Community Transit of United Community Action Partnership (UCAP), is continuing its tradition of leadership when it comes to providing and improving rural public transit. It was awarded a $289,200 grant March 30 from the Minnesota Department of Transportation to begin two pilot projects.

One is a route between Fulda and Worthington, and the other establishes regular route service in the city of Redwood Falls.

“We are honored that community transit of United Community Action Partnership was selected for expansion projects,” said Cathleen Amick, UCAP transportation director.

The local pilot project is designated for a route in the City of Redwood Falls beginning January 1, 2018. The possibility of regular route service to lighten the load on dial-a-ride service in Redwood Falls has been discussed for many years, but there has never been enough local matching funds.

This grant program offers the opportunity to get the project off the ground without any initial local investment.

During the pilot projects, community transit will track the effectiveness of these new routes making sure they can be sustained at the end of the grant period.

“If they are successful, we hope to get additional financial support to continue these routes,” said Amick.

The community transit program started out with a few volunteers driving residents to local senior dining sites.

In 1990 it began serving Jackson and Lyon counties as a public transit provider. It had one bus per county funded by MnDOT. That was the beginning. Community Transit is now an eight-county public transit service with a fleet of nearly 40 buses and 75 volunteer drivers.