Camila Fonseca-Sarmiento, Raihana Zeerak, Anthony Schuette, Niyati Panchal, Jerry Zhao
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.
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