Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester City Council will be presented Monday with a key recommendation concerning the Destination Medical Center initiative.

City staff and representatives from the DMC are recommending using a bus rapid transit system traveling along South Broadway and 2nd Street Southwest for a future public transit circulator system. It would connect planned transit hubs on 2nd Street Southwest at the site of a current Mayo Clinic parking facility and at the Graham Park site where Olmsted County is purchasing the Seneca Foods Property.

photo credit: DMCC
photo credit: DMCC

The bus rapid transit system would operate on dedicated traffic lanes between the two transit hubs with stops at elevated stations along the route that would allow for “at grade” entrances and exits to and from the buses.

The recommendation says the estimated cost of building a bus circulator system is just under $100 million, while a streetcar-style rail system carries an estimated price tag that exceeds $350 million. The report also notes the process for obtaining federal funding for a streetcar system is significantly more competitive and more time consuming, which could delay the launch of the city’s upgraded transit system for several years.

The DMC Corporation Board is scheduled to review and act on the recommendation at its meeting on Thursday, with a vote by the Rochester City Council at its October 7th meeting. If all goes as planned, construction would begin in the summer of 2022 and the new transit circulator system is expected to be ready for launch in the spring of 2025.

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