A different public bus company may be coming to Rochester - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

A different public bus company may be coming to Rochester

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- For more than 25-years, Rochester City Lines has been making sure people get to and from their destinations, but by the end of the year a new company may be transporting you around.

The Federal Transit Administration, better known as the FTA, has poked its nose in, they said the city's agreement with City Lines isn't fair and competitive. Now the clock is ticking for interested parties to put in bids, with a new contract being signed by the end of the year.

It was 1966 when Rochester City Lines formed, for 4-decades they've operated the cities mass transit. While the city owns the buses, City Lines provides the mechanics and drivers. Soon that could all change as companies place bids to operate the bus line.

Dan Holter owns City Lines and said he built the bus routes and made it the success that it is today.

"We've set up the routes, we've garnered the ridership, it's the city staff that is saying they own the transit system," stated Holter.

Although the city asked the FTA to give them an extension until the middle of 2012, to decide who will operate the cities transit, that request was denied. All decisions must be made by the end of December and the new contracted company will begin service July 1st, 2012.

If Rochester City Lines doesn't win the bid Holter said his company would still stay afloat. They also operate national charters and bus tours.

City Councilors stressed they are happy with City Lines performance, but they need to abide by the FTA's ruling.

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