MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — You see them all over the Twin Cities: Metro Mobility buses.
Ridership increases nearly 10 percent every year, and it’s almost impossible not to notice them.
There are 406 shuttling across the Twin Cities. There’ll be 450 by the fall.
The service began in 1976 as part of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Metro Mobility is for people of any age with a disability or health condition that keeps them from riding the regular fixed-route buses.
Today, it serves 93 Twin Cities communities.
“We go all the way from Mound, which is out by Minnetonka, to Stillwater. All the way from Anoka down to Savage,” said Andrew Krueger, Metro Mobility’s senior manager.
He’s part of the process that decides who’s eligible to get on.
Potential riders contact the Met Council and fill out an application. They then need a certified doctor to verify their condition.
“Sometimes that doesn’t give us enough information so we ask the person to come in for an in-person assessment or interview,” Krueger said.
Once certified though, a rider can call up to four days in advance to set up their ride.
“Just like the regular city bus, we don’t make a determination on who can ride the bus based on where they are going,” Krueger said.
And like the city bus, it’s not free.
The state general funds primarily pay for the service.
But while ridership continues to take off, riders pay an exact fare to get on board.
“Like the city bus, we have peak and off peak fares,” Krueger said. “So if you’re riding off peak, non-rush hour times the cost is $3 per one-way trip. During the peak time, it’s $4 per one-way trip.”
Certified riders can bring another person along with them.
Metro Mobility has 38,000 certified riders, and they average more than 6,500 rides per week day.