River Rider program officially ends


After more than six months of debate, argument and questions, the River Rider transit system officially went dark on June 30. On July 1, the Wright County Board of Commissioners met and, if the commissioners who served on the River Rider Board were any indication, the transition to Trailblazer Transit, which serves Meeker and Sibley counties, is happening, but not as the county or many of its riders were hoping to see.
For Commissioner Pat Sawatzke, it was a bittersweet moment because he has been on the River Rider board since its inception in 2002 and he was sad to see the deadline come and go.
“River Rider was a program that was successful in its own way,” Sawatzke said. “It was a self-sustaining program that was able to not only operate, but make money. I’m partial because I’ve been on the River Rider board since there was a River Rider board. We fought to keep the program alive and to find alternatives that would keep the program under our own control. In the end, it wasn’t the county board that had the biggest impact on its future. The most (powerful) player was MnDOT (Minnesota Department of Transportation).”
More information appears in this week's Messenger.
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