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CTS Webinar: Strategies for Enhancing Rural Community Transit

Tuesday, April 30, 2024, 1:00–2:30 pm

About the Event

This webinar featured two presentations focused on enhancing public transit in rural communities. 

Tom Fisher described how researchers at the U's Minnesota Design Center worked with the leadership of Wabasha, Minnesota, to evaluate how the city could leverage its underutilized transportation assets and its underemployed transportation personnel as a community based, on-demand transit system. As part of this effort, Fisher's team looked at how people are finding transportation through informal and social media channels, explored how the city could support and enhance that activity, and identified the regulatory and risk barriers to fully using the transportation assets that exist in small, rural communities.

Elliott McFadden highlighted MnDOT's Mobility as a Service (MaaS) project, with a focus on how the agency is bringing MaaS technology to rural public transit agencies and their riders.

The webinar, held in conjunction with a CTS Transportation Planning and the Economy Council meeting, was part of CTS's Rural Needs, Statewide Answers: Improving Transportation for All thematic focus in 2024. 


Tom Fisher
Tom Fisher

Thomas Fisher is the director of the Minnesota Design Center at the University of Minnesota. He specializes in design thinking and systems design, including transportation systems and transportation-related land use and zoning. His current work focuses on the infrastructure and community impacts of autonomous vehicles, mobility services, and the sharing economy, as well as the land-use, transportation, and living and working impacts of pandemics.

Elliott McFadden
Elliott McFadden

Elliott McFadden is the Greater Minnesota Shared Mobility Coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Transportation. In this role, he leads efforts to pilot and scale shared mobility services with public transit partners in rural and small urban communities in Greater Minnesota. He currently manages MnDOT’s Moving Greater Minnesota Forward Program, the first and only shared mobility innovation incubator in the nation to focus on the unique needs of rural, tribal, and small urban communities. He also leads MnDOT’s regional Mobility as a Service project in partnership with the FTA.

More Information

Please contact Samantha Hahn-Douville at