S.F. No. 1465 allows cities and towns to apply to the Metropolitan Council for financial assistance for replacement bus service. The application must be made between July 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017.
Background. A replacement service program was established in the early 1980s to provide service to suburban areas that applied for the service. These service providers are often referred to as the “opt-out” providers. A city or town was eligible for replacement service if it was located in the metropolitan transit taxing district; was not served by Met Council bus service or was only served with routes that began or ended within the city or town; and had fewer than four scheduled bus runs during off-peak hours. Cities and towns could apply separately or together on behalf of a transit operator that would provide them the service. Cities and towns have not been allowed to apply for replacement service under the general law since the late 1980s.
Under S.F. No. 1465, cities and towns would be allowed to apply for replacement service for a six-month period in 2017. The application must: describe the existing Metro Transit service; describe the proposed transit service; and indicate the total amount of available local transit funds. The Met Council must grant the requested financial assistance for replacement service if the council determines that the proposed service is intended to replace Metro Transit service to the applying city or town and that the proposed service will meet the needs of the applying city or town at least as efficiently and effectively as the existing service.