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Trailblazer ridership up, expenses down

Rides are up, costs are down, the Trailblazer Transit Joint Powers Board heard Thursday morning.
Executive Director Gary Ludwig reviewed by ride statistics and a mid-year expense and revenue report with the board members.
The transit system is running considerably under its proposed budget for several reasons, Ludwig said. The system has only spent about 36 percent of its projected expenses through the first six months of 2015. The total annual budget is about $4.17 million.
First, Ludwig said, Trailblazer does not have as much service on the road as it had anticipated, plus the cost of fuel is considerably less than it was last year.
Second, “there is some administrative staff that we’ve been expecting to hire that we do not have yet.”
However, the number of rides is still up considerably, primarily because of the expanded service into Wright County.
“We’ve had well over a 40 percent increase (in rides)  from 2014 to 2015,” said McLeod County Commissioner Ron Shimanski, the Joint Powers Board’s chair.

For more, see the Sept. 23 print edition of The Chronicle.