Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Transit in Minnesota

Wadena County Transit but

Section 5311f Minnesota Intercity Bus Program

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

Over the course of this 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 2017. The results of that solicitation process produced applications from four providers of Intercity Transportation Service:

  • Jefferson Lines
  • Blue Earth Blue Sky DBA Land To Air
  • Carefree Shuttle LLC
  • Tri-Valley Opportunity Council

After evaluation of the responses to the solicitation by an advisory panel, recommendations for funding the applications from Jefferson Lines and Land to Air were carried forward to the Office of Transit Director for adoption on Nov. 10, 2016. From this, a “Program of Projects” was developed from the applications provided funding details for the 11 intercity bus routes to be operated under the contracts for the 2017 calendar year, as follows:

Jefferson Lines - Project cost and funding breakdown

Routes

Operating Cost

Revenue (operating only)

Federal share of deficit (%)

Federal share ($)

In-Kind Match

State share

 "Northwoods"
929-930

 $628,000

$123,000

50%

$252,500

0%

$252,500

"Iron Range"
919-920

$435,000

$34,000

50%

$200,500

0%

$200,500

"Paul Bunyan"
927-928

$701,000

$198,000

50%

$251,500

0%

$251,500

"Big Bluestem" 925-926

$961,000

$313,000

50%

$324,000

0%

$324,000

“Superior Shores” 906-911

$584,000

$192,000

50%

$196,000

0%

$196,000

"River Bluffs"
965-966

$978,000

$163,000

50%

$407,500

0%

$407,500

System Totals

$4,287,000

$1,023,000

50%

$1,632,000

0%

$1,632,000

Land to Air Express - Project cost and funding breakdown

Route

Total Cost

Revenue (operating only)

Federal share of deficit (%)

Federal share ($)

In-Kind Match

State share of deficit (%)

Routes 236-237 (Mankato-Rochester via Hwy. 14)

$170,000

$13,000

50%

$78,500

$0

$78,500

Routes 238-239 (Mankato-Rochester via Hwy. 14)

$170,000

$16,000

50%

$77,000

$0

$77,000

Routes 234-235 (Mankato-Rochester via I-90)

$214,000

$23,000

50%

$95,500

$0

$95,500

New Route 1 (Mankato to Minneapolis via Hwy 169)

$171,000

$44,000

50%

$63,500

$0

$63,500

New Route 2 (Mankato to Minneapolis via Hwy 169)

$171,000

$44,000

50%

$63,500

$0

$63,500

System Totals

$896,000

$140,000

 

$378,000

$0

$378,000

2016 awards now in effect

Grant contracts awarded during last year's solicitation are now in effect through Dec. 31, 2016.

Upcoming solicitations

The application/solicitation for calendar year 2017 has now closed. Please send a request to intercitybus.dot@state.mn.us for further information about:

  • To learn more 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).

July 22