Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Transit in Minnesota

Wadena County Transit but

Section 5311f Minnesota Intercity Bus Program

The annual Intercity bus industry consultation was held May 9, 2018

The Minnesota Department of Transportation, Office of Transit and Active Transportation has opened a solicitation for Intercity Bus operations and capital project proposals for implementation in 2019.

Intercity Bus CY 2019 application instructions

The instructions and other program information may also be found on the BlackCat grants website. For access to BlackCat, a user account is required. For information about setting up an account, contact Robert Clarksen, Program Coordinator, via email at robert.clarksen@state.mn.us.

MnDOT's annual intercity bus grant program creates opportunities for long-distance travel to and from Minnesota communities

Over the course of the last summer and fall, the MnDOT Office of Transit conducted an industry consultation, held an application workshop, and solicited for proposals from private transportation providers as well as local and nonprofit transit agencies throughout the State of Minnesota to enter contracts to operate the Intercity Bus Program for calendar year 2018. The results of that solicitation process produced applications from two providers of Intercity Transportation Service:

  • Jefferson Lines
  • Blue Earth Blue Sky DBA Land To Air

After evaluation of the responses to the solicitation by an advisory panel, a recommendation to funding two applications, from Jefferson Lines and Land to Air Express were adopted by the Office of Transit and Active Transportation in the fall of 2017. The following “Program of Projects” has been developed from these applications, and it provides details as to how these carriers will operate 11 intercity bus routes throughout the State of Minnesota for the 2018 calendar year, as follows:

Intercity Bus Program Project Cost and funding breakdown - 2018 operating program

Jefferson Lines / Six Routes

Operating Cost

Revenue (operating only)

Operating Deficit

Federal share of deficit (%)

Federal share ($)

State share

Statutory Min Local Share 15 %

$3,817,000

$965,000

$2,852,000

50%

$1,426,000

$1,426,000

$572,550

 

Land to Air Express / Five Routes

Total Cost

Revenue (operating only)

Operating Deficit

Federal share of deficit (%)

Federal share ($)

State share of deficit (%)

Statutory Min Local Share 15 %

$953,000

$142,950

$810,050

50%

$405,025

$405,025

$142,950

2018 awards now in effect

Grant contracts awarded during last year's solicitation are now in effect through Dec. 31, 2018.

Upcoming solicitation

The annual Intercity Bus Industry Consultation and Workshop will be held on May 9, 2018 in St. Paul. Upon completion of the Consultation, the solicitation will open for calendar year 2018 and applications will be due June 29, 2018.

Please send a request to intercitybus.dot@state.mn.us for further information about:

  • The future of the Intercity Bus program and upcoming solicitations
  • Potential unmet needs and opportunities for Intercity Service in Greater Minnesota
  • Registration for an account permitting access to the State of Minnesota’s Blackcat Grants management system
  • Technical Assistance with program details or the submission of an application
  • The Intercity Bus Program is a subsection of Federal regulations that provide funding for transportation in the rural portions of the United States. Further information on the section 5311 Rural Transit program in Minnesota.

About intercity bus service

This program defines “intercity bus” as service that meets all of the following criteria:

  • Regularly scheduled bus service
  • Open to the general public
  • Operates with limited stops over fixed routes
  • Connects two or more communities not in close proximity
  • Has the capacity for transporting baggage carried by passengers
  • Makes meaningful connections with scheduled intercity bus service to more distant points, if such service is available

The MnDOT Office of Transit further specifies that intercity bus service may include local and regional feeder services, if those services are designed expressly to connect to the broader intercity bus network. See program fact sheet (PDF).

Greater Minnesota Transit Information

July 22