Deb Little, manager of Northfield Transit, called the extension "a gift to the Northfield community."
With their contribution, the colleges are "paying for an additional one thousand, two hundred and fifty hours of transit service that is available to both students and citizens," Little said. "This is a valuable partnership that benefits the entire community. Without this partnership, we would not be able to expand service."
While some students rely on Northfield Transit for only the occasional ride to Target, others use the shuttles on a regular basis.
Erin Swanson '07 depends on the transit service in order to get to her job at Northfield Montessori three times a week. "If there wasnt Northfield Transit, I probably wouldnt have that job because I dont have a car," Swanson said.
Joel Bergeland 08 has also benefitted from weekly transit service. Bergeland, who volunteered at Bridgewater Elementary School last year, said that Northfield Transit helps car-less students to get involved in the community and to get off the Hill.
Bergeland sees the extension of public transportation as a step forward as the St. Olaf student body confronts its use of fossil fuels in this year of sustainability.
Northfield Transit, which is in its second year of partnership with the colleges, provided 10,294 rides to college students during the 2004-2005 academic year.
Northfield Transit offers scheduled pick-ups, as well as a dial-a-ride service, which requires a two-hour advance ride reservation. Rides are free to students who show an ID.
A copy of the updated bus schedule, along with general information on Northfield Transit, can be found at the Buntrock information desk.