Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Advancing Transportation Equity Initiative

Advancing Transportation Equity Initiative

Community conversations engagement project

The Community Conversations project is a series of conversations between MnDOT staff and individuals and organizations who work with and represent underserved communities in Minnesota. The intent of these conversations is to learn directly from underserved communities about their unique experiences and challenges with transportation. We then document these findings so they can be used to inform the agency’s transportation funding, planning and programming efforts.


MnDOT typically conducts around 30 interviews in each district with nonprofit, government, transit, education, tribal, and other partners to understand the transportation needs for underserved and underrepresented communities. Select findings include:

  • Inadequate transportation options create barriers to the community
  • Private vehicles are common
  • Capacity of public transit does not meet demand
  • Land use and natural barriers also affect access
  • Relationships are key to engagement
  • People have many ideas to solve challenges with transportation equity
  • Organizations provided varied definitions and examples of equity

Project highlights

For planning and operational purposes MnDOT groups Minnesota into eight different districts. Conversations have started in 2018 and have been completed in Districts 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 and 8. Work is expected to conclude for District 3 by Spring of 2023. This will be significant milestone marking the completion of Community Conversations for all of greater Minnesota districts.

A similar but separate process is expected for the Metro District.

Reports and resources