People in Blue Earth, Nicollet and Le Sueur Counties now have access to rural county-wide public transportation for the first time.

TRUE Transit is now offering scheduled routes and community dial-a-ride service for those that need to do their shopping, get to the doctor or visit family and friends.

VINE Faith in Action began to create the public transit system in 2016, which is intended to serve people of all ages living in unserved rural areas, at the request of the Minnesota Department of Transportation and Blue Earth, Nicollet, and Le Sueur Counties.

“Town, Rural, Urban Express,” was launched a year ago using volunteer drivers and one small bus.  Two additional buses arrived in late October and officials say two more are on the way.

More than 1,200 rides were provided in 2017, but that number is expected to greatly increase in 2018, now that the system is completely up and running.

One-way passenger fares on scheduled routes are $3.00.  VINE says these fares are highly subsidized by MnDOT and county governments.