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St. Louis Park Dial-A-Ride Program Cut Amid Funding Woes

The PRISM Express transportation program was expanded to St. Louis Park in September 2011.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.
PRISM Express, a non-profit transport service that operated in St. Louis Park since September 2011, will be shutting down operations over the next month.

The bus service, operated PRISM, or People Responding in Social Ministry, gave affordable weekday rides to people in western suburbs including Plymouth, Golden Valley and Brooklyn Center.

Unlike other local transportation services, PRISM had no restrictions based on age or medical condition.

“My daughter’s a college student and my partner is a teacher, so daytime rides become hard to arrange,” Janice Culnane, the first ever rider in St. Louis Park, told Patch in 2011.  

PRISM is closing the bus service and its auto repair service, which together comprise 20 percent of the organization's expenses, in order to "focus resources and energy toward the greatest needs of the community," the non-profit wrote in a statement.

"The program is very costly and the problem is that there isn't the funding available," PRISM Board Chair Betty Folliard said, according to the city of St. Louis Park. "This decision allows PRISM to focus on its core programs such as the food shelf and homelessness prevention."

The Express ride program was co-sponsored locally by the City of St. Louis Park and the Park Nicollet Foundation

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