Author

Henry Pan

Henry Pan

Henry Pan (pronouns: They/He/佢/他) is a Twin Cities-based journalist, cartographer and photographer passionate about human interests and all things transportation. They have a background in urban planning, a disdain for Minnesota Nice, and a penchant for solitude, transit and bicycle joyrides.

Asian Minnesotans say discrimination is on the rise, push to make prosecuting hate crimes easier

By: - June 7, 2021

At the start of the pandemic, Yaoyao Chen, a materials research engineer, was an early adopter of mask-wearing.  One day in March, she was at a Woodbury intersection when someone yelled at her, “Your mask is a piece of [expletive].” She was so frightened by the exchange that she stayed home for a week.  Then […]

Legislature debating decriminalizing fare evasion, allowing Metro Transit to focus on more serious crimes

By: - May 28, 2021

An attempt to reform how Minnesota enforces transit fare and deals with a concerning rise in serious crime on trains and buses in recent years hangs in the balance as the Legislature nears a self-imposed deadline to finish their work for the year.  People who ride without paying the $2.50 fare pay a $180 fine […]

The Legislature has a long to-do list on transportation

By: - February 24, 2021

Every morning, Linda Hale crosses University Avenue just outside of Northtown Mall in Blaine to get to work at the local Burger King. She sees people zooming by on what the Minnesota Department of Transportation calls a rural road. She knows of two people who were hit and killed there.  “I wish they would slow […]

Without help from the Legislature or Congress, Metro Transit is in trouble

By: - November 23, 2020

This year has been a wild ride for Metro Transit and the Metropolitan Council that manages it. They traded a driver shortage for a pandemic that decimated ridership and revenue, forcing it to cut service for the foreseeable future. Metro Transit continues to struggle for stable funding, while receiving endless criticism from its riders and […]

As committee examines Met Council, a primer: What is it? How did it come to be?

By: - October 26, 2020

No Minnesota government agency inspires more heat — and with it, less light — than the Metropolitan Council. Composed of 17 appointees of the governor, the Met Council, as it is known, is responsible for transportation, housing, land use, parks, and sewer planning and operations in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.  The late Arthur Naftalin, who was […]

COVID-19 reduces Amtrak service here, in another blow to the future of passenger rail

By: - September 1, 2020

Kyle Rusness travels between St. Paul and Detroit Lakes to see family. Rusness is a chef who uses the Amtrak “Empire Builder” line because it works with his schedule.  “It’s like a commute; I can sleep on the train and be ready for work in the morning,” he said on a train heading to the […]