DTA schedules May public meeting on route changes
The Duluth Transit Authority has scheduled a public meeting May 28 to record comments related to a proposal to eliminate two routes it says do not meet criteria.
The routes, 20 and 22, would be the second and third routes eliminated from among five routes added in 2017 on an experimental basis using state grant money, a DTA news release said. State funding for the routes expires in June. The Minnesota Department of Transportation spent more than $23 million statewide the last two years in an effort to test ways to expand transit services in rural areas throughout the state.
Two of the experimental routes, Gary-New Duluth to the Miller Hill Mall, as well as the University of Minnesota Duluth maroon and gold circulators from the Central Hillside, have done well and are being retained.
The 20 bus goes from the Duluth Transportation Center downtown to UnitedHealthcare in the Kenwood neighborhood and the airpark. The 22 bus picks up at old Lincoln Park Middle School and reaches 26th Avenue East via London Road. The Lincoln Park pickup has already been reduced to mornings-only throughout the summer. The 20 has been reduced to two morning and two evening runs. The DTA is proposing to eliminate the routes effective Aug. 25, the DTA news release said.
The public meeting May 28 will be at the Duluth Transportation Center (228 W. Michigan St.) from 4-5:30 p.m. All public comments regarding the service elimination will be compiled and shared with the DTA board of directors for review at its meeting May 29. The DTA board will vote on a final decision.
The original idea behind the routes was to see which ones could become self-sufficient, the DTA has explained. Otherwise, routes need to be funded by the DTA’s capital budget, which is generally used to buy and maintain buses and equipment.
The DTA said it will take public comment in multiple formats including written comments, emails, phone calls or in person at the public meeting. Emails can be sent to email@example.com or call the DTA at 218-722-7283.