UPDATE: A South DaCola foot soldier sent me this information about a story he read in the St. Cloud local paper;

One of the highlights I picked up in a quick scan – the original fixed route service which was replaced had a ridership of 5 riders per hour.  At the conclusion of the trial period (in late Dec 2019?), ridership for the On Demand version was 1/2 of the previous – 2.5 riders per hour.

Nonetheless, at that time, they continued the trial period in order to see if a different period of the calendar would yield different results.

Didn’t read/scan beyond that, but would surmise that they continued the trial, COVID-19 emerged (which wasn’t kind to public transportation of any type) and they finally decided, post COVID-19, that the On Demand model wasn’t working.

St. Cloud’s ON Demand system has been a pilot since 2019 (similar to Sioux Falls) and they decided to end it;

A temporary bus service in Sartell is coming to an end and a fixed route will replace the shared-ride service.

Metro Bus is sunsetting the ConneX on-demand service and resuming Fixed Route 32 starting on Sunday.

The pilot project was started in 2019 and extended several times before the decision was made to go back to the fixed route system for Sartell.

I tried to find some articles why they decided to ‘sunset’ the program but couldn’t really find anything (links are welcome in the comment section). My educated guess is that On Demand Transit doesn’t work well, isn’t efficient and leaves a lot of riders out of the equation.

The Sioux Falls City Council really needs to strap in and take a very active role in fixing our transit system in Sioux Falls. First call I would make as a councilor is to a city official with St. Cloud.

By l3wis

3 thoughts on “UPDATE: St. Cloud, MN bails on their On Demand Transit system (H/T-GFG)”
  1. Doesn’t it seem obvious that On Demand is neither feasible or economical? How about a special private arrangement with the likes of Uber? If ambulance service is private, why not transit?

  2. Why not bus services which circle the city? Some buses would circle out from the core of the city, while others would circle in from the outskirts of the city. You would just have to make sure you get on the right on going left or right. Then, all neighborhoods would be involved in the transit system. Perhaps, the centrifugal forces that would ensue from these buses could be tapped as a new form of energy that could be sold, which would then pay for the entirely new transit system for our fine town, which would encompass all parts of our fine metropolis. Those who might get dizzy from this new system, however, could be given complementary Dramamine pills as well.

  3. “Wow!”…. “I love the idea of a centrifugal bus service”… “I’d take it just for fun”… “Being a little high might help, too”…. “But it would be a bummer if you took the left one when you really needed the right one”…. “I could imagine people with their faces pressed up against the bus’ windows screaming for help after they learn they’re headed for Pettigrew Heights and not Taupeville”….

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