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New bus route connects Fulda and Worthington

FULDA — A new bus route running between Fulda and Worthington has begun service.

Operated by Community Transit of United Community Action Partnership (UCAP), the bus route started Tuesday and makes trips on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It departs from Fulda at 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.  

The bus doesn’t have designated stops, but rather picks up riders on a door-to-door basis. Riders must call the dispatch ahead of time to arrange their trip, so trips are coordinated to include as many passengers as possible based on their pickup and drop-off locations. On its way to Worthington and back, the bus will stop at communities along the route, as requested.

The bus route is one of two projects funded through a March $289,200 grant from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). The second pilot project is designated for a route in Redwood Falls beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

Cathleen Amick, UCAP transportation director, said the service will mainly be for non-drivers who need to travel to Worthington for things like doctor’s appointments and shopping. The new route gives Community Transit another option to provide for riders, as the agency had not been able to provide enough rides to keep up with demand from area residents.

The bus route will be funded for two years. During that time, it will be evaluated for its effectiveness, after which Amick hopes it can be extended to become part of UCAP’s regular services.

“If it is successful, we hope to get additional financial support to continue the route beyond July 2019,” Amick said.

The cost is $3 each way. Riders should call the UCAP dispatch office ahead of time at (507) 847-2632 to arrange a pickup time and location.