Itasca County Area Transportation Study

Principal Investigator(s):

Frank Douma, Director, State & Local Policy, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Project summary:

A team of researchers from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and Center for Transportation Studies conducted a study evaluating the cost and ease of implementing a variety of options for people to travel within and outside Itasca County, Minnesota.

Itasca county presents a challenge to transportation planners, as it is the third largest in the state by land area, but one of the smallest in terms of population. To gain an understanding of the key transportation needs, researchers held a series of focus groups, listening sessions, and one-on-one interviews, and also conducted background research that included demographic analysis, mapping of the "mis-match" between the location of jobs and where the workers lived, and a national scan of best practices in providing rural transportation.

This work resulted in a number of recommendations ranging from improving bike routes and awareness of public transportation, to improving bus service linking Itasca County to Duluth, and launching an online carpool service. The recommendations fall into five functional categories:

1. Policy and Administrative changes
2. Communications, Education, and Outreach changes

3. Opportunities for Coordination and Cooperation

4. Operations, Maintenance, and/or Service Improvements

5. Cost Sharing or Saving Opportunities


Project details: