Possible Kandiyohi/Renville Transportation Merger 07 Oct 13

The future of transit services in Kandiyohi and Renville counties could mean a merger of the county’s two separate systems.

The West Central Tribune reports with strong encouragement by the state, discussions are underway for the two counties to coordinate, cooperate and consolidate their transit systems as a means of providing better service for residents.

A merged system could also enhance chances for obtaining federal transit grants, according to Bev Herfindahl, with the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s transit program.

Because of anticipated reductions in public transit funding, additional federal regulations and a focus on increasing efficiencies in operations, the Greater Minnesota Public Transit Investment Plan includes options for refining the current network of rural transit systems into one that may blur the border of county lines.

At their meeting Friday morning, the Kandiyohi Area Transit joint powers board expressed support strong for continuing talks withRenvilleCounty.

If the proposal advances, there would likely be a joint powers agreement between the two transit systems.

Herfindahl is lobbying to get a state grant that would fund a four-month study to help Kandiyohi and Renville counties examine details about how to structure a merged system.