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Wednesday August 15th 2018

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Transit: War Simulation, SB LII, Giveth and Taketh

BY JOHN CHARLES WILSON

The Super Bowl giveth, and the Super Bowl taketh away. For transit users in the Twin Cities, the Super Bowl mostly taketh away; while the Metropolitan Council giveth the use of our light rail trains to rich tourists who can afford Super Bowl tickets.

Meanwhile, our poor bus drivers are threatening to go on strike during the Super Bowl to call attention to the perfectly legitimate need to have some protection from riders who assault them.

What is to be done? Shall we wait around like sitting ducks for the other shoe to drop? The Council wants to throw us a bone by offering free bus rides to us “regular citizens” on Super Bowl Sunday, while the elite with their game day passes get to ride our trains, all in the name of security.

Sure, we all want the Super Bowl to be a safe venue, but does the Super Bowl want us to be safe? Will security be so concentrated around the stadium my friend calls the “Sinking Ship” as to ignore other parts of town? If I get hit on the head by some robber while waiting for the #2 or the #6, will the police be there to help me, or will they only care about the “chosen ones” – those who can afford Super Bowl tickets? On the other hand, with all the police brutality Minneapolis is known for, maybe the rest of the city away from the stadium can call it a “day off”…..

We waited two years for our Nicollet Mall buses where they didn’t belong – on Marquette, then on Hennepin (Marquette was actually better). Finally, we got our buses back on Nicollet, relieving the overcrowding at the Hennepin bus stops. This detour was made so Nicollet Mall could be “improved” to impress the rich people coming into town to watch men play a “game” which really simulates war: the taking of territory, the penetration of enemy defenses with an object, the sheer knocking about…. Even a field goal is sort of like a missile launch if you think about it.

Oh, well. Once it’s over, we’ll have our transit system back, having thoroughly impressed the Super Bowl fans who will go back to their hometowns and praise Metro Transit for heroically bringing them to and from the game, not realizing that Metro’s regular customers were ripped off in order to provide them that experience.

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