It all started at a small meeting in 1988.
A group of concerned parents met with the AR&LE Advisory Board to solve a very personal problem for them…finding safe, affordable, and above all else, reliable transportation for their adult children living with developmental disabilities.
Ever since that very first meeting, TRAIL has been committed to providing transportation for adults with developmental disabilities living in Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina and Richfield. Their goal then was to ensure their children could independently get to social and recreational programs put on by the Adaptive Recreation & Learning Exchange (AR&LE).
A Drive Through Time with TRAIL…
Parents and participants bring their transportation concerns to the AR&LE Advisory Board and a “Transportation Concerns Task Force” is formed.
Founding TRAIL member, Cyrena Dierauer, noted in her journal a disastrous transportation experience for her daughter:
“Deb had a bad day with transportation. Cab didn’t come until 8 a.m., so she was late for work. She waited from 4:30-6 p.m., and got home at 6:20. She left immediately her class without supper. Deb called at 9 p.m. from Kennedy. She had waited since 8:30, so I picked her up at 9:10…and still no cab.”
Shortly afterward, the first Transportation Concerns Committee meeting was held.
The acronym TRAIL (Transportation Resource to Aid Independent Living, Inc.) was approved and fundraising began.
The first of many TRAIL dances was held. Following the event, Cyrena Dierauer wrote:
“It was a rainy night but the crowd was good. 217 Tickets! The kids had a great time. We made almost $800 profit!”
TRAIL is officially incorporated in the State of Minnesota and receives non-profit status with the IRS. Transportation begins with 13 bus trips to the AR&LE “Good Company” program.
TRAIL contracts with Transit Team and provides 123 bus trips.
TRAIL participates in three new fundraising ventures raising over $10,000. A record setting 177 bus trips were provided.
TRAIL celebrates its 25th Anniversary in style with a gala and dance at Embassy Suites in Bloomington, Minnesota. Over 130 guests enjoy a celebration full of milestones, a look back at the important people that brought TRAIL to what it is today, and plans for its next 25 years. A modern update of TRAIL’s classic logo is introduced.
TRAIL annually provides over 200 bus trips.
TRAIL’s mission is to provide transportation for adults with developmental disabilities living in Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina and Richfield, allowing them to attend customized recreation and leisure programs offered by Adaptive Recreation and Learning Exchange (AR&LE). Through donations and fundraising, TRAIL subsidizes the cost of transportation. As a result, riders pay a nominal fee for their rides.