Rochester’s Link Rapid Transit one step closer to reality

Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 9:31 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – In the second week of June, Rochester’s Link Rapid Transit got one step closer to becoming reality. The Rochester City Council approved the latest project proposal. It was a unanimous decision by the council, but funding is still needed.

The new project will bring improvements to the timing and frequency of buses. The Bus Rapid Transit, or BRT, proposal features bigger stations, bigger buses and faster service.

“It will be the first BRT line in Minnesota outside of the Twin Cities area,” RPT Communications Coordinator, Nick Lemmer said.

With a 7-0 vote, the city council approved the project’s updated definition, funding and schedule for construction. The council also approved the timeline for a Federal Transit Administration, or FTA, grant.

Many riders say they look forward to changes.

“The only thing I would wish they could improve is the timing and the frequency of the buses coming,” RPT Rider, Chisom Uzendu said.

Ridership is up throughout Rochester by 20 percent.

Here is a map of the proposed route for rapid transit. As you can see, there are seven proposed stops along the route that will run through the heart of the city.

Proposed new routes in Rochester
Proposed new routes in Rochester(LINK)

“We’ll be using larger vehicles, more frequency and battery-electric vehicles, that will really carry the bulk of the transportation, the commuters, that need to move in and out of our downtown core,” Lemmer said.

The new funding for the project is estimated at $143.5 million. A little more than 40 percent of that will come from Destination Medical Center (DMC) funding.

The project is waiting on the other nearly 60 percent, which will come from an FTA small starts grant that the city is currently applying for.

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