SWT Latest News
SouthWest Prime Featured in Star Tribune
SouthWest Prime was featured in the January 14, 2017 Star Tribune. Click here for link to the article: A public Uber service? In southwest metro, officials say it works
SouthWest Transit NEW Route 638 - Shakopee Connector Beginning December 5, 2016
Eden Prairie, MN – Nov.22, 2016 – Effective Monday, December 5th, SouthWest Transit will be offering a new route, with hourly service both northbound and southbound, Monday-Friday from Eden Prairie to Shakopee. Route 638 is a connecting route from SouthWest Station, in Eden Prairie, to Downtown Shakopee and Marschall Rd. Transit Station. Other stops on the route include Eden Prairie Center, Hennepin Tech, Amazon Corp., and St. Francis Medical Center. The service is designed to make connections with express service into and out of SouthWest Station, local Shakopee connections at Marschall Rd Transit Station via MVTA Routes 497 & 499, and a casino shuttle between Marschall Rd. Transit Station and Mystic Lake Casino.
SouthWest Transit Celebrates 30th Anniversary
Eden Prairie, MN – Nov.16, 2016 – SouthWest Transit is celebrating its 30th anniversary this December. Formerly known as SouthWest Metro Transit, this award-winning local transportation company was organized in 1986 when the southwest Minneapolis suburbs of Chaska, Chanhassen and Eden Prairie chose to opt out of the Metropolitan Transit Commission transit system in accordance with Minnesota State Statutes. Under a joint powers agreement between the three cities, they created their own transit system, SouthWest Metro Transit.
“This collaboration was a result of the cities’ decision that they were not receiving an equitable level of transportation service compared to the amount of property taxes they paid” said SouthWest Transit Chief Executive Officer Len Simich. In 2002, funding transit through the property tax was eliminated and the Motor Vehicle Tax (MVST) became the major funding source for the agency.
In 1986, average ridership was just over 100,000 rides annually and SouthWest Transit did not have any assets. Thirty years later, the agency transports 1.3 million riders, and has $60 million in assets. The agency went from operating 17 converted school buses in 1986 to a fleet of 75 first-class luxury coach buses today.
SouthWest Transit is a national leader in system reliability with an on-time performance of 99 percent and a positive customer satisfaction rating of nearly 100 percent. They are also a transit leader in innovation, technology and infrastructure. SouthWest Transit was the first to offer free Wi-Fi and to develop the region’s first “real-time” app for riders. They were also one of the first transit operators in the country to develop the property around its stations in a transit oriented fashion.
Last year, SouthWest Transit introduced a revolutionary demand-response service, SW Prime, to the service area. This on-demand service provides over 200 rides on a daily basis for the residents.
Over the past 30 years, SouthWest Transit has received over 30 awards, including both state and national Transit System of the Year Awards, APTA Gold Award for Safety, Environmental Quality Award, Certificate for Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, and most recently, Mid-Size Business of the Year for the SouthWest Metro area.
Community support is one of the highest priorities for SouthWest Transit. They offer service to special events, such as Twins, Vikings and Gophers games. They also provide Minnesota State Fair service to nearly 100,000 residents in the community service and have been praised for their efforts in transporting over 110,000 passengers to/from the Ryder Cup tournament this past fall.
In addition to the service they provide, SouthWest Transit employs and trains over 25 youth workers from our communities. They were also named the ARC Employer of the Year for students with special needs through district 287 in 2015. SouthWest Transit also works with area seniors providing daily mobility options, performs outreach to minority groups on our communities and provides free and discounted bus passes for job search purposes for the unemployed.
When asked about the success SouthWest Transit has experienced over the past thirty years, Simich said, “At SouthWest Transit, we believe transportation is about more than just moving people from place to place. It’s an opportunity to make life better and to transform perspectives. With us, you can ‘Expect the Best’ because we put people first, we continually reinvent what public transportation means, and we make people's days, day after day. We are more than just a transit agency; we are part of the community, and we help it thrive.”
SouthWest Transit Receives Ninth Consecutive Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting
Eden Prairie, MN – November 8, 2016 – SouthWest Transit is pleased to announce that their finance department has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). This is the ninth consecutive year that SouthWest Transit has received this award.
The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting. To be considered for this certificate, SouthWest Transit has followed strict government guidelines for financial record keeping and reporting and has demonstrated full disclosure.
“We work hard to make sure our tax payers’ money is spent wisely in our organization,” said SouthWest Transit Finance Manager Souriyong Souriya. “We are glad to be recognized for these efforts.”
SouthWest Transit (SWT) provides express and local bus service to residents of Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, Chaska, Carver, and surrounding communities. SWT operates seven park‐and‐ride lots, including its main hub, SouthWest Station in Eden Prairie. Additional information and complete schedules for SWT can be found at www.swtransit.org or by calling our customer service line at 952‐949‐2BUS (2287).