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The various county boards will be considering their proposed contributions over the next few weeks, and the county commissioners on the task force are confident they'll get the money. Pine County has already voted not to contribute to the bus service, said Commissioner Roger Nelson.
"We're committed to the concept," he said. But because Pine County would have no riders in the current route, he said, it wouldn't make sense to pay right now.
Planners still need to determine exact locations for bus stops and contract for buses.
While the bus plan is motoring along, another study looking at the feasibility of rail service is about two-thirds done. A successful commuter bus service could be a factor in helping to get federal money for a rail line, although task force members acknowledge that a train would still be at least a decade away from reality.
For now, though, Rush Line bus supporters are optimistic that the rubber will hit the road early next year -- maybe even sooner.
"It meets a community need but also lays the groundwork for potential transit options in the future," said Chisago County Commissioner Ben Montzka. "It's a step we have to take for our future."
Chris Havens 651-298-1542
Chris Havens firstname.lastname@example.org