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For ride call the County, Tribal Bus Services, or DL Transportation

Becker County Transit is just one of the ways of getting around Detroit Lakes and the entire county. The transit system charges $1.50 per five miles traveled. Photo by Brian Basham

Getting around Becker County has become a lot easier in the past few years thanks to several public services that are happy to bring you where you want to go.

Rob and Roxanne Fairbanks started DL Taxi Service in June of 2006. The service serves all of Becker County, and according to Rob Fairbanks, the entire state.

“We’ve been down to the Cities on a few occasions,” he said. “It’s an expensive ride, but people just want the personal driver and they’re willing to pay for it.”

The taxi service currently operates two vans and a small bus for charter services.

Driving a taxi, Fairbanks said he sometimes sees some people at their worst, but a lot of times they’re at their best, too.

“I’ve had people come up to me and apologize that I don’t even remember because they’re just part of the crowd,” he said.

But don’t get your driver angry or do something stupid.

“You make your driver angry, you’re not going to get a ride,” he said. “A little respect goes a long way … It has its moments. You get to meet a lot of people.”

Growing the taxi service is something Fairbanks would like to do in the future. But with business staying steady and not really increasing, that’s a harder task to do without business partnerships or subsidies, he said.

“If I could find a way to get the businesses in town to buy into my service, it is best for their business. Because it’s their customers and clients that we service — people coming from out of town staying in the hotels and don’t know where to go or don’t want to risk going to jail.”

Fairbanks said he also provides a lot of service rides and deliveries at a discounted rate.

“We deliver meds to the elderly and that kind of stuff. We don’t do that for a big profit or anything,” he said. “We get a lot of thank you’s and smiles from the old people and we get to meet a lot of them and have a conversation.”

Fairbank’s taxi service, DL Transportation, can be reached at 847-3456.

The Becker County Transit system provides service throughout the county for $1.50 per five miles traveled. The transit system has four buses and one car operating Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Although 28 percent of the riders are seniors, the transit service is available to anyone who wishes to use it.

“The buses take people to work, medical appointments, shopping, visiting, school children to day care facilities and disabled individuals to their appointments,” said Rusty Haskins, director of Becker County Transit System. “Becker County Transit also offers door-to-door service and can accommodate individuals with disabilities and most mobility aids in service today.”

Longtime rider Diane Leslie said the transit buses have been invaluable to her. Living in the Greystone Building, she’s even gotten her neighbor, Alpha Klotz, to start riding the bus with her.

“This is a great system,” Leslie said as she boarded the bus at Central Market. “I love it.”

Nancy Gain has been a transit system driver and dispatcher for eight years and enjoys her job very much. She gets to know the clients so much that when she’s dispatching, users sometimes don’t give their names or addresses.

“They just say, ‘Hi Nancy. I need a ride.’ I need a little more information than that,” she said laughing. The people are outgoing and you meet very interesting people.”

The Becker County Transit System can be reached at 847-1674 or 1-888-847-1674 and operates Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The White Earth Public Transportation service operates Monday through Friday, driving people to various stops in Mahnomen, White Earth and Detroit Lakes. The service has daily scheduled stops at the Depot in Detroit Lakes, Shooting Star Casino and various stops in White Earth in between. A full daily schedule is available at the Depot.

Every Monday and Wednesday, it offers a free shuttle to and from the Shooting Star Casino from the Depot in Detroit Lakes. This free shuttle leaves the Depot at 10 a.m. and arrives back at 2:45 p.m. Users receive a free gaming package — coupons for $5 off dining and $10 in free slot play.

White Earth Public Transportation can be reached at 218-983-3283.