Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

State grants for bus firms raise conflict-of-interest questions for MnDOT commissioner


Two bus companies owned by Minnesota Transportation Commissioner Charles Zelle received nearly all of the state subsidies for rural bus routes in 2013, the first year the state offered funding for the intercity bus program.

Jefferson Lines, which operates rural bus routes in Minnesota, and Land to Air Express, an airport shuttle service, received $2.3 million in state and federal grant money in 2013, according to a 2014 report by Zelle’s department. Those state and federal subsidies accounted for nearly 60 percent of the companies’ budget to operate the subsidized routes, the report said.


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