About Transit for Our Future Initiative
About the Initiative
- Improve customer access, including greater service availability
- More efficiencies in management in light of increased federal requirements
- Reinvest any realized savings in more service
The Greater Minnesota Public Transit Investment Plan, completed in January 2011, outlined MnDOT’s investment priorities for preserving, expanding or contracting public transit services depending on projected transit need and future state and federal funding levels. The Plan identified ways for MnDOT to evaluate future funding applications from public transit systems in Greater Minnesota.
The Transit For Our Future Initiative began in early 2011 as an effort to refine MnDOT’s process for evaluating applications for public transit funding under preservation or contraction scenarios, as state forecasts predicted the availability of substantially lower funding levels. Realizing the Initiative provided a path to improve transit under any funding scenario, the effort continued with advice from an expanded Public Transit Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee is helping MnDOT refine objectives and set measures.
The goal of the Transit For Our Future Initiative (TFF) is to improve customer access and service by establishing consistent State program policies that balance accessiblity (i.e. broad availability) with efficiency in providing public transit service in Greater Minnesota. Transit systems may choose one or more strategies that are intended to result in expanded service access, more efficient management, and a higher level of compliance with existing and proposed federal regulations. Strategies include:
- Coordination between two or more rural public transit systems will increase access to destinations for passengers living in less densely populated areas of the State.
- Cooperation between transit systems who operate as individiual entities but where the service area includes all members, and where different members assume responsibility for specific areas of expertise.
- Consolidation (Partnering/Merging)of two or more public transit systems under one management, thus creating cost efficiencies and maximizing access to service. Savings may be reinvested in increased service.
Greater Minnesota Public Transit operators are asked to submit an outline of proposed strategies to their project manager. Proposed projects must be a coordinated, cooperative or consolidated proposal. Two or more public transit systems must be listed in the proposal.
Applications to carry out additional Transit For Our Future strategies are available from project managers throughout the year. The application is a two step process, applications once approved may be for up to two years funding. Currently funding has been set aside for TFF initiatives.
Public Transit Advisory Committee
- Arrowhead Transit
- Chisago-Isanti Transit
- Greater Mankato Transit
- Paul Bunyan Transit
- Pipestone Transit
- RiverRider Public Transit
- St. Cloud Metro Bus
- Steele County Area Transit
- Three Rivers Hiawathaland Transit
- Transit Alternatives
- Western Community Transit