Rural Community Transit Strategies

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  04/26/2023


Transit systems in cities and suburban areas don’t always meet the transportation needs of rural communities. Dispersed populations and destinations make it difficult for public agencies to provide sufficient transit services, and private providers may not have the demand to justify their operation in rural areas. Many residents are forced to own vehicles that sit unused much of the time. An alternative shared mobility services approach may better meet rural transit needs while strengthening communities and local economies. With the input of a broad spectrum of stakeholders, investigators identified the needs and issues with transit in Wabasha, Minnesota. Evaluating rural transit ideas from across the country and analyzing specific transit platforms and apps helped identify strategies that could be used in Wabasha and other rural communities. Leveraging mobile and internet technologies, underutilized private vehicles and school buses, and existing volunteer networks could improve transit services in rural areas.

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