TransportationCenter for International and Cultural Education

Traveling around Saint Peter and Minnesota can be difficult, because public transportation is not as good as many of you are used to in your home countries. There are some options, which are outlined below. Hopefully you will be able to explore more of Minnesota and the United States!

Transportation around Gustavus. Safe Rides provides transportation from 7 pm to 1 am every night during the academic year. Look for the yellow and black Safe Rides signs at the 14 designated pick-up points. Call 507-933-7000 (or 7000 from a campus phone) for a Safe Rides dispatcher. After 1 am, call Campus Safety at 507-933-8888 (or 8888 from a campus phone) to request a medical or walking escort. Safe Rides are provided by Campus Safety.

Transportation in Saint Peter. Minnesota River Valley Transit (MRVT) is a bus that can take you between most locations in Saint Peter. Call 888-880-4696 to schedule a ride. MRVT operates Monday - Friday from 6:30 am to 8 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 7 pm. The cost is $3.00 (one way). Passengers may pay cash (exact amount only) or with credit or debit card by creating an MRTV EZ-Pay account. Gustavus Student Senate sponsors a free Gus Bus on Friday and Saturday evenings (9 am to 2 am) to designated places in Saint Peter. Call 888-880-4696 to use the Gus Bus, which is operated by MRVT.

Transportation to Mankato. True Transit is a bus that can take you to Mankato or other towns in this area for $5 each way. True Transit rides must be booked by noon the day prior to the trip by calling 800-560-1575 or using the "Book A Ride" form on their website. Lyft, Uber, or Blue Earth Taxi (507-388-2227) may also be an option, though more expensive than True Transit or MRVT.

Transportation to Minneapolis/Saint Paul International Airport. Land to Air Express is a bus that goes between Saint Peter and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport several times a day. Go to the Land to Air Express website or call them at 507-625-3977 to reserve and purchase your ticket. Land to Air Express will pick you up or drop you off at Gustavus 3 flags. It is good to plan in advance, as Land to Air buses may fill up during peak times at the beginning and end of school breaks. Jefferson Lines or Greyhound buses may be an option for travel between Saint Peter and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, though times are more limited.

Transportation in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Land to Air Express can take you to downtown Minneapolis, Saint Paul, or the Mall of America. Go to Land to Air Express Highway 169 Connection for more details. You can get around most of the Twin Cities on Metro Transit light rail or buses, including light rail between the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, downtown Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and the Mall of America.

Traveling from Minnesota to other locations in the United States. There are some bus (Jefferson Lines, Greyhound, Megabus) and train (Amtrak) services from Minneapolis or Saint Paul to other parts of the U.S. Jefferson Lines and Greyhound go through Saint Peter occasionally. Those buses are infrequent, so are normally not good options for a day trips from Saint Peter to Minneapolis or Saint Paul, and back.

Renting a vehicle. There are many rental car places at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Lager’s Inc., a car dealership in Saint Peter, has a small number of rental vehicles. You may call Lager’s at 507-931-4070. To rent from Lager’s, you must be age 21 or more, have car insurance or buy it from them, and pay a deposit with a credit or debit card. 

Friends with vehicles. Some of you may have friends with cars that are willing to give you a ride. Most people are not very willing to let others borrow their car. If you do, you must have a valid driver’s license and insurance, or check that your friend's car insurance will cover you. Your International Friendship Family may offer to take you places, and you are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to travel with them. But your friendship family is not responsible for providing transportation.

Gustavus sponsored trips. Sometimes Campus Activities or the Campus Activities Board sponsors trips to the Twin Cities or elsewhere for a sporting event, a day at the Mall of America, or other activities. You can check at the Information Desk, Gustavus-L, and the Campus Activities or the Campus Activities Board websites to learn about upcoming trips. The Community Engagement Center sponsors some off-campus engagement opportunities, including Habitat for Humanity service learning trips over spring break. Students are not allowed to use the Gustavus vehicles unless it is a trip sponsored by a recognized student organization.

Biking. The Gusties on the Go bike share program has traditional bikes and e-bikes that students may check-out and use, free of charge.

Walking. Downtown Saint Peter is about one mile from the Gustavus campus. 

Emergencies. Campus Safety can help you in an emergency. If you are sick or injured in the evening or on a weekend and cannot go to Student Health Service, you can call 507-933-8888 (or 8888 from a campus phone) and ask Campus Safety for a ride to the Saint Peter Hospital Urgent Care.

Driving. Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services has information about driving in Minnesota. You are required to have a valid driver's license to drive in Minnesota. Driving without a valid license is a criminal offense. You may use an international driver’s license for up to 60 days, but if you are here longer than that you are required to get a Minnesota driver's license. A Minnesota driver’s license is valid in other states. See Applying for a Minnesota Driver's License for details.

Driving instruction. There are some driving schools in Mankato that are available for a fee. We do not have a recommendation for a driving school. You should research them to decide what is best for you. See Safety & Respect Driving School, Superior School of Driving, or Mid-Southern Driving School for some options.

Winter driving. Many students are not used to driving in Minnesota in winter. Please use extra caution! You must drive much slower if there is ice or snow on the road, and keep more distance between your vehicle and any vehicle ahead of you. Often there are slippery spots when you do not expect them. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety recommends that you keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle. Some recommended items include: shovel, container of sand or salt, warm clothing and footwear, red flag for your vehicle’s antenna, blanket or sleeping bag, quick energy foods and water, tow chain and tire chains, road flares or reflectors, jumper cables, candles and matches or a lighter, first aid kit. It is also a good idea to have a cell phone for emergencies. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety recommends that if you become stranded while traveling in cold weather you should do the following: Stay with your vehicle (most deaths to stranded motorists occur when they get out of their vehicles, become lost, and suffer prolonged exposure to cold). Stay calm and wait for help to arrive. Turn on your hazard lights. Attach a red flag to your radio antenna. Set out flags and flares, if possible. Bring clothing, blankets and other survival supplies inside the vehicle. Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow and debris. Run the engine and heater until the vehicle is reasonable warm, and then turn it off. Repeat this process as long as fuel is available, or until you are rescued. Run the engine for ten minutes each hour to charge the battery and warm the interior. It is safest not to travel in a winter storm.