With fewer people commuting and ridership still climbing out of the pandemic-era hole, some local transit agencies are mimicking the success of Uber and Lyft, operating their own similar services in the hope of serving transit users in new and more convenient ways.
Andrew Landon, who uses a wheelchair, recently spent a half an hour on his laptop at the Burnsville Transit Station waiting for a version of this service called Connect to take him home. Connect is Minnesota Valley Transit Authority’s Uber/Lyft-style service that takes riders from point A to point B, instead of using regular routes, in low-density areas.
These services have recovered beyond their pre-pandemic ridership. Connect is so popular that it’s having trouble keeping up with demand, even as the Legislature allocated over $9 million last year to build out Connect and similar systems statewide.