Public transportation growth leads to new transit facility in Buffalo


The Trailblazer Transit will serve Wright County with public transportation. The groundbreaking ceremony for the Trailblazer Transit facility in Buffalo was July 8, 2015. The target completion date is May 1, 2016.

Trailblazer Joint Powers Board Members - Lynn Kissock (Board Member), Jack Russek (Vice-chairperson), Ron Shimanski (Chairperson), Doug Krueger (Board Member) and Bill Pinske (Board Member). Board members not pictured are Sheldon Nies and Jim Swanson.

Groundbreaking for the Trailblazer Transit facility in Buffalo on Wednesday, July 8. Front Row: Gary Ludwig (Trailblazer Transit Operations Manager), Al Munson (City of Howard Lake), Nadine Schoen (City of St. Michael), Lynn Kissock (WCAT Vice Chair, Mayor of Maple Lake), Jack Russek (WCAT Chair, City of Delano), Ron Shimanski (County Commissioner McLeod County), Butch Amundsen (City of Cokato), Doug Krueger (County Commissioner McLeod County), Bill Pinske (County Commissioner Sibley County), Laureen Bodin (City of Buffalo), Scott Enter (City of Buffalo) and Merton Auger (Mayor of Buffalo). Back Row: Tonia Persons (Trailblazer Transit) and Bill Mathews (Trailblazer Transit).

 

Trailblazer Transit is a general-public transit system that provides transportation to people of all ages for almost any reason. Trailblazer provides an enhanced demand response service, also known as Dial-A-Ride service, and contract transit service for larger organizations.  Buffalo-based Functional Industries is one of Trailblazer’s largest contract customers, and contracts with other organizations will also be considered as service in Wright County grows.
Bids were opened on July 1, , at the city offices in Buffalo for a new transit facility. There were 28 bid packages to allow a larger number and more diverse group of vendors to participate in the project. A groundbreaking took place on July 8, for the new Trailblazer Transit facility in Buffalo which will be paid for and owned by the City of Buffalo with a completion target date on or before May 1, 2016. 
The Minnesota Department of Transportation provides Trailblazer Transit with funding to operate a transit system in Sibley, McLeod, and Wright counties, and the transit system’s operating budget will be used to pay the rent for the new transit facility in Buffalo. Vos Construction from Green Isle, who is the construction manager of the project, is currently reviewing the bids and will be working with the City of Buffalo to finalize a construction budget and gross maximum price for the project. The architect for the facility is Brunton Architects from Mankato. The estimated project cost is $3.4 million, of which just under $450,000 total was spent on four acres of land. Trailblazer Transit will rent the property for 20 years with the option to purchase at any time. The new facility will consist of office space, a meeting room, a transfer hub, and a heated garage designed to accommodate the cleaning and storage of 20 transit buses. Bus maintenance will be completed off-site at local vendors. 
More information appears in this week's Messenger.
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