Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Transit in Greater Minnesota


Plans and reports

The federal government requires states managing federal transit funds to submit a state management plan. Federal Transit Administration is reviewing our 2023 Greater Minnesota State Management Plan.

The Transit Technology Plan guides us and Greater Minnesota transit systems with planning, prioritizing, obtaining, and implementing technology across the state.

The 2017 Greater Minnesota Transit Investment Plan provides investment priorities and strategic direction for transit in Greater Minnesota. 

We partner with the Minnesota Department of Human Services and local planning organizations throughout Minnesota to develop regional coordination plans. 

The Federal Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015 establishes direction and support for Transit Asset Management (TAM) and includes Federal Transit Administration TAM Final Rule 49 CFR 625. This Rule requires establishment of a National Transit Asset Management System to monitor and manage public transportation capital assets to improve safety, and increase reliability and performance, and requires the establishment of a transit system TAM Plan.

Public transit systems serving rural areas across Greater Minnesota will now be able to measure and demonstrate their value in actual dollars, thanks to new research that resulted in a method for calculating the benefits these transit services provide. In every case study they reviewed, researchers discovered that the benefits of public transit outweighed the cost to the community, with a cost-benefit ratio ranging from 1.5 to 4.2 for every $1 spent on public transit, the return to the community served is at least $1.50, and in some cases as much as $4.20. With hard evidence of their value in hand, these public transit agencies will be better-equipped to compete for and secure much-needed funding at the city and county levels.

This study investigates the perceived safety risks and barriers that might prevent transit and shared mobility services from attracting post-COVID riders in Greater Minnesota. It includes an online survey of Greater Minnesota residents to understand their COVID-related safety concerns and their preferences and perceptions toward existing and potential safety protocols. The survey results show that, during the post-COVID era, driving alone continues to dominate, but desires to use transit and shared mobility modes remain strong. Lack of access, lack of interest, and lack of available better alternatives jointly affect transit-use behavior. Women, people with COVID concerns, urban residents, online shoppers, and transit users are associated with stronger preferences toward COVID safety measures. People with COVID concerns, online shoppers, and transit users are also associated with preferences toward general transit service improvements. We also find that elderly people, hesitant tech users, and transit-dependent users are unlikely to be positively affected by trip-planning tools and contactless payment technology. Furthermore, income and car ownership predict future transit use, and younger age is associated with more interest in carpooling. These results help to inform transit and shared mobility providers about what safety and communications strategies will be most effective in bringing users back.

Public transit services are vital for the mobility and connectivity of communities. Rural public transit services connect users to health care, education, employment, and social and recreational activities. However, rural communities are limited in their mobility due to high costs and limited availability of affordable and reliable transportation options. Shared mobility is an innovative strategy to meet demand for public transit in rural areas that also provides social and environmental benefits. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is exploring how public transit funding may be used to fund shared mobility services as an extension of existing public transit services in small urban and rural areas in Minnesota. This study identifies funding available for this purpose, as well as the limitations in the federal and state regulations for use of such funding sources. In addition, this research explores how transit agencies across the U.S. have funded similar projects and identify opportunities for improvements in Minnesota.