RCL fights for continuation in Rochester - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

RCL fights for continuation in Rochester

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)--  City officials have granted permission for Rochester City Lines (RCL) to continue operating the same schedule they've always operated, but with one stipulation.

They are requiring RCL to offset their existing schedule by at least 15 minutes to avoid congestion in the downtown area, because First Transit will now be the primary bus transportation for the city. Concerns lie in the congestion downtown will see with both bus companies running.

City Council member Michael Wojcik says, "Every single spot along here is taken. If we were to double the number of buses you basically have buses filling there would be no way of buses to get in and out there would be no site line, and there would be no ability for emergency vehicles to respond or access things they need to access during the route."

The city did a competitive bid to hire a bus company as RCL came up on the end of their contract.

Four companies bid and First Transit came in first place. According to members of City Council, Rochester City Lines came in a distant last place and was requiring 2 million more dollars than First Transit.

City Lines' attorney Steven Diaz says this an attempt to put RCL out of business. He explains, "You certainly can't make any kind of decision on disembowelment, concealment, and mean-spiritedness."

The riding public will see no difference in schedules or routing transfers.

City officials say they may be dispersing the savings to improve the transit system. First transit will be taking over July 2nd and has signed a 2.5-year contract.

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