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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Rochester’s plans for expanding public transit for the Destination Medical Center initiative is being recommended for approval by U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

A news release issued by the City of Rochester Friday evening says the federal budget proposed by the Biden Administration includes just over $56 million for the Rochester Rapid Transit project. It’s one of two Minnesota transit projects included in the Federal Transit Administration Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Capital Investment Grants Report.

“High-amenity public transit is among the most catalytic of public infrastructure investments,” said Patrick Seeb, executive director of Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency. “Rochester Rapid Transit will advance our transportation goals and provide opportunities for future transit oriented development. We are grateful for the efforts locally and in Washington to advance the project.”

City of Rochester

The plan that was submitted for federal funding last fall calls for the development of a 2.6 mile “high amenity” bus rapid transit system that would connect a planned 13-acre parking and “transit-oriented” development known as the West Transit Village to the downtown area on 2nd Street to Civic Center Drive. The route would then create a loop back to 2nd Street by heading south on 3rd Avenue Southeast, west of 4th Street, and then north for two blocks on South Broadway.

Rochester transit project rendering

The project carries a capital cost of $114 million and the annual operating expense is estimated at just under $3 million. The city hopes to have it operational in 2025.

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