A new study shows rising transit fares and service cuts are a broad national pattern.
The study, by the advocacy groups Transportation for American and the Transportation Equity Network, shows the pattern in rural Minnesota is causing hardship for the elderly and for people with jobs who don't own cars.
Jeannette Porter, a spokeswoman for the transit service in Marshall, Minn., says fare increases and service reductions across rural Minnesota are common as agencies attempt to cover rising costs.
The Marshall service has quadrupled fares for some riders as the result of the loss of state money. Porter says the Marshall transit service is also having to reduce staff.
Porter says other transit fare increases are squeezing the finances, especially for elderly riders.
"They can't afford the two dollars for a ride each way," she said. "They're going to start making choices on what is an important use of their money -- to get to the store or to the doctor. and so we've seen that being a significant impact in their lives as well as on our to our program."