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Rochester receives federal grant to support improved transit service downtown

Rochester receives federal grant to support improved transit service downtown

The Federal Transit Administration is awarding Rochester $765,000 to develop plans for a proposed Downtown Transit Circulator.

The announcement was made this week as part of a $16.6 million grant program designed to improve public transportation in 20 cities around the country. Specifically, the grants were awarded to communities that are developing new or expanded mass transit systems.

According to the city’s transit department, the grant will be used locally to support a $1.1 million planning project focused on the Second Street Southwest route, which connects a future large parking hub in northwest Rochester to the Destination Medical Center district, before continuing on to serve a second planned parking hub in southeast Rochester.

Diagram courtesy Rochester Public Transit

“This grant will allow us to perform necessary refinements to transit circulator recommendations adopted by the Rochester City Council and the DMCC board this summer, specifically examining the alignment in the context of broader economic development opportunities, connectivity to other transportation modes, and access for all users,” explained Cindy Steinhauser, Rochester’s community development director.

The City of Rochester has committed a local match of $337,000 to the studies. Outcomes of the planning, according to Rochester Public Transit, could include the identification of opportunities for affordable housing near the circulator, as well as determining public space needs such as green infrastructure, signage, branding, lighting and ADA accessibility.

City officials expect the bus rapid transit system to be operating within the next 30 months. The concept is part of a series of strategies being deployed by the city and DMC to improve public transportation in Rochester.

Related: Rochester launches incentive program for downtown commuters

Cover photo by Tom Roster

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