The Minnesota Public Transit Association has awarded SouthWest Transit in Scott and Carver Counties the Management Innovation Award in recognition of its “Park-Out” program. This program reduces fuel and maintenance costs without reducing service hours for riders, according to an SWT press release.
The “Park-Out” program began a few years ago as fuel prices began to rise and consume more of the agency’s operating budget. It allows drivers to leave buses close to downtown Minneapolis after the morning rush-hour peak, rather than drive an empty bus back to the garage in Eden Prairie.
Len Simich, SouthWest Transit CEO, estimates the program has saved approximately $165,000 in fuel costs per year without reducing any service to riders.