About Timber Trails
Timber Trails Public Transit is a department of Kanabec County. We provide transportation to Kanabec and Mille Lacs County residents through three distinct programs: Public Transit Bus Service, Access Medical Transportation through our Common Carrier Program and Veteran’s Transportation. Each of these programs has their own funding sources and their own service guidelines. Having one agency providing all of these types of service makes it much easier for county residents to get their transportation needs met.
Public Transit Service in Greater Minnesota is just a little different than the service you see in larger cities. Our buses are not as large and our service doesn’t always run along a fixed route. Timber Trails provides curb-to-curb service using life equipped buses running on deviated routes. Just like metro service, people of every age ride our buses for all sorts of reasons. We take people shopping, visiting, to see doctors and get health care; to bible studies and to restaurants for dinner. Little ones ride the buses to pre-school and back to daycare. Moms & Dads take their kids to the library and the museums. Lots of people ride the bus to work. It’s truly a service for everyone.
Timber Trails receives funding for our Public Transit Service from both Federal and State sources. Federal funding for public transportation flows into MN/DOT and each year MN/DOT contracts with Kanabec County to provide public transit service in Kanabec and Mille Lacs County. That funding covers about 85% of the cost of operating the service. That funding is why a rider can get a bus ride for as little as $1.50 for a one-way trip. The remaining 15% is our local match. Timber Trails has been able to make its local match right from the fare boxes on the buses. There is strong community support for the bus service from Kanabec and Mille Lacs County as well as the cities that we serve. The best way you can help is to ride the bus!
The medical transportation provided through our Common Carrier program makes it possible for county residents who don’t have transportation to get to their medical, therapy and counseling appointments. Making medical care accessible leads to reduced need for expensive medical care like ambulance rides and inpatient hospital treatment. The Common Carrier program utilizes volunteer drivers who use their private vehicles to provide rides. They are reimbursed the IRS business mileage rate for every mile they drive and they volunteer their time.
Veteran’s Transportation gives veterans an economical way to get to Minneapolis or St. Cloud Veteran’s Center for medical care. Funding for the Veteran’s Transportation Service comes from each county and from various veterans’ organizations throughout both counties. Vehicles are purchased through grant funding and with local county dollars.
What makes us successful? Our funding and our growth depend on the number of riders using our services. We want to make sure we are here to serve the community, and to grow with it into the future. Through our dispatch software we track the number of trips riders make and those statistics become the bench marks used to determine funding levels, expansion needs and plans for future growth.
The current Timber Trails Public Transit service can trace its roots back to Senor Bus Service in both Kanabec and Mille Lacs County. Senior Bus service started in 1978 in Mille Lacs County and about 1970 in Kanabec County. The Mille Lacs Senior service eventually applied for funding from MN/DOT and the service officially became public transit in 1995. In 2009 we joined our service with Kanabec County’s and became Timber Trails Public Transit.
Timber Trails Advisory Committee
The Transit Advisory Council (TAC) works with agency staff in an advisory capacity to help plan the future of transportation in our communities. The TAC meets the first Thursday of selected months (See list below). The meetings are held alternately in Kanabec and Mille Lacs County locations. These meetings are open to the public and we encourage the public to participate. Insight from our riders and community members are essential to improve our services and plan for the future.
Please email the Transit Director – Helen Pieper at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the direct line (320) 364-1351 to get more details or to share your thoughts.
2016 Timber Trails Transit Advisory Committee (TAC) Meetings
- January 5, 2017 – Mora
- March 2, 2017- Mora
- May 4, 2017 – Mora
- December 7, 2017 – Mora
Meeting will be held at the Timber Trails Public Transit Office at: 300 Industrial Park Road Mora, MN 55051