Note that each of Minnesota's regional Development Organizations has worked on a five-year update of the Local Human Service Public Transit Coordination Plans required by the Office of Transit in MnDOT.
Putting Transit to Work in Main Street America (Reconnecting America, 2012) explores how smaller cities, towns, and rural places are integrating transit into their communities, recognizing that cars work well in the rural to low-density suburban zones/transects, and public transportation works efficiently starting in the lower density suburbs and really drives down total public-private transportation costs in a buzzing metropolis. Between those two land use patterns/densities on the rural-to-urban transect lies a gap where neither model works really well. And evolving from one into the other is difficult: do we introduce transit first and then build denser/more mixed-use nodes, or do we build first (and increase congestion) and then introduce transit? Cities must fine-tune an evolution to fit their community culture, accepting the co-existence of several zones within the city/region, with the car-based zones shrinking and the walkable transit zones expanding, but both zones relating to each other in positive ways.
From Sorry to Superb (TransitCenter, 2018) details how transit agencies and cities can build great bus stops that increase ridership.
Public Transportation in the US: A Driver of Health and Equity (Health Affairs, 2021) share how "new or expanded public transportation options can improve health and health equity by reducing traffic crashes and air pollution, increasing physical activity, and improving access to medical care, healthy food, vital services, employment, and social connection."
Add or expand public transit in your city or between your city and other destinations, working with other units of local governments as needed.
Add/expand Saturday or Sunday bus service; add dial-a-ride to regular service; embed a transit station/stop in a transit-oriented/mixed-use district. Report supportive changes in parking requirements under BPA 14.1.
Schedule transit service for at least every 30 minutes during peak hours so that 75% of city addresses are within 1/2 mile of a transit stop; incorporate payment for both local transit and ride-shares (and connections between the two) on a single smartphone app; analyze and set policies to reduce transit enforcement disparities by race, disability, or income.
Who's doing it
Apple Valley - 3 star
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Date of last report update:
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Construction is now underway to upgrade Cedar Avenue to accommodate shoulder-running bus rapid transit (BRT) service. The Cedar Avenue BRT will begin operating at the end of 2012 and will be the first operating BRT system in the State.
Duluth Transit Authority (DTA) is gradually shifting from basing transit decisions solely on distribution (eg adding lines to new areas that only run once per hour/don’t run on weekends) to focusing on the usability of service by working on increasing service frequency on currently existing lines. 96% of Duluth addresses lie within 1/2 mile of one of Duluth's 1640 transit stops, and 80% within 1/4 mile. 29% of addresses are within 1/4 mile of high frequency route and 45% are within 1/2 mile of high freq route. DTA provides a para-transit service for residents with disabilities that serves 100% of Duluth's geography.
Duluth city council passed an ordinance in April creating rules for electric scooters in advance of the new scooter sharing service Leaf Rides starting in Duluth. The UMD student created company had a great first summer, and larger national chains are considering expanding to Duluth.
In 2018 the City approved an agreement with Lime allowing the company to deploy a fleet of dockless bikes (in July) and scooters (in September). This agreement has been extended through 2019. Lime’s goal is to provide a sustainable solution to transportation in an affordable and convenient way, while also reducing the carbon footprint. The City has implemented the service and is actively promoting the program on the City website and in its bi-monthly newsletter.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
At its peak, Golden Valley had a total of 53 Lime bikes and 61 scooters deployed. Through the months of August, September, and October 2018 a total of 769 bike rides were taken in Golden Valley by 470 individuals. And although Lime scooters were only in Golden Valley for a few short weeks, a total of 730 rides were taken by 439 riders.
We currently have a free bike sharing program. Bicycles are available for sharing at several locations throughout the city. Bike can be checked out for free with submission of a personal ID at any of the participating locations.
The City has worked with DARTS to add a transit option called the LOOP. This LOOP bus will operate on a loop around the city with scheduled stops and the flexibility to request a stop nearby. This service will begin September 6, 2016.
This summer the city put in community bikes available from bike racks stationed at the library and Burns Park. There is also a bike repair station installed at Burns Park. All the bikes were donated, they were all used bikes, and are available for people to use at no cost.
An explanation of the program is vital to ensure proper usage of the bikes.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
To increase healthy behaviors, develop interpersonal communication skills, and retain present citizens and attract new citizens.
MATBUS and Great Rides Bike Share are working on a Bike and Bus Multi-pass to be introduced in Spring 2018. This pass would create a seamless transition for passengers between MATBUS and Great Rides. Passengers would be able to purchase a pass and utilize both means of transportation for one low cost. Since Great Rides has a limited window of operation each year, this pass would be available from mid-April through mid-September ensuring bikes are available for anyone utilizing this pass.
In 2008, the City of Oakdale worked with Metro Transit and Guardian Angels Church to facilitate the expansion of an existing Park and Ride station located in the southwest corner of Oakdale, adjacent to the I-94 corridor. At the time, the Park and Ride served 200 vehicles, after the expansion capacity was increased to 435 vehicles. This expansion gave Oakdale residents as well as those of surrounding communities an alternative transportation option which helped reduce congestion and pollution along the already busy I-94 corridor. The site was made pedestrian friendly with the addition of a shelter area and crosswalk creation to connect the stop to existing walking trails.
Additionally, the City has approved BR-TOD plan for the Helmo Station area (a stop along the Gold Line Bus Rapid Transit project). This includes a range of high and medium-density multifamily buildings, flex office space, and street-oriented retail adjacent to Helmo Station in order to encourage utilization of the future BRT line.
In addition to Car2Go and HOURCAR, the City has continues to support the expansion of the Nice Ride bicycle sharing programing in Saint Paul. In 2013, three new stations were added in the city at St. Thomas University, and at the intersection of Summit Ave. and Mississippi River Blvd. and Cleveland Ave. and Highland Pkwy.
In 2017, SMART Transit expanded its operations in Albert Lea. The bus service now runs from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., expanded from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The demand response service now operates on weekends. The City coordinated press for SMART, ensuring that as many news outlets broadcast the news.
2012: AMCAT red route has expanded by two hours on Saturdays only.
2016: Volunteers refurbished 30 donated bikes, painting them bright red before placing them in matching bike racks for riders to borrow during the 2016 season with the instructions to "Ride. Respect. Return.” This bicycle-sharing program is simple: no credit cards required, no identification needed, no locks. Austin decided to try an open bike sharing program after reading about the one in Willmar. Volunteers take donated bikes and convert unclaimed bikes from their police impound lots into shareable bikes. Volunteers in Austin fix the bikes under the supervision of Rydjor Bike Shop, which also donates space to do the work. There, volunteers convert any donated bike into single speed to keep them simple and easy to maintain and repair. An auto body repair class at Riverland Community College painted the frames. A state grant helped cover the cost of bike racks; bikes are stored for the winter in a city building.
Nice Ride Minnesota is a non-profit organization that provides public bike sharing to the Twin Cities and is expanding its operation to the Bemidji area. 200 bikes will be made available to the Bemidji community this June.
Coon Rapids continues to work to expand and enhance transit service specifically the Northstar park and ride station at Riverdale. Work has been done with the Northstar Corridor Development Authority and Metropolitan Council's Corridors of Opportunity program. Currently 466 free parking spaces are available and patrolled by local police. The station includes enclosed heated waiting areas, available overnight parking, bike lockers and connects with local bus routes. The City hopes the new Foley Boulevard Overpass and the planned full access interchange at TH 610 and East River Road will increase use of the Metro Transit Park & Ride facility on Foley Boulevard.
In fall of 2016, La Crescent added Saturday bus service to La Crosse in it's schedule. See above link for minutes in which it was passed. This has been of great concern for many residents and we hope to study the usage of Saturday and possibly extend into Sunday service. We are also in the process of building a large walking/bike bridge over Highway 61 which will help to connect the City of La Crescent with the City of La Crosse through a biking corridor.
The City of Maplewood worked with Metro Transit to expand the park & ride lot by Maplewood Mall into a ramp to encourage and allow more transit services in the area. The city is currently working with the MET council and currently has a comment period open for residence to better plan for new transit development in the Gateway Corridor.
The transit service was made on July 23, 1974 and the City of Morris took over the responsibility on March 10, 1975. The city accepted the first transit grant to help pay for the transit system on May 13, 1975.
The City of Newport worked with the Washington County Regional Railroad Authority to open up the Newport Transit Station on December 1, 2014. The Regional Railroad Authority purchased vacant land in 2010 to build the transit station for the Red Rock Corridor. The City created a transit-oriented mixed-use district so that the transit station could be built. The Newport Transit Station provides express bus service from Newport to downtown St. Paul through three buses in the morning and afternoon.
St. Cloud State Universitys Outdoor Endeavors started the Yellow Bike Project in 2004. Bikes have been donated and have been painted entirely yellow. The bikes are for university students to use, free of charge. All we ask is that bikes are kept on campus, damaged bikes brought to Outdoor Endeavors and users respect the time and energy that goes into the program. The program operates with the generosity of those who donate the bikes and student staff that put a lot of time, energy and love into the effort.
In addition, St. Cloud State University has beginning Fall 2010, piloted the Husky Ride GREEN Initiative offering rental bikes to faculty, staff and students for rental on a semester or annual basis. Their goal is to see a future campus that puts a priority on sustainable transportation and promotes bicycles over cars. There is no doubt that this vision eases traffic, promotes health/wellness and reduces collective carbon footprint. Through a sustainable transportation grant, it has purchased brand new Diamondback Sorrento mountain bikes available for lease through the program.
During the development of Epic Center (Sartell's biggest retail cluster) the city worked with MetroBus in establishing new routes to serve the area. The result was more route connections connecting riders to other cities and destinations in the St. Cloud area. The city continues to have an on-going relationship with MetroBus to help increase ridership, plan for expansions of transit, and encourage residents to utilize the network.
The city's Yellow Bike sharing program — in its second year — expanded to put about 80 bikes in circulation at one point over the summer of 2016, up from last year's 50. Some businesses bought bike racks to set up nearby for their workers. Yellow Bikes takes donations of used bikes, and converts unclaimed bikes from their police impound lots into shareable bikes. volunteers gathered at Rick’s Cycling & Sports Center in town to learn basic maintenance and to convert bikes. The Jennie-O Turkey Store donated $5,000 to get the program started.
Starting on Nov. 30, 2017, the City added a Dial-a-ride service to our transit options. The service allows for pick-up 4 blocks or greater from the standard bus stops and expands the service area of transit to 2 miles beyond the city limits of Winona and Goodview.
Burnsville's public transportation is provided by Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, which links Burnsville to the northern cities (Rosemount, Lakeville & Apple Valley), western cities ( Savage), and northern cities (Richfield, Eagan, Mendota Heights, Minneapolis, & Saint Paul).
The City is working with the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority to develop rush hour service to the Metro Transit Station in Burnsville - 2 times in the morning and 2 times in the afternoon. The City encourages carpooling by allowing parking in designated areas for that purpose.
The City of Fergus Falls annually provides Productive Alternatives $50,000 for transportation needs within the city. The company evaluates the demand and needs for their services and periodically has added additional routes or earlier/later time slots. The City of Fergus Falls was recently named a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community.
Trailblazer Transit is a bus system that spans through Sibley, McLeod, and Wright counties providing a dial-to-ride service that spans the three counties. What was originally 4 transit systems through Mcleod and Sibley counties was merged into one to create a more expansive area. In 2015, Wright county was added to the bus systems functioning area.
in 2012 rochester added 2 new Park & Ride locations added to the South side of Rochester. Wehrenberg Theater will replace Target South on the 15D route. Wal-Mart South will be added on the NEW 6D route.
The City of Rochester has a great intermodal transportation system to help you get to your destination faster and with less hassle than other comparable metro areas. A system of Park & Ride lots enables you to drive your vehicle into town, park at one of several safe, convenient locations, then board a city bus to take you to your final destination. People who use this system often get to their destination less stressed than fellow commuters, and actually help to relieve the amount of congestion and improve the air quality in our city. This system is especially great for those making trips to Mayo clinic facilities and other destinations downtown where parking can be limited.
The City of St. Anthony works with the surrounding communities and Metro Transit to meet the transit needs and demands of residents. The Silver Lake Village development incorporated transit as a major element.
The City is currently improving biking access by providing bike parking throughout the City through the Bike Rack Grant Program.
Minnesota River Valley Transit (MRVT) is a Dial-a-Ride (DAR) service within the city of Saint Peter. In 2017, Saint Peter and Le Sueur Transit merged into Minnesota River Valley and this was with a view to expanding the transport system in the city.
Community Thread has partnered with DARTS, a nonprofit that serves older adults and their families in Dakota County, to bring a circulator shuttle loop to the Stillwater and Oak Park Heights area. The Community Thread Connector Loop runs every Monday from 10am – 3pm, with scheduled stops at senior housing complexes, area businesses, retail stores and Community Thread’s Stillwater location. The Community Thread Connector Loop is open to all. Riders pay a $3 (cash only) fare for an all-day pass and can get on and off the bus at any stop along the loop. Planned stops will be offered on an hourly loop schedule, with the flexibility to request a stop nearby. Riders who live within 2 blocks of the bus route may also request to be picked up at their home by calling DARTS on Friday at 2 pm prior to the Monday service.