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Rochester Transit Line

Posted: May 23rd, 2013, 7:39 am
by talindsay
So the Strib article about Rochester (Mayo) getting its $585m subsidy states that "The county will also fund a $116 million transit line to make it easier for patients and Mayo visitors to move around the community." I know the initial proposal had suggested a streetcar line in the city to accommodate movement of people between the Mayo complex and other points in the city; but given how hard Minneapolis is having to work to come up with funding for a streetcar line from a variety of random financing mechanisms, it seems surprising to me that this is stated as a sure thing that *will* be done.

So, what do we really know about this transit line in Rochester? Are they planning on going for federal money or are they just going to pay out of pocket and do it quickly? Is the planning far enough along that they know what form it will take? Please correct me if this has been discussed elsewhere, but I haven't seen anybody mention this project in detail thus far. What do we know?

Re: Rochester Transit Line

Posted: May 23rd, 2013, 7:45 am
by talindsay
The PiPress piece from April made it all sound far more nebulous; it sounds like there's little plan in place. They describe the transit investment in terms that sound less transformational: "Improvements to the transit and transportation system -- including new bus routes, a transit station and a bridge across the Zumbro River -- could account for roughly one-third of the total public spending on Destination Medical Center."

Re: Rochester Transit Line

Posted: May 23rd, 2013, 8:04 am
by RailBaronYarr
The bigger question is how a transit line will reasonably compete with the $100+million free parking garage? With that much more capacity for car storage Rochester will continue to believe they can't possibly reduce lane widths or give up lanes to dedicated transit. And any Zip Line or other options of regional connections will struggle as the option to drive will be economically rational to the individual.

As to the transit line(s).. $116 million could go a long way without federal support for streetcars, couldn't it? The Minneapolis streetcar study estimated (a while ago) that a 2-3 mile line with vehicle and MF costs would be $40-50 million. $116 could reasonably lay 5-6 miles of track with 4 vehicles and a single OMF. I would guess it would require heavy operational subsidy to operate (especially given my first paragraph), but keeping the feds out for funding wouldn't be so bad.

Re: Rochester Transit Line

Posted: May 23rd, 2013, 8:06 am
by RailBaronYarr
talindsay wrote:The PiPress piece from April made it all sound far more nebulous; it sounds like there's little plan in place. They describe the transit investment in terms that sound less transformational: "Improvements to the transit and transportation system -- including new bus routes, a transit station and a bridge across the Zumbro River -- could account for roughly one-third of the total public spending on Destination Medical Center."
mattaudio linked to a document giving a little more specificity to where the funds would come from (which would seem pretty accurate given the state pledged the exact amount requested):

http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews ... 43.pdf.pdf

I take back what I said about not needing federal sources for a downtown circulator. That and the BRT are the only ways the fed gets involved, but still, $253m is a LOT.

Re: Rochester Transit Line

Posted: May 23rd, 2013, 8:34 am
by mattaudio
A Better Rochester will soon be advocating for an integrated transit future for Rochester, combining HSR from Minneapolis to Chicago, a downtown streetcar connecting many of the destinations, and future LRT in the 52 / South Broadway travelsheds with future connectivity to the airport. Get in touch with me offline if anyone wants a preview of the plans.

Re: Rochester Transit Line

Posted: May 24th, 2013, 12:55 pm
by woofner
Some things are good, some things are bad. What a compelling statement. Which areas are served well and which served poorly? Which are those places that Shall Not Be Served? How exactly does one manage to be strategic about where one works, especially those who have niche professions or are unskilled or from disadvantaged circumstances? What if one is strategic about where one works, but then one's employer moves to a nonstrategic location?

Metro Transit has chosen (or due to historic circumstances has ended up with) relatively poor coverage, but relatively good service for those areas it covers. Rochester, on the other hand, has good coverage and bad service (limited span and low frequency). As I said before, I hope that they go for the BRT, use the downtown segments of the BRT as a circulator, and leave the streetcar on the drawing board. It seems that politics will play an even greater role than usual in this planning process, though, unfortunately.

Re: Rochester Transit Line

Posted: May 24th, 2013, 1:10 pm
by mulad
Well, I think both coverage and frequency are worse than they should be in the Twin Cities. It's pretty decent in Minneapolis itself, but even over in St. Paul things drop off quickly.

I made a map of the Rochester system early last year, since they didn't have a comprehensible map on their own website. Things may have changed since then, and this is only the weekday service, if I recall (while service is bad in the Twin Cities on Sunday, I don't think there's any Sunday service in Rochester at the moment). Rochester takes up about the same area as Minneapolis, though it's not all filled in (a lot of it is very sprawly).


Re: Rochester Transit Line

Posted: May 24th, 2013, 2:56 pm
by Visualizer
This is from the official website:

Image

The map fails to indicate just how sparse the service is weekday evenings and Saturdays. There is no service Sundays.

Re: Rochester Transit Line

Posted: May 24th, 2013, 3:41 pm
by mulad
Oh yeah - most of the routes have loops in them, which switch direction depending on time of day. Not depicted in either map.

Re: Rochester Transit Line

Posted: May 24th, 2013, 4:06 pm
by Visualizer
The system is geared heavily toward suburban/downtown commuters. I imagine attempting a cross-town trip would be nearly impossible.

Re: Rochester Transit Line

Posted: May 25th, 2013, 11:34 pm
by beykite
mattaudio wrote:A Better Rochester will soon be advocating for an integrated transit future for Rochester, combining HSR from Minneapolis to Chicago, a downtown streetcar connecting many of the destinations, and future LRT in the 52 / South Broadway travelsheds with future connectivity to the airport. Get in touch with me offline if anyone wants a preview of the plans.
Any timeline of when we can expect to see something? Last I had heard several years ago was the proposal from Mayo downtown to St. Marys possibly being extended to West Circle Drive and RCTC.

As for a Rochester LRT I really like what Froggie had proposed awhile back going from the airport to 55th Although I'm sure it'd cost quiet the pretty penny.

Re: Rochester Transit Line

Posted: May 26th, 2013, 11:18 am
by prk166
Unfortunately the reporter, Ms. Brooks, isn't being as precise as should should be. It's possible that the legislation that Dayton signed differs from the senate bill ( did it have to be reconciled with a MN house version or did the senate bill reflect exactly what passed in the house? ). But when I looked at SF343 on the MN leg web site last tuesday, May 21, the numbers the bill contained were not all of what she referred to in her article.

First, the $585m she mentions long ago died. Given the ease of finding the legislation on the MN legislature's web site, she should have known this. So it doesn't surprise me to see her turn what the legislation refers to as $116m in "transit aid" into "transit line".

Legally I don't what constitutes transit aid. It could be that money could be used for the downtown circulator that the city's master plan calls for. IIRC even though the current master plan calls for a trolley it could still be bus based.

http://www.rochestermn.gov/departments/ ... 10_web.pdf

Re: Rochester Transit Line

Posted: June 6th, 2013, 8:41 am
by mulad
To yank some talk of Rochester transit back into this thread, I'll post this map I made of the Rochester City Lines commuter bus network back in 2011 (I'm told things have changed a bit, though). The colors represent the different fare zones, which range from $10 to $25 for single trips (monthly passes reduce that by anywhere from 16% to 43% depending on the zone). That price seems pretty high to me, so I think the commuter network must be largely unsubsidized. Frequency is also poor, with only 3 or 4 daily round-trips in some of the closer-in towns, and only 1 or 2 on the more distant branches.

Well, on the other hand, it's pretty amazing that a city of 100,000 has a commuter network like that at all.


Re: Rochester Transit Line

Posted: February 11th, 2019, 12:10 pm
by matthew5080
The DMC Board approved Graham Park and the Mayo Clinic West Parking Lot near Cascade Lake as the locations for their "Transit Villages".
More than park-and-rides, which provide transit service only during peak commuter periods, the mobility hubs are being designed to be what DMC leaders call “transit villages.” Plans presented Tuesday show the villages encompassing affordable housing, public amenities and commercial development — along with ample amounts of parking.
The bus rapid transit system will be what serves the mobility hubs. According to the plans, each hub will anchor a circulator route connecting riders with key destinations for employment, entertainment and housing.
Once built, the mobility hubs could have about 6,000 combined parking stalls. Current plans call for service every 10 minutes, 18 hours a day.
https://www.medcitybeat.com/news-blog/2 ... -explained

Re: Rochester Transit Line

Posted: October 19th, 2019, 7:35 am
by matthew5080
The DMC board has voted in favor of BRT over light rail for the downtown circulator.

The two routes for the BRT would be along second street and broadway.

https://www.medcitybeat.com/news-blog/2 ... mmendation

Re: Rochester Transit Line

Posted: October 19th, 2019, 7:39 am
by Silophant
The mayor also questioned why other alternatives, such as elevated or underground rail, were not considered.
Props for thinking big, I guess.

Re: Rochester Transit Line

Posted: October 19th, 2019, 8:45 am
by DanPatchToget
If the mayor really wants rail in Rochester then help bring the Twin Cities-Rochester rail service back into the spotlight.

Re: Rochester Transit Line

Posted: October 19th, 2019, 9:59 am
by tmart
Given our state's famously flexible definition of "BRT", I'm very curious to see what this ends up actually being. It would be quite the feat if Rochester managed to get, say, dedicated, physically-separated, center-running bus lanes before Minneapolis or St. Paul got them.

Re: Rochester Transit Line

Posted: October 20th, 2019, 2:17 am
by Qhaberl
Wouldn’t that be great if Rochester got bus only lanes before the cities! Go Rochester!


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Re: Rochester Transit Line

Posted: October 21st, 2019, 9:18 am
by SurlyLHT
tmart wrote:
October 19th, 2019, 9:59 am
Given our state's famously flexible definition of "BRT", I'm very curious to see what this ends up actually being. It would be quite the feat if Rochester managed to get, say, dedicated, physically-separated, center-running bus lanes before Minneapolis or St. Paul got them.
I agree the C Line which I took to work today is really just a limited stop bus with fancy stations.