Minnesota, Vermont Experiment With Rural Trip Planning Websites

Pilot programs in the two states aimed to make transit information more accessible for riders in rural areas, where on-demand and microtransit services make trip planning more complex.

1 minute read

March 13, 2024, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


White microbus with yellow stripe on rural road with empty road and blue sky in background.

eldadcarin / Adobe Stock

According to an article by H. Jiahong Pan in The Daily Yonder, “Transportation planners in Vermont and Minnesota are working to bring rural transit riders the same app features that urbanites have been enjoying for almost a decade.”

The two states are developing trip planning websites to help residents navigate the “variable and underappreciated” rural transit systems that often rely on on-demand transit and other less traditional options. “In building trip planners, both Vermont and Minnesota worked with Trillium Transit to compile the start, end, travel times, and paths of every trip their dial-a-ride systems have completed. These trips were, and continue to be, analyzed by web and mobile apps like Transit to calculate itineraries.”

The programs aren’t perfectly streamlined: some can’t calculate long-distance trips, and riders still need to make a phone call to schedule many rural dial-a-ride services. In some cases, “Lack of internet access also seems to affect how one can plan a trip on public transit.”

Tuesday, March 12, 2024 in The Daily Yonder

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