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Update on Rochester’s Bus Rapid Transit project

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX47) — Senator Amy Klobuchar paid a visit to the med city today showing her support for for the planned Bus Rapid Transit project here in Rochester.

The Rochester Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a 2.6-mile transit project that will connect downtown Rochester, the Mayo Civic Center, Mayo Clinic campuses and the Rochester- Olmsted Government Center.

Proponents say It would greatly reduce congestion in the downtown area while also better connecting both residents and visitors to major parts of the city.

“It’s the 30,000 downtown workers, it’s the people who live nearby, walking distance, it’s the patients and families who are traveling from around the world and expect a destination kind of experience. And that’s what this rapid transit initiative is all about, ” said DMC Executive Director, Patrick Seeb.

The leaders and lawmakers say they’re thrilled to come together as partners as the rapid transit project moves forward.

“All lights are green when it comes to this important, important rapid transit bus project for the city of Rochester,” announced Klobuchar.

The key to this almost three mile bus route is that a parking lot is connected to the end of it.

“It’s not just a bus line. It’s also that parking lot so people can go to the lot, park for free, get on the bus, and then it’s also seven stations as well as the transit lane so it doesn’t just bring people to the end of the lane, line, it brings people and picks them up at places in between,” stated Klobuchar.

On the Republican side, Congressman Jim Hagedorn says he supports infrastructure projects here and all over the United States, including securing funding for improvements to the Rochester International Airport, the completion of Highway 14 and other projects across the First Congressional District.

He believes improving transportation in southern Minnesota is critical but wants to focus in more on what he feels is true infrastructure including roads, bridges, airports, locks and dams, trucking, pipelines and ports.

Half of the money going into the Rochester BRT will be federal money.

Although the project was determined by the Federal Transit Program as a medium to high priority, the final decision on whether or not federal funding will be coming to Rochester will be made next year.

Carli Petrus

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