Rochester rapid transit project considered for major federal funding

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced a recommended budget of $ 2.5 billion for new and expanded transit services across the country, including $ 56.1 million for Rochester Rapid Transit.

The funds will pay nearly half of the planned project cost of $ 114 million, with the bulk of the additional expenses covered by funds from the state’s destination medical center.

Following the recommendation for funding from the United States Federal Transit Administration, the two United States Senators from Minnesota sent statements with additional support for the project.

“Investing in public transit creates jobs, reduces traffic and ensures that Minnesota residents can get to school, work and other destinations safely,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar . “The Federal Transit Administration’s recommendations include critical grants for our state’s transportation infrastructure, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in Washington to continue pushing for funds to improve transportation in Minnesota. . “

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“We need to create an economy that works for everyone and connect people with opportunities statewide,” added Senator Tina Smith, former chair of the state board of directors of DMC Corp. “These projects will help us achieve this goal by providing important transportation options for Minnesotans in Rochester and the metro area. In addition, these investments will support many jobs during construction. “

The planned rapid transit bus project will include a 2.6-mile route, primarily along Second Street Southwest, that will connect a transit village on the west end to the Mayo Civic Center. Seven dedicated stops will be made along the route, with buses offering a service similar to the tram.

The transit village, which will be located in what is currently the West Mayo Clinic parking lot on Second Street Southwest, is expected to include housing and retail space, in addition to parking for commuters.

Several details of the project continue to be discussed, with initial plans for the seven stations on the route being revealed publicly this week.

Rochester City Council Chairman Brooke Carlson, who is also a DMCC board member, said additional federal support for the project was good news as planning continued.

“We are excited about this positive indication from the FTA and appreciate the work done to get there and will continue to push for funding for this important regional asset,” she said in a statement after the announcement. .

DMC Economic Development Agency chief executive Patrick Seeb said dedicated downtown transit should improve work in the district.

“High-convenience transit is one of the most catalytic investments in public infrastructure,” he said. “Rochester Rapid Transit will advance our transportation goals and provide opportunities for future transit-oriented development.

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