Pricey bus terminals open in Rochester - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Chris Conte

Pricey bus terminals open in Rochester

ROCHESTER (KTTC-DT)-- Five new bus terminals opened to commuters in Rochester on Monday with a hefty price tag of nearly $1.5 million and some passenger say the extravagant addition to the downtown is a little over the top.

"When I first saw them I thought they were over the top, I'm from South Dakota and I'm used to roughing it out," said Many Belas waiting for the bus on Monday evening.

After seven months of traffic headaches, officials say the 2nd Street construction project is basically complete. Crews expanded the sidewalks for pedestrians, added in new trees and even installed radial heating under the sidewalk to melt snow on contact.

"I was happy they were open so I didn't have to walk so far," said one commuters.

Each bus stop has a red button that turns on overhead heaters for 10 minutes when the temperature is below 20degrees.

"It certainly is an expensive but beautiful improvement," says Rochester Public Works official Mike Easley.

According to Easley, aside from having heat and shelter for waiting passengers the new terminals are bigger than the old ones, "They are a little bit more comfortable than the old ones, they are 50ft. long instead of the 14ft. like the old ones."

But the elaborate LED artwork, push button heaters and Kasota stone weren't cheap. Each shelter cost over $300,000 and at five new terminals, the bus stops cost at least $1.5 million.

When asked if the shelters were expensive, Easley said, "I would say yes it is, but we are in the heart of downtown.

However, most of the project wasn't paid for by local tax payers, funds mainly came from federal grants and federal stimulus dollars.

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