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Transportation in Minnesota

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The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) overviews the entire transportation network of the state to ensure safe and easy commuting of people and goods. MnDOT owns, manages and maintains numerous lane-miles of roadways, bridges, tunnels, rails and also responsible for air and water quality, communities and roadsides maintenance and cleanliness. MnDOT maintains and functions to ensure a safe, efficient and convenient multimodal transportation network and provide easy connectivity of people and goods to many destinations and markets across the state and worldwide.

Minnesota's transportation network is mainly concentrated on the Twin Cities metropolitan area, which is the most populated region in Minnesota. The state government also allow the Metropolitan Council authority to manages regional transportation planning in the 7 county metro area.

MnDOT has initiated and implemented a State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) which is a four year transportation improvement program. STIP sorts out and manages all funding and scheduling of the various ongoing transportation improvement projects proposed by state fiscal year.

travel network

The program encompasses-

  • The entire state and regional transportation projects with federal highway
  • Federal transit funding coupled with full state funded transportation projects
  • Rail, aviation and port projects

Minnesota Road Transportation

The road transportation in Minnesota comprises of several interstate highways, state routes, bridges and tunnels. MnDOT is determined to ensure safe, convenient and excellent transportation and also to provide easy connectivity to various cities and states.

The important Interstate Highways in Minnesota are I-35, I-90, and I-94. The interstate highways form an important part of inter-regional corridors. The state highways included in the inter-regional corridors are 23, 34, 36, 60, 210, and 371.

Interstate 35: I-35 is a north–south Interstate Highway that extends from Laredo in Texas to Duluth in Minnesota, at Minnesota Highway 61 and 26th Avenue East. The states it links include Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas and Minnesota.

Interstate 90: I-90 is the nation’s longest Interstate Highway. The west end of the highway is in Seattle and its east end is in Boston, Massachusetts. The states it links include Washington, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

Interstate 94: I-94 is the extreme north and east–west Interstate Highway. It links the Inter-mountain regions and Great Lakes of the country. The west end of the highway is in Billings, Montana.


Biking in Minnesota

The Statewide Bicycle System Plan is a modal plan that has been initiated to meet the state's rising biking priorities along with providing safe transportation to all bicyclists across the state. The program is focused to elevate bicycling in the state as it is an energy-efficient, healthy and non-polluting transportation alternative.

The various bike and trail detours include-

Pedestrian System Plan

The state-wide Pedestrian System Plan is an undergoing program that was initiated by the Minnesota Department of Health and MnDOT. The program outlines all rules and laws that the pedestrians must abide and also is determined to provide safe, convenient and comfortable pedestrian maneuver throughout the state.

The 2 phases of the plan include-

  • Phase I - This phase performs thorough background research and collecting important information of the present condition of the pedestrian environment throughout the state.

  • Phase II: This phase works to build a state-wide vision for pedestrians.

Contact Details:
Minnesota Department of Transportationroads
Office of Transit
Mail Stop 315
395 John Ireland Boulevard
St. Paul, Minnesota 55155

Tim Mitchell, program director
tim.mitchell@state.mn.us, 651-366-4162

Greta Alquist, planning coordinator
greta.alquist@state.mn.us, 651-366-4164

Lisa Austin, planning coordinator
lisa.austin@state.mn.us, 651-366-4193


The Adopt-A-Highway-Program provides a great opportunity for individuals, organizations, schools or businesses to help maintain cleanliness of all roads within Minnesota’s State Highway System and also plant trees or wildflowers, and helps remove graffiti, to make roads more appealing. All volunteers must be at least 12 years old and those above 18 years must be under proper adult supervision.The program is a successful government-public partnership program and various schools, social groups, business entities and religious groups actively adopt and participate in the program. The program helps to keeps the state clean by effectively reminding people not to litter, and also assist in saving taxpayers’ money.

Learn more: Contact Adopt-A-Highway-Program Coordinator

Road Transit Choices in Minnesota

Metro Transit Bus

Metro Transit serves the state of Minnesota by providing services of 123 bus routes, using a fleet of 885 buses [1]. The buses of Metro Transit are well equipped for the convenient travel of the people. All buses are geared with lifts for wheelchair and racks for bicycles.

Contact Metro Transit Customer Service at 612.373.3333 (TTY 612.341.0140)

Metro Mobility

Metro Mobility is a shared transportation system for public, specially serving certified riders who have health conditions or disability and are not able to commute or navigate using the regular fixed-route buses. The eligibility factors to use metro mobility are determined by Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines.

Contact Metro Mobility Customer Service at 651.602.1111 (TTY 651.291.0904)

After Hours Contacts:

Evenings / Weekend: After 4 p.m, please contact the service providers directly.
First Transit - 651.602.1120
Serving northern Dakota County, Washington County, St. Paul and surrounding communities as well as a portion of Minneapolis
Transit Team – 651.602.1100
Anoka County Traveler – 651.602.1170
Serving Anoka County
Scott County Transit (SmartLink) – 952.496.8001
Serving Scott County

Transit Link Service

Transit Link is a public dial-a-ride mini bus service in the Twin Cities where there is unavailability of regular route transit service. A combined services of regular route and Transit Link are offered where trips are not fusible using normal transit routes alone.

Call 651.602.LINK (5465) to reserve a ridesigns
Email us: transitlink@metc.state.mn.us

Fares & tickets

  • Ten miles or less trips - $2.25 each way
  • Between 10 and 20 miles - $4.50 each way
  • More than 20 miles - $6.75 each way
  • ADA-certified riders - $4.50 per direction (maximum)

    Group discounts are also available.


Megabus.com is one of the first of its kinds, low-cost express bus service that offers round trip from city center and cost nominal $1 via the Internet. Megabus service networks are available throughout Dallas - Houston, Dallas - Austin, Dallas - San Antonio, Houston - New Orleans and Houston - San Antonio.

Learn more: Information on Megabus services, reservations, bus routes and stops

Greyhound Bus Service

Greyhound Lines, Inc.
P.O. Box 660691, MS 470
Dallas, TX 75266-0691

Customer Assistance: 214-849-8966
7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., Central time zone, Monday through FridayBus

Fare and schedule information:
01-800-710-8819 (Mexico)

Learn more: Greyhound bus service detailed information

Other important contact information

Jefferson Lines

Jefferson Lines is a transportation company that offers scheduled services and a full range of group travel services.

Contact Details:

Fare and schedule information or customer service: 800-451-5333 | info@jeffersonlines.com

Baggage Tracing: 888-465-1532

Jefferson Lines Maintenance Facility: 00-767-5333 ext. 485

Employment inquiries: Phone: 800-767-5333 ext. 426

For fare and schedule information in Spanish, please call 612-284-4837

Para informacion en espanol, llame al: 612-284-4837

Learn more: Details on Jefferson Lines

Important Guidelines on driving in Minnesota:

  • Driver and vehicle licenses and renewals are handled by the Department of Public Safety, Driver and Vehicle Services

  • For more information, contact DVS.motor.vehicles@state.mn.us.

  • For all online services of license renewal, change of address, check driving record, report a crash, schedule a road test, click here

  • To locate a driver's license exam station or Motor Vehicle Deputy Registrar's office, click here

  • For information on truck size and weight limit, click here

Minnesota Rail Transportation

The railways is also one of the main transportation modes in Minnesota that serves people from all walks of life and also important for cargo transfer. The Metropolitan Council is the local planning and policy enacting council that provide important transportation services for the Twin Cities metropolitan region. Metro transit is one of the various services provided by the council.


Commuter Rail

Northstar commuter rail line: It is owned and operated by BNSF Railway and Metropolitan Council. It serves regions within and around St. Cloud and Minneapolis and links Big Lake to downtown Minneapolis. BNSF Railways owned right-of-way of Northstar commuter rail line.

Metro Transit Customer Service: (612) 373-3333

For schedules, park and ride locations, online trip planner, and more, click here


The METRO Blue Line: It provides light-rail service. It serves 19 stations and connects Mall of America and downtown Minneapolis.

Metro Blue Line Schedule

Intercity Passenger Rail

Empire Builder: It is a major intercity passenger rail operated by Amtrak in Minnesota. It links between points west and Chicago. One train operates daily in each direction.

  • Empire Builder route: Chicago, Ill. - Portland, Ore. - Seattle, Washington.

  • Station stops: Winona, Red Wing, St. Paul/Minneapolis, St. Cloud, Staples, and Detroit Lakes.

  • Track owners: BNSF Railway (Seattle - Minneapolis, Minnesota Commercial Railway (Minneapolis - St. Paul, Canadian Pacific (St. Paul - Glenview) and Metra (Glenview - Chicago)

Also read: Amtrak services

Minnesota's important freight railroads are-

  • BNSF Railway
  • Union Pacific Railroad
  • Canadian National Railway
  • Canadian Pacific Railway and its Minnesota, Dakota and Eastern Railroad subsidiary.

The major good moved to and from the state include taconite (iron ore), coal, grain and other agricultural products. The freight rails in Minnesota play a very important part in the multimodal transportation system. The various major industries of the state mainly depend on the freight rail system for effective movement of goods and delivery to markets across the state, across North America, and worldwide using seaports.

Rail Contact Details:

Rail Planning and Development
Tim Spencer, Manager

Peter Dahlberg, RGCIP Manager

Tom Gellerman, Rail Data

Rail Administration
Metro District
Jim Weatherhead, Proj. Mgr.
cell: 651-785-6802

District 1 and 4
Paul Delarosa, Proj. Mgr.
cell: 952-381-5640

Districts 2 and 3
Rick VanWagner, Proj. Mgr.
cell: 952-381-5951

Districts 6, 7, 8
Dennis Williams, Proj. Mgr.
Minnesota Rail Service Improvement (MRSI)
Peter Dahlberg

Rail Administration
Rail Grade Crossing Improvement Program (RGCIP)
Tim Spencer

Rail-Highway Construction
Jim Weatherhead
cell: 651-785-6802

Rail Regulatory Activities
Rick VanWagner
cell: 952-381-5951

Maps, Data & Tools
George Thibault, Proj. Mgr.

Rail Planning & Program Development
Freight Rail Economic Development
Dave Christianson

Minnesota Air Transportation

Air transport is an essential gateway of Minnesota that serves the locals and tourists from all over the world. It is the major mode that offers all round efficient and easy connectivity. The Federal Aviation Administration authorizes and oversees all flight operations in Minnesota.


Contact MnDOT Aeronautics:
General information: aeroinfo.dot@state.mn.us

Postal mail
MnDOT Office of Aeronautics
222 East Plato Boulevard
St. Paul, Minnesota 55107-1618

General information: 651-234-7200
Toll free: 1-800-657-3922


The primary airports of Minnesota include-

  • Bemidji Regional Airport
  • Brainerd Lakes Regional AirportP-N15,65
  • Duluth International Airport
  • Range Regional Airport
  • Falls International Airport
  • Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport
  • Rochester International Airport
  • St. Cloud Regional Airport

Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport

Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) is a public international airport jointly operated as civil-military airport. MSP is the largest and busiest airport in the 6 states of Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, South and North Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Major airlines served by MSP are-

  • Delta Air Lines
  • Southwest Airlines (Including AirTran)
  • Sun Country Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • US Airways
  • Spirit Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Air Canada
  • Air France
  • Icelandair
  • Great Lakes Airlines
  • Condor Airlines

Top 10 International destinations MSP serve are-

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Toronto (Pearson), Canada
Paris (Charles de Gaulle), France
Cancun, Mexico
Tokyo (Narita), Japan Winnipeg, Canada
Vancouver, Canada
London (Heathrow), United Kingdom
Calgary, Canada
Edmonton, Canada
Top 10 domestic destinations MSP serve are-

Chicago (O'Hare), Illinois
Denver, ColoradoUnited
Atlanta, Georgia
Phoenix, Arizona, US Airways
Los Angeles, California
Las Vegas, Nevada
Seattle/Tacoma, Washington
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas Country
Chicago (Midway), Illinois
San Francisco, California

Contact Details:

4300 Glumack St. Paul
Minnesota 55111
Phone: (612) 726-5555
Website: www.mspairport.com

Duluth International Airport

Duluth International Airport (DLH) is owned by the city and jointly operated as civil-military airport. DLH is Minnesota's second busiest commercial passenger airport that is located in Duluth, Saint Louis County, Minnesota, United States.

The major airlines that operate to and from DLH are-

  • Allegiant Air
  • Delta Air Lines
  • air transport
  • Delta Connection
  • United Express

The top busiest domestic destination DLH serve include-

  • Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
  • Chicago (O'Hare), IL
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Phoenix/Mesa, AZ
  • Detroit, MI
  • Orlando (Sanford), FL
  • Laughlin/Bullhead City, AZ

Contact Details:
Duluth International Airport
4701 Grinden Drive
Duluth, MN 55811
Phone: (218) 727-2968
Fax: (218) 727-2960
Website: http://www.duluthairport.com/

Rochester International Airport

Rochester International Airport (RST) is located in Rochester,Olmsted County, Minnesota. For commercial airlines, RST is Minnesota's 3rd busiest airport, after Duluth International Airport. The major airlines that operate to and from DLH are American Eagle and Delta Connection.

The top destinations RST serve are-

  • Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
  • Chicago, IL
  • Phoenix/Mesa, AZ
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Detroit, MI
  • Laughlin/Bullhead City, AZ

Contact Details:
7600 Helgerson Drive SW,
Rochester, MN 55902
Phone: (507) 282-2328
Email: rst@flyrst.com
Website: http://flyrst.com/

Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport

Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport (BRD) is owned by the county and city and is situated in the northeastern region of Brainerd in Crow Wing County, Minnesota. The airport is owned by the city and county. The airlines that provide schedules passenger services are Delta Connection and Sun County.

Contact Details:

Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport
16384 Airport Road, Suite 5, Brainerd, MN 56401
Phone: (218) 825-2166
FAXax (218) 825-2186
Website: http://brainerdairport.com/

Falls International Airport

Contact Details:
3214 Second Ave. E.
International Falls, MN, 56649
Phone: 218.283.8585
Website: http://www.internationalfallsairport.com/

Minnesota Water Transportation

Water Transportation is also a major transportation system. It serves the people as an enjoyable mode of transportation with many scenic sites to explore along the way. Additionally, water transportation is a major mode for freight movement to various cities, states and worldwide through seaports.

The four major ports in Minnesota on Lake Superior include-

  • Taconite Harbor
  • Silver Bay
  • Two Harbors
  • Duluth/Superior

The Mississippi River System serves 5 port areas in Minnesota. The River plays a vital part for shipping over 50% of the state's agricultural exports, such as soybeans, corn and wheat. The United States Corps of Engineers maintained the Mississippi River Navigation System.

Contact Details:

  • Statewide Ports & Waterways Plan
    Patrick Phenow

  • Port Development Assistance Program (PDAP)
    Patrick Phenow

  • Port Authorities information
    Patrick Phenow

  • Patrick PhenowWaterways
    Program Coordinator
    Port Development

Contact Minnesota Department of Transportation

395 John Ireland Blvd
St. Paul, MN 55155-1899
Phone: 651-296-3000 Toll-free 800-657-3774

Other Important Contact Details of MnDOT

Freight Contact Details:

  • Freight Planning
    Bill Gardner, Director

  • Tim Spencer, Manager

  • Crude-by-Rail
    Dave Christianson

  • Frac Sand
    Dave Christianson

  • Freight Rail Economic Development
    Dave Christianson

  • Truck Parking Availability
    John Tompkins

  • Midwest Shippers Association
    John Tompkins

  • Minnesota Freight Advisory Committee (MFAC)
    John Tompkins


  1. Metro Transit Bus
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