The City of Rochester is the location of the Destination Medical Center (DMC), the largest economic development initiative in Minnesota history. The DMC is a public-private partnership that will provide the public financing necessary to build infrastructure and other projects necessary to support the $5 billion of private investment, 65 percent increase in employment, and 30 percent population growth expected in downtown Rochester in the next 20 years. Both the City of Rochester Downtown Master Plan and the DMC Development Plan identify the need for an aggressive increase in transit mode share, aiming to capture 23 to 30 percent of all downtown commuters on transit by 2040.
Since 2014, SRF has been working with the City of Rochester to plan for transit needs in their community, first through the Integrated Transit Studies, then through a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and streetcar alternatives analysis, and now SRF is currently leading the architectural and engineering services for Rochester’s first BRT line. The 2.6 mile BRT corridor is located in the heart of Rochester, running along 2nd Street SW and Broadway Avenue.
The key components of this project led by SRF include satisfying National Environmental Policy Act requirements, conducting public engagement, developing corridor concepts, roadway reconstruction, and transit center site design from preliminary through final engineering, preparation and support for construction bids, and support services during project construction.
Rapid Transit stations will include shelter, heat, level boarding, real-time passenger information, and off-board fare payment. At the Saint Mary’s Hospital station, a transit center will be constructed on the north side of 2nd Street SW along with a new pedestrian tunnel connecting the hospital and transit center.
The BRT will operate in business access and transit (BAT) lanes for most of its length and transit signal priority will be implemented along the route. Link Rapid Transit service will utilize electric 60’ articulated vehicles with unique branding. Service frequency is planned to be every five minutes during peak periods and every 10 minutes at other times. Depot chargers located at the existing Rochester Public Transit operations and maintenance garage will charge vehicles overnight and rapid chargers will be installed at the route layover location.