North Mankato offers new affordable transportation option

North Mankato offers new affordable transportation option

NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - A new daytime ridesharing service kicks off its one-year trial run today in North Mankato.

Ruby Ride provides affordable transportation and works similarly to Uber and Lyft.

For residents looking for a way to get around, there’s now one more option available.

Ruby Ride is a daytime transportation service; residents can request rides online, through an app on the App Store or Google Play, or over the phone.

“And it’s open to all our citizens for utilization from within North Mankato or from North Mankato over to Mankato, as a more flexible opportunity for using micro transit to get people around,” North Mankato Mayor Mark Dehen said.

Rides within the city cost $4 per passenger, and children five and older ride for 50 cents.

Residents can also choose to pay a monthly subscription price and receive unlimited rides.

The only requirement is that either the pick-up or drop-off location must be in North Mankato.

“For this first six months or so, we’re gonna lock those prices in for our citizens, and see how it grows,” said Donna Quick.

Ruby Ride currently has eight drivers, including Donna Quick, who retired from Dakota Meadows Middle School two years ago.

“I saw this actually on our water bill that comes. And I went online and checked it out, and I thought, I think that’s something I can do. It would be fun,” Quick added.

Quick has lived in the Mankato area for most of her life, and thinks Ruby Ride will be a great resource, especially for seniors.

“Oh I think it’s great" Quick exclaimed. "I thought, you know, we gotta get the word out that it’s available. And, being that I’m getting older myself I’m thinking, well, you know, not a lot of older people like to take buses because it’s hard to get on and off.”

State senator Nick Frentz (DFL) serves on the Transportation Finance and Police Committee.

He says services like Ruby Ride are greatly needed, in our area and across the state.

“Our area needs affordable transportation in a lot of ways, but one of the key ways is for youth, for the disabled, for the elderly to get around. And Ruby Ride is going to be a fantastic addition,” said Senator Frentz. “So we’re really looking forward to it, and hopefully this can be a model for other communities around the state.”

Ruby Ride begins with 20 riders this week.

The company is encouraging residents to sign up now, as they hope to open the service up to 50 more riders next week.

Ruby Ride is free to join for North Mankato residents. To learn more or sign up for the service, click here.

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