questions about it is more convenient and easier than ever.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has launched a new “Get Connected” website to better show the links between transportation, the economy and Minnesotans’ quality of life.

The website was created in response to public feedback and provides answers to the most commonly asked financial questions the agency receives, such as: Where does the money for transportation come from? How is the money spent? What are MnDOT’s goals? What progress are you making toward these goals? And how are projects selected?

“Minnesotans have a right to know how their tax dollars are being invested and to be confident that MnDOT is spending public money effectively on transportation,” said Tracy Hatch, MnDOT deputy commissioner, chief financial officer and chief operating officer. ”We designed this website specifically to meet our customers’ expectations.”

It’s a user-friendly site that uses videos and other tools to answer commonly asked questions and highlight some of MnDOT’s most innovative projects. There are easy to read graphics, such as a chart showing MnDOT’s snow and ice costs per year (it hit $136.2 million this past winter).

The site also includes a “Transportation in the News” section with links to numerous news stories about MnDOT’s work, along with a sampling of related articles that focus on infrastructure improvement needs of other states.

We encourage readers to go to and click on the “Get Connected” link. A wealth of information and answers about transportation is at your fingertips.