Regional transit discussions continue

March 6, 2019

Discussions of the potential creation of a regional transportation coordinating council continue this month.

The proposed council would seek to improve public transportation access and coordination throughout Southeast Minnesota. It would coordinate efforts to fill transportation gaps, streamline access to transportation and increase options of where and when to travel.

“There is a need for transit coordination in our 11-county area,” Sandi Goslee, principal planner with the Rochester-Olmsted Planning Department, said during a meeting to discuss the proposed council last month.

She noted more than 70 transportation providers operate in the region, ranging from Uber and Lyft services to public and private bus systems, but still, she said, gaps remain.

“There are folks who can’t tap into the services that exist,” she said.

Goslee is a member of the steering committee guiding efforts to discuss a potential council. The effort is being organized by Three Rivers Community Action, with the help of a Minnesota Department of Transportation grant.

This month’s discussion is expected to focus on the proposed service area and council membership, goals and objectives, and work-plan priorities.

Participants in the discussion are expected to include representatives from county social services departments, transportation providers, human services agencies, veteran service organizations, senior service organizations, workforce development agencies, private organizations and the public.

The meetings are all from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dates and locations include:

• March 13 at 125 Live, 125 Elton Hills Drive NW in Rochester.

• March 18 at Albert Lea City Hall, 221 E. Clark St.

• March 19 at Northfield Public Library, 210 Washington St.

• March 27 at Winona City Hall, Third Floor, 207 Lafayette St.