The DTA mission is to provide a public transit service that is safe, convenient, efficient and affordable.
Service Hours of Operation
M-F | 4:00AM – 12:00AM
SAT | 5:00AM – 12:00AM
SUN | 5:00AM – 12:00AM
Quick Facts About The DTA
- 150 Employees
- Service Area – Duluth, Superior, Proctor and Hermantown
- More than 100 bus shelters
- Approximately 1,700 bus stops
- 7 Electric Buses
- 6 Hybrid Buses
- 57 Diesel Buses
- 3 Trolley Buses
- 2018 Operating Budget: $17,667,149
- 2018 Ridership: 2,760,475
- 12 Vehicles
- 2018 Operating Budget: $983,036
- 2018 Ridership: 34,311
- Operating Center (2402 West Michigan Street) – opened 1981
- Duluth Transportation Center (DTC – 228 West Michigan Street) – opened 2016
- 3rd Avenue East Transit Hub
- Kirby Plaza Transit Hub
- Miller Hill Mall Door 8 Transit Hub
- Two Park & Ride Lots
Director of Planning & Grants
Director of Finance
Director of Maintenance
Director of Marketing
Director of Operations
Director of Information Technology
Director of Safety and Security
Director of Scheduling
CONTACT DTA LEADERSHIP
Think Green…Ride the Bus!
At DTA, we’ve taken a number of steps to reduce our carbon footprint. From hybrid buses to using LED lights in our interiors, we are committed to providing a sustainable service for our community.
Leading the Charge with NEW Electric Buses!
- 440 kWh (kilowatt hour) of battery power
- Range of up to 200 miles on a fully-charged battery
- Full-charge time is 2-5 hours (done at the DTA Operating Center)
- Regenerative braking system charges batteries when brakes applied
- Exclusive diesel-fueled auxillary heater with about 100,000 additional Btu
- Single 220 kW (kilowatt) motor with 2-speed automatic transmission
- Carbon fiber (less than 50%) reinforced composite body structure
- 40-seat capacity (two more than a standard diesel bus)
- Vehicle kneels and is fully ADA-accessible with a ramp and wide aisles
- Made in the U.S.A. at a factory in Greenville, South Carolina
What is a hybrid bus?
Hybrid bus motors act like generators. When a hybrid bus brakes, the energy created is stored and is then used to accelerate. Forty percent of the energy to accelerate the bus is actually energy saved during the braking process.
What is a hybrid bus?
- Run smoother and quieter than conventional buses
- Use electric power until they reach 10 mph
- Are equipped with 5.9 liter 6-cylinder, clean-burning diesel engines
- Get 33 percent better fuel economy than standard buses
- Produce 90 percent fewer emissions than the buses they replace
Other DTA Sustainability Efforts:
- Solar panels on the DTC generate electricity to help offset the cost for lighting the facility
- LED lighting with motion sensors are replacing older T-12 florescent fixtures at the Operating Center
- Lighting improvements have reduced the DTA’s monthly electric bills by more than 40 percent
- Efficient heating replaced natural gas boilers for a 75% reduction in heating costs and over 1,300 less gallons of glycol used
- The DTA’s fleet primarily consists of diesel and electric-hybrid buses; advances in engine technology have increased fuel efficiency
- Clean, low-sulfur diesel fuel and soy based fuel helps decrease carbon emissions
Today, the Duluth Transit Authority (DTA) is one of the most technologically sophisticated transit systems in the country. The DTA provides service in Duluth, Proctor and Superior, Wisconsin. It maintains a modern fleet of transit buses that includes diesel, electric and hybrid-electric buses. In addition to regular route services, the DTA operates STRIDE services for disabled riders and the Port Town Trolley seasonal circulator service for summer visitors.
On October 25, 2018, seven electric Proterra buses were introduced into the fleet. The DTA is the first transit agency in Minnesota to operate electric fixed-route buses.
Duluth Transportation Center (DTC)
From the late 1990’s, discussion began for a transportation facility to accommodate the growing need for multimodal transportation services in downtown Duluth. On February 4, 2016, the DTC Grand Opening occurred to accommodate 700 bus trips per day, 12,000 passengers a day, bicycle users, Jefferson Lines, Indian Trails and Arrowhead Transit. It houses the Duluth Police Department, a DTA Information Booth, passenger amenities including restrooms and water fountains, transit vending machines, parking for 410 vehicles (including chargers for electric cars), secured indoor bicycle storage, and a large heated waiting area with benches.
Start Date: June 2014
Completion Date: January 2016
Cost: $30 Million
The DTA purchased six hybrid electric buses in 2007 and 2009 that operate on a blend of diesel and electric propulsion.
Port Town Trolleys
New rubber-tired trolleys were put into service in 1984 and operate as a downtown connector during summer months.
New DTA Operating Center
The old “Bus Barn” at 27 Avenue West and Superior Street was replaced in 1981, when construction of the Earl Buck Operating Center was completed at 2402 West Michigan Street. The Operating Center now houses all maintenance, operations and administrative functions of the DTA.
DTA is Legislatively Created
An act of the Minnesota State Legislature created the Duluth Transit Authority (DTA) in 1969. The Authority’s first Citizen’s Board was formed in February 1970 and one of the Board’s first acts was to enter into an agreement with a new company, ATE Management and Services, Inc., for the operation and management of the DTA. All personnel at the former Duluth Superior Street Railway company became employees of a local operating subsidiary, ATE Management of Duluth, Inc. The original ATE company was acquired by Ryder Systems, Inc. in 1996, and in 2001 this company was acquired by First Transit, Inc.
First Diesel Buses
The first modern diesel buses were put into service on October 24, 1957.
The first propane buses were put into service in 1951 and discontinued in 1957.
Streetcar / Incline Service Discontinued
The last rail line in Duluth was abandoned and the Incline Railway dismantled in 1939.
Buses Replace Streetcars
During the 1930’s, all of the streetcars in the system were replaced by buses. Streetcars stopped operating in Superior, Wisconsin in 1935.
Duluth-Superior Transit Emerges
In September, 1933, all of the properties of the Duluth Street Railway Company were transferred to the Duluth- Superior Transit Company, which was incorporated in January, 1933. The transit system’s mixed fleet in 1933 consisted of 110 streetcars, two electric trolley busses and nine gasoline-powered buses.
First Electric Trolley Bus
The first electric trolley bus was put into service in 1931 and discontinued in 1957.
First Gasoline-Powered Bus
The first gasoline powered bus appeared on Duluth streets in 1924.
Highest Transit Ridership in Twin Ports
Transit ridership in Duluth and Superior totaled 45,259,127 in 1919.
Duluth and Superior Transit Operations Consolidated
By 1900, the population of Duluth had increased to 52,000 people and Superior’s residents numbered around 31,000. At this time, the Duluth Street Railway Company and the Superior Traction Company were consolidated and reorganized following the 1898 receivership. The total system now operated on 74 miles of streetcar track throughout the Twin Ports. The fare was a nickel and it looked as though public transit was here to stay. By 1920, the transit system served area residents with over 100 miles of streetcar track.
Duluth-Superior Bridge Company
In 1887, the streetcar bridge between Duluth and Superior was completed and in 1900, the Duluth Street Railway Company leased for streetcar service between Duluth and Superior.
Superior Public Transit
In 1884, Douglas County Street Railway Company was incorporated and authorized it to construct and operate a street railway in Superior, Wisconsin. By 1890, the company owned four horse-cars and eight horses. Electrification of the system was accomplished in 1890. The Superior Rapid Transit Company acquired the rights and properties of the Douglas County Street Railway Company in August, 1892. Additional track was constructed during 1892 and 1893, financed by mortgage bonds that were issued in 1894. However, the company defaulted on the interest payments and was placed in receivership in January, 1896.
Incline Railway Built
In 1891, the Highland Improvement Company built the Incline Railway. The 1/2 mile long Incline ran up 7th Avenue West, rising to over 500 feet above Lake Superior. Huge cars big enough to carry horse & wagon teams were attached by cables to a power house at the top of the hill.
First Electric Streetcar
In 1890, donkeys and old gray mares were replaced by the first electric streetcar; and in the following two years all of the rail lines were electrified. Financial difficulties forced the company into receivership for a short time during August, 1891. Between 1891 and 1897, the system expanded and additional lines were built. The Electric Railway System grew rapidly to almost 30 miles of line and track.
First Mule-Drawn Rail Car Goes into Service
On July 6, 1883, many of Duluth’s 6,000 residents lined up along Superior Street to watch a mule drawn car on rails inaugurate the area’s first public transit system. The car set a brisk pace as it rolled from Third Avenue East to Eighth Avenue West a distance of eleven blocks. The original line was extended during the late 1880’s. By the end of the decade, the company was operating fifteen horse-cars and 178 mules on about 4.5 miles of track.
Building the Track
It all began when the Duluth Street Railway was incorporated on October 25, 1881. The following month the Minnesota State Legislature granted the company a fifty year charter on the condition that one mile of track be operating within one year. Construction of a rail line on Superior Street between 8th Avenue West and 3rd Avenue East started in 1882 and was completed in 1883.