ROCHESTER, Minn. – Many neighborhood bus routes suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic will be restarted on August 15.
Rochester Public Transit (RPT) says the move is in response to increasing ridership, changes in parking policies, and public comments but it will not be a full restoration of all routes.
Weekday neighborhood routes will be restored with some exceptions. Routes 14, 17 and 18 will continue to be suspended and Route 3 will remain on a long term detour due to construction. Route 6M will increase service by adding additional morning and afternoon peak trips. Weekday direct routes will continue to run as they have been running for the last four months during core service.
RPT says Routes 21-26 will operate on weekday evenings as well as weekends and holidays. Routes 1N, 3N, 7N, and 12N remain suspended. Weekend and holidays will run according to the published weekend and holiday schedule for Routes 21-26.
“Recent policy changes, like the resumption of enforcement in residential parking zones, and the upcoming change of seasons make this the right time to provide additional service,” says Physical Development Manager Ia Xiong. “We hope adding these routes will fill an unmet need and spur additional ridership growth.”
RPT says its buses averaged over 8,000 riders on weekdays before COVID-19. That number plunged to just over 500 weekday riders in April and has been steadily increasing ever since.