The MAPO area is served by a variety of public and private transit providers. The largest of these is the Greater Mankato Transit System (GMTS). Increasingly more people are enjoying the GMTS and other regional providers. Below is a refresher on how to help ensure your bus ride is safe, enjoyable, and efficient.
1. Know your route. GMTS route information is available here.
2. Use Google Maps. For those with smart phones, just type your destination into Google Maps and select the “bus” icon. GMTS has uploaded route information to Google to help riders find their way.
3. Have your fare ready ahead of time when boarding. This will help ensure everyone gets there on time. Fill the bus seats in the back first.
4. Sit appropriately. The “courtesy seats” (the seats nearest the front) shouldn’t be used until the bus starts to fill up, unless you are elderly, disabled, or pregnant.
5. All buses are ADA accessible and equipped to accommodate wheelchairs, scooters and walkers.
9. Consider purchasing a 30-Day Frequent Rider Bus Pass.
10. Don’t inflict your noise on others. Loud talking, electronics, and singing can be distracting. Wear ear buds and keep the volume low enough so that only you can hear it.
11. All buses are equipped with bike racks and may be used at no extra charge. Bicycles are not allowed inside the bus.
The Mankato/North Mankato Area Planning Organization (MAPO) is responsible for regional transportation planning within and throughout the Greater Mankato area. This includes pedestrian, bicyclist, transit, automotive, rail, and aviation. The MAPO is the federally-designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the three-county urban/rural area. This means the MAPO must provide a continuing, coordinated, and comprehensive transportation planning process in order to obtain federal transportation funds.
The MAPO must prepare a long-range (20-year) Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) for the region every 4 years. It also selects projects for federal funding and prepares a four-year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), through the MAPO Policy Board, made up of local elected officials, and the Policy Board’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). The TIP includes all federally funded transportation projects in the MAPO area, and development of the TIP includes significant input from citizens and interested groups. The MAPO continually produces a wide range of studies, plans, and recommendations to improve transportation within and throughout the Greater Mankato area.
The MAPO was established in 2012 in response to the 2010 U.S. Census, which designated the Mankato/North Mankato region as an urbanized area (metropolitan statistical area–MSA), requiring the formation of a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).
MAPO is a partnership of the cities of Mankato, North Mankato, Eagle Lake, and Skyline; Blue Earth and Nicollet counties; and the townships of Belgrade, Lime, South Bend, LeRay and Mankato.
MAPO is directed by a six-member Policy Board and advised by a Technical Advisory Committee. The Technical Advisory Committee reviews and formulates recommendations to the Policy Board regarding plans for the Unified Planning Work Program, Long Range Transportation Plan, Transportation Improvement Program as well as other plans and studies MAPO prepares.
The MAPO is located at 10 Civic Center Plaza in Mankato, Minnesota. It is staffed by Executive Director Paul Vogel and Transportation Planner Charles Androsky.