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Trailblazer expansion saves money for counties

Trailblazer Transit’s expansion of service into Wright County has turned out to be good news for residents in McLeod and Sibley counties — the local bill is going to be much less.
The “local share” of the cost of running Trailblazer — the cost that is above and beyond what is reimbursed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) — will be much less in 2015 for two reasons: first, it will be split among three entities instead of two; and, second, increasing ridership in Wright County means increased revenue in the fare box and through contracted services.
The 2015 local share will be split three ways, with McLeod County bearing 50 percent of the local share, a projected $38,675, and Sibley County and Wright County Area Transit (WCAT, a coalition of Wright County cities and townships) will each pay 25 percent, or about $19,338 each.
“Sibley and McLeod counties were used to sharing up to $650,000 a year,” said Gary Ludwig, exeutive director. “So that is great news for them.”
For 2014, the local share for McLeod County had been projected to be nearly $300,000, while Sibley’s was projected at about $150,000.
With WCAT coming in mid-year, the final estimated 2014 local share will be McLeod County, $245,944; Sibley County, $122,971; and WCAT, $78,885.

For more, see the Dec. 24 print edition of The Chronicle.