ROSEMOUNT-Minnesota Valley Transit Authority will roll out new bus service to Dakota County Technical College on Aug. 20.
The service has been sought by college students for several years and will be an extension of the existing MVTA Route 420 from Rosemount Transit Station to Dakota County Technical College.
The first two years of the route are being funded through support from Dakota County as part of its East-West Transit Study.
The route will offer two morning trips to the campus, two afternoon trips, as well as single trips in the afternoon and evening. Route 420 is a local route with a rush-hour fare of $2.50.
The DCTC Student Senate advocated for transportation options for students steadily since 2013 and MVTA Executive Director Luther Wynder said expressed pleasure that the service has become a reality.
"Public transit can provide a vital link for area students to obtain needed education," Wynder said.
"MVTA is looking forward to starting the route extension to DCTC, and is thankful for the support for the service provided by local communities, public officials and DCTC students."
A 2016 DCTC Student Survey indicated 30 percent of DCTC students were interested in using transit service. The top cities of residence for DCTC students include Burnsville, Rosemount and Lakeville.
DCTC's Chief Academic Officer Mike Opp is also enthusiastic to welcome new students to DCTC now that Route 420 will be extended to the campus.
"We have always believed there are students interested in our college and our programs, but did not consider us due to not having reliable transportation to our campus," Opp said.
"The current bus schedule will provide that reliable transportation and it works well with the way our programs are scheduled," Opp added.
Rosemount Mayor Bill Droste said this provides a great option for transit-dependent riders and riders of choice. Droste serves as the chair for the MVTA Board.
"The agency is proactively seeking innovative solutions to continue serving customers in the future," Droste said.
According to rider surveys, the top three reasons customers use transit are to save money, avoid the stress of driving and convenience. About 86 percent of riders use transit to commute to work and 12 percent use it for school commutes.
Information regarding the Route 420 service extension is available on Trip Planners and pocket schedules.
"This service will help fulfill an identified transit need in the county," said Dakota County Commissioner Chris Gerlach. "Representatives at Dakota County Technical College have been advocating for enhanced transportation options to serve our college for many years."
For route information, go to www.mvta.com or contact Minnesota Valley Transit Authority Customer Service at 952-882-7500.