Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

Est. 2014

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Update: Here's a look at who's behind Zumbro Transit Company

Update: Here's a look at who's behind Zumbro Transit Company

A group named Zumbro Transit Company purports to be developing plans to build an electric streetcar system along Second Street Southwest.

Here's an excerpt from a press release issued Monday:

For too long the possibility of a fixed rail circulator along 2nd Street has been relegated to the future; some distant prospect that we like to think about but struggle to realize. The members of our team understand that progress and change take time. But most importantly they take leadership to overcome the inertia of the status quo. We hope to provide that leadership to see this vision become a reality.

The group is made up of neighborhood advocates, real estate developers and small business owners:

  • Kellie Mueller (Kutzky Park Neighborhood resident and 2nd Street SW property owner)
  • Lindsey Meek (Professional Civil Engineer and Downtown Neighborhood resident)
  • Adam Ferrari (Licensed Architect and Historic Southwest Neighborhood resident)
  • Eric Cleveland (Leadership Greater Rochester Executive Committee)
  • Dr. Kevin Reid (Doctor at Mayo Clinic)
  • Jamie Sundsbak (Founder of BioAM)
  • Nick Pompeian (Historic Southwest Neighborhood resident, developer, and 2nd street St property owner)

The group was formed in private, with many community leaders unaware of its plans. Prior to Monday's announcement, members of the group had denied involvement with Zumbro Transit Co.



Zumbro's proposal

According to its website, Zumbro Transit Co. plans to begin by establishing a route between downtown and St. Marys Hospital using a "rubber wheeled trolley." The vehicles will run on compressed natural gas to "reduce their environmental footprint."

From there, the company hopes to build enough support to build "electric fixed rail infrastructure" connecting the two hubs. The website also mentions a second phase of the project connecting the line with Mayo Clinic park-n-ride lots.


The company notes both the Second Street Corridor Plan, developed in 2009, and the DMC Development plan, adopted just last year, call for a fixed rail line in downtown Rochester.

At this point, we still don't know when/if the project would be implemented or how much it could cost. You can read more on the proposal here.


About Sean Baker: Sean is the founder and editor of the Med City Beat. Under his direction, the site has transitioned from a small news blog to one of the most widely-read publications in the city. Prior to launching the site in 2014, Sean spent about two years producing television news in Green Bay and Rochester. His office is above a brewery, so please excuse any typos. Twitter.

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(Cover photo: Streetcar in Seattle / Steve Morgan / CC)

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