Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith along with Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle announced $23.7 million in grants for needed transit services in nonmetro Minnesota.

Recipients of grants in our area include:

  • Three Rivers Community Action, which serves Goodhue, Rice and Wabasha counties - $620,600
  • Cedar Valley Services of Freeborn, Mower, Steele and Waseca counties - $471,800.

Minnesota has 44 transit systems serving all 80 nonmetro Minnesota counties. Transit ridership in rural areas increased 12.6 percent between 2010 and 2014. According to a press release from Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith's office, it's estimated that operating expenses for nonmetro Minnesota transit will exceed revenues by 2021. To meet the demands of nonmetro Minnesota transit users, additional resources will be needed starting in 2021.

Smith and Zelle made the announcements this morning during a news conference. The press release also noted that nonmetro Minnesota seniors, commuters and students are expected to take an additional 4.3 million transit trips every year by 2040.