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February 13, 2014

Winona Park & Ride Location to Move

Effective March 3rd, Rochester City Lines will begin utilizing the Wal-Mart parking lot at 955 Frontenac Dr for Winona commuter service. A recent change in ownership of the current JC Penney site has prompted this change, and after searching for a new place to call home, Wal-Mart has welcomed us with open arms. They will provide commuters with parking in a designated area of their parking lot (see map below) at no charge.  This site will provide increased lighting, safety and security for commuters, as well as the convenience of quick access to the store. The final day of service to the JC Penney lot will be Friday, February 28th.
     To continue to arrive in Rochester on the same timetables, the new location also means an adjustment in the departure times from Winona each morning. Effective Monday, March 3rd, the NEW departure times will be: 5:25, 5:55 & 6:25am. Rochester City Lines would like to thank Wal-Mart for accommodating our service, and encourages commuters to park in the designated areas to help us establish a good relationship with the store.
In summary:

  • Commuter parking moving to Wal-Mart on Monday, March 3rd
    • Address: 955 Frontenac Dr, Winona, MN 55987
  • New departure times from Wal-Mart: 5:25, 5:55 and 6:25am


February 12, 2014

Two Downtown Commuter Stands Relocating

Effective Monday, February 24th, Rochester City Lines will be permanently relocating two commuter bus stands. All Winona buses and all Kasson, Byron, Dodge Center and Hayfield buses will relocate from their current spots to the south end of the 300 block of 2ndAve SW. Please see the color-coded map below for a detailed image of the changes. At the time of the move, the commuter bus street signs will be moved to the new stands to help riders identify which buses will load in which stands. Service to the St Marys Campus will not be affected by this move.
This change is at the request of the City of Rochester.


January 28th, 2014

Stewartville Parking Location to Change February 3rd 

The City of Stewartville has requested that Rochester City Lines provide commuter service to the original parking lot at the City Hall/Eastwood Bank site. This move from the current location will be effective Monday, February 3rd. With the recent construction in this area, there is a new sidewalk along 1st Street E that accommodates safe and accessible on-street boarding. When the move takes place, all commuter buses will load along 1st Street between the bank and City Hall and will not pull into the parking lot

Rochester City Lines thanks the City of Stewartville for their continued partnership so that we may continue to provide safe, accessible and convenient commuter service to Rochester.


January 8, 2014

January Edition of The Riders' Report 

Click here to view the January edition of The Riders' Report, the official Rochester City Lines newsletter


January 7, 2014

Updated Byron Departure Time

To better reflect on-the-road performance, the late AM Byron bus will be departing from the Byron Commuter Lot at 7:18. For questions, please email us at


October 11th, 2013

2013 Holiday Service Schedules 

Below is the schedule information for all Rochester City Lines commuter routes during the upcoming holiday season. For any questions or clarification, please call 507-288-4353 or email


All AM commuter buses will run on December 24th and December 31st.

All PM commuter buses on December 24th and 31st will leave Rochester at 3:10, 3:12 or 3:15 (depending on your normal departure time)

There will be NO bus service on December 25th or Jan 1st 



November 26th, 2013

RCL Announces 2014 Fares 

There will be a modest fare increase for 2014. See the information below.


November 20th, 2013

Stewartville Winter Overflow Parking

With snow in the not-too-distant future, the City of Stewartville has agreed to make additional parking spaces available in the area of the commuter bus pickup spot. On days when the angled parking along 2nd St SE is completely filled up, overflow parking will be available in the highlighted areas on the satellite image below. The buses will continue to make one stop in the regular location, loading all passengers in the area. RCL would like to thank the City for their assistance in this matter, and as always we thank you for your continued ridership.

For questions, please email or call 507-288-4353.


November 15th, 2013

Byron Service Returning to Commuter Lot Monday

RCL is pleased to announce that service to the Byron Commuter Lot will resume on Monday, 11/18. Today will be the last day of service for the Byron Middle School and Tompkins Drive locations. Beginning next Monday, the pickup times at the Commuter Lot will be as follows:





The late bus will continue to make its route through town at the original times. The only change to this bus is that there will no longer be a pickup at 7th Street and 1st Ave Northeast. The earlier buses will serve the commuter lot exclusively. With a newly constructed entrance, the buses will pull into the lot and load passengers in this area rather than out on the street. RCL asks riders to keep this in mind and leave a clear path for the buses to enter and exit from the commuter lot.


October 24th, 2013

Chatfield Park & Ride to Move

In cooperation with Kwik Trip and the City of Chatfield, Rochester City Lines will move the current Park & Ride location from behind the former elementary school at 4th and Twiford to the new Kwik Trip, located at 150 Hwy 30 in Chatfield. This move will take place on Monday, November 4th. Service on Main Street near the Greenway Coop will continue to be provided for riders who walk from the surrounding neighborhoods. This move will NOT affect the 6:40/6:50 bus. For riders who move to Kwik Trip, the parking area will be on the NW side of the property.

Times will be as follows: 

Greenway Coop: 5:44am, 6:13am, 7:08am

New Kwik Trip:    5:46am, 6:15am, 7:10am 

Rochester City Lines thanks the City of Chatfield for their partnership during the last several years, and also thanks Kwik Trip for welcoming us to their new and expanded location. Kwik Trip is a valued partner that brings value to RCL and our riders in several different communities across Southeast Minnesota. We encourage Chatfield riders to support Kwik Trip by shopping at their new store. For questions, please contact RCL at or call 507-288-4353.


October 22nd, 2013

KASSON & CANNON FALLS notes for Thursday, October 24th

Kasson riders: This is just a short and sweet note for Kasson riders who park at St. John's Lutheran Church. The church is hosting their lutefisk dinner on Thursday, October 24th. Commuters who normally park at the church are asked to please find an alternative location to park for this day only. 

Cannon Falls Riders: The City is going to section off ˝ of the park and ride lot for tree trimming. This will include the western half of the paved lot and the gravel lot. Commuters are welcome to park across the street near the ball fields. This will be for Thursday 10/24 only. Commuter service and loading location will not be affected by this work. Please reply to this email for any questions.


October 15th, 2013

Pine Island Parking Update

The City of Pine Island has notified us that the parking location for commuters will return to its fall/winter seasonal location at the Douglas Trail Lot beginning next Monday, October 21st. For any questions, please email or call 507-288-4353.

October 15th, 2013

Zumbro Falls detour ENDS TODAY

The bridge replacement project in Zumbro Falls has been completed. In accordance with this development, RCL will revert back to the original route schedule on Wednesday, October 16th. This will include the original departure times and (in Zumbro Falls) locations for Wabasha, Lake City, Zumbro Falls & Reinke’s Corners. For any questions, please email or call 507-288-4353.


August 29th, 2013

Labor Day Service Reminder

As a courtesy reminder, there will be NO commuter service on Monday in recognition of Labor Day. Service will resume Tuesday, including new service changes for Preston, Fountain, Chatfield and Kasson and new service to downtown Minneapolis from Rochester. See earlier announcements below.


August 26th, 2013

Service to New Park & Ride Lot in Kasson Begins Tuesday, 9/3

Rochester City Lines has been informed that the new commuter lot located at  the SW corner of Hwy 14 and Mantorville Ave (across from Kwik Trip) will open on Tuesday, September 3rd. On this date RCL will discontinue using the Kasson Middle School parking lot and begin using the new commuter lot. Service times will remain the same for the first three buses (5:53, 6:07 and 6:43). The late bus will have a slight adjustment.  This bus will now make a stop at 4th St & 2nd Ave SW at 7:10 and depart from the new commuter lot at 7:12. Rochester City Lines would like to take this opportunity to thank the City of Kasson for the construction of this lot to support the strong connection between these two great cities. We look forward to serving you from this new location!


August 12, 2013

Daily Service from Rochester to Minneapolis Starts September 3rd

Rochester City Lines is set to once again offer daily public bus service to the Twin Cities for Rochester residents. After an attempt fell short last fall, the local bus company took the route off-line and back to the drawing board. The new route, which starts September 3rd, will offer weekday limited stop service to the heart of downtown Minneapolis.
Speaking about the route, City Lines’ community liaison Christian Holter said “Even though we had quite a bit of interest last year, it became clear pretty early on that the route wasn’t serving riders as well as it could. This route is much more direct. We’re going right into downtown Minneapolis, and we’ve actually shaved an hour off the total trip time each day. We believe this can attract and serve multiple customer groups including daily commuters, occasional business travelers and day trippers.”
To encourage drivers to dump the pump and take the bus, RCL is offering a free 10-Ride pass (a $133 value) to all riders as well as discounted monthly passes for the month of September. For schedule and ticketing information, interested persons can call RCL at 507-288-4353 or email
This will be the fourth bus offered by RCL connecting Rochester and the Twin Cities via the Highway 52 corridor. RCL currently offers three southbound trips for metro area residents who commute to Rochester. The new route will be for locals who travel north for the day. 
Rochester City Lines is a family-owned business in Rochester, Minnesota founded in 1966 by the Holter family. The Holters have built their business from the ground up, and have trained and developed a knowledgeable staff that is eager to provide enjoyable and dependable transportation for travelers of all ages. 

August 6, 2013

Service expansion announcement for Preston, Fountain and Chatfield

Following the recent survey conducted on the 4:00 Chatfield and 4:10 Preston bus, Rochester City Lines is excited to announce a service addition coming Tuesday, September 3rd. This will  include a 4th bus for Preston, Fountain and Chatfield in the morning, and a 3:40 bus to Preston, Fountain and Chatfield in the afternoon. Changes will be implemented on Tuesday, September 3rd after Labor Day.

Riders of the early AM bus will also see changes. The current bus will move back 8 minutes to accommodate a true 6:30 start time. It will depart Preston at 5:22, Fountain at 5:29 and Chatfield at 5:47, with new scheduled arrival times of 6:10 at St. Mary’s and 6:15 downtown.

The new bus will become the new 7:00 bus and will depart Preston at 5:52, Fountain at 5:59, Chatfield at 6:17, and arrive at St. Mary’s at 6:40, and downtown at 6:45. The 7:30 bus will also move back by 5 minutes to provide a few extra minutes for riders to reach their destination. The 8:00 bus will not change.

In the afternoon, the 4:00 Chatfield bus will continue to run on an as-needed basis. RCL will monitor passenger loads on all buses to ensure overcrowding does not happen. You can check out the revised service schedules by clicking on where you ride from:

Preston  Fountain  Chatfield.

We at RCL would also like to take this opportunity to encourage you to use our Refer a Friend program. For each new rider that you bring onto the bus, we will reward you with $25. This service addition comes with the expectation that as we add service, we will be able to attract more riders from the area. We would greatly appreciate your help in recruiting some new friendly faces to the bus.

Thank you, and thanks for riding; we love serving you!

Official Press Release


July 29th, 2013

Stewartville Parking Location to Change

At the request of Stewartville City Hall, Rochester City Lines has agreed to move the main parking location in Stewartville from its current location at City Hall/Eastwood Bank to the corner of 2nd Avenue and 2nd Street southeast. The move will be effective Monday, August 5th. The new location is one block south and just down the street from the current location. City administrator Bill Schimmel informed RCL that the City will be striping new angled parking spaces along the south side of 2nd street just west of 2nd avenue, as well as parallel parking on the north side of the street. RCL has maps available on its website showing where the new parking location will be. All departure times will remain the same; the new 2nd & 2nd stop will depart at 6:15, 6:45 and 7:15. For questions about bus service, please email or call Rochester City Lines at 507-288-4353. For any other questions about this move, please contact Stewartville City Hall at 507-533-4745.



June 7, 2013

Rochester City Lines Seeing Record Growth

Rochester City Lines continues to find its bright yellow motor coaches rolling down new roads. RCL’s charter division, which uses the finest motor coaches in the fleet, made a record number of trips in the month of May. Highlights included a major multi-bus move to a Physics Day education event for Rochester area high school students at Valley Fair as well as multiple wedding shuttles, celebration buses and athletic team trips for groups of all sizes.
“There’s no doubt it’s been a busy spring,” Community Liaison Christian Holter. “You ask any driver, manager, operations or maintenance team member what’s going on, and they will definitely say we’re as busy as we’ve ever been. We’re actually looking to hire more drivers to handle the extra work.”
With available amenities such as leather seating, on board wi-fi and 110 volt power outlets, traveling by bus is an increasingly attractive option for groups looking for savings in light of rising fuel, maintenance and repair costs associated with personal vehicles. Rochester City Lines also provides value to customers through membership in the International Motorcoach Group, a national group of motor coach transportation providers located throughout the continental U.S. and Canada. Each IMG company is held to the highest industry standards for maintenance, customer service and dependability.
The locally owned company has poured their resources into their remaining business segments after suspending their transit operations last July due to an inability to compete with the federally funded Rochester Public Transit.
For a great quote on the best group transportation that Rochester has to offer, call RCL at 507-288-4353.

May 30, 2013

Stockton Parking Change

Effective Monday June 10th, the current bus stop in Stockton at F Street will move two blocks east to Hwy 14 and D Street. The City has offered the north parking lot at the city hall as an option for off street parking (see map below). The bus will stay on Hwy 14 in the AM and load at the intersection of D Street at its current departure times of 5:43, 6:13 & 6:43. The shelter at this intersection can be used for waiting for the bus. For your safety in the evening, the bus will drop passengers off at the city hall parking lot on 6th Street. Parking on D Street is at your discretion. RCL encourages you to check current city ordnance to make sure it is legal. Because this is a City-implemented change, questions or concerns should be brought to the attention of the City of Stockton.


May 15, 2013

Rochester City Lines Update- Summer Construction in Byron Area

Construction on Frontage Road in Byron is expected to begin May 28th and continue through much of the summer. During this time Rochester City Lines will make several changes to the current routes in order to continue bus service to you- our valued Byron riders.

The Early bus routes at 6:08, 6:16 & 6:53 will use the parking lot at the Middle School on 4th St. NW.

Bus riders are asked to park their vehicles at the park at the farthest Southwest corner of the lot (across from the Performing Arts entrance). This is where the buses will load & unload. (See Map 1). No change in bus time is expected.

The Byron Late Route that arrives downtown Rochester by 7:40 will make a slight change to the commuter parking lots. Riders currently using the Market Place Grocery Store or Commuter Lot will be re-located to Tompkins Dr. by the City Hall (See Map 2). A new load time of 7:11 is expected. The bus will load at the drive in front of the entrance to City Hall, and will stay on Tompkins Dr to load passengers. Vehicles may park along Tompkins Dr. during this time. The bus will proceed to 4th St & Byron Ave making the usual stops along the way on 4th St. Due to the construction the bus will need to load the Byron Ave passengers on the Northwest side of 4th St at the Stop Sign. Time is not expected to change.

In the evening, buses will stop at both locations if necessary allowing passengers the flexibility to use any current PM bus to get back to their parking location. These changes will make the most minimal impact to the route and insure that you will still be able to use Rochester City Lines as your means of transportation. We thank you for your patience during this time and are looking forward to the new and improved Frontage Road and Commuter Lot.

Any questions can be addressed with your current bus driver Commuter Division Manager Mike Rizzo. He can be reached at or 507-424-6284.

Map 1

Map 2


May 14, 2013

Pine Island Parking Moving to Summer Location

With the advent of summer, the beautiful Douglas Trail connecting Rochester and Pine Island sees a substantial increase in foot and bike traffic. With that increase comes cramped parking conditions at the main Douglas Trail parking lot in Pine Island, making a change necessary. This seasonal parking change for Pine Island riders will take effect this coming Monday, May 20th. The bus loading location will be moved from its current location in Pine Island at the Douglas Trail lot to the corner of 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street NE. As in years past, this will be the parking location until the busy summer season is over. You can see RCL’s website for a map of the summer pickup spot. Thanks for your cooperation, and as always, thanks for riding with RCL!


March 6, 2013

Comprehensive Parking Reform for Lake City

It has been brought to our attention that the current in-town location which has been in place for about 3 weeks now is not achieving the safety, satisfaction or compromise that we had hoped for. To hopefully bring this issue to rest, please see the below note that we received from Lake City Police Chief Gary Majchrzak:

“What we have done is worked out a plan where the central stop in Lake City will be returned to the public parking lot on Marion and High St. (where it used to be).  We have made arrangements whereby city employees will shift their vehicle parking to the fire department lot, across the street. This should loosen up the public lot for commuter bus riders.”

To assist with this move, Rochester City Lines will be making the following service changes, effective Monday, March 11th:

  • The EARLY AM Lake City bus will stop ONLY at the Public Works Parking Lot and at the stop sign on High Street & Lyon (for passengers that walk to the bus stop – No Vehicle Parking Available)
  • The LATE AM Lake City bus still stop at BOTH the Public Works Parking Lot AND the City Parking Lot.
  • BOTH PM buses will stop at BOTH parking locations.

Rochester City Lines recognizes and validates the frustration of having to move you- our beloved riders- from place to place, but we are hopeful that this new arrangement will bring a lasting solution that will work best for everyone. As always, we encourage and welcome your feedback on any aspect of our service.

Thank you, and thanks for riding.


March 6, 2013

March Newsletter is out!

The March edition of our newsletter The Riders' Report is now available.



February 8, 2013

Rochester City Lines Hits Million Mile Mark

Demand for high quality transportation in Southeastern Minnesota on the rise
Transportation needs are growing in southeastern Minnesota and across the nation, and Rochester City Lines is not putting on the brakes. The local company has continued to establish itself as a primary provider of safe, high quality and dependable bus transportation. 2012 marked the first time in the company’s 47 year history that the Commuter and Charter divisions combined to provide one million miles of service in a single year.
In a statement about the milestone, RCL Community Liaison Christian Holter said “This great achievement is a testimony to the overall quality of our entire team. Our charter coordinators, operations managers, maintenance team and especially our drivers are truly the ones who have made this milestone possible. With Mayo Clinic’s recent unveiling of the Destination Medical Center initiative, the million mile mark also represents our dedication and ability to grow with our community for years to come.”
In the face of protracted litigation over the taking of the public transit system founded and developed by the Holter family in Rochester in 1966, RCL has proven itself able to develop new business and continue to provide jobs for the local economy. School, religious, athletic, corporate and tourism groups are choosing RCL again and again, recognizing the pride and care that is delivered with every safe trip.
Rochester City Lines is a family-owned business in Rochester, Minnesota founded in 1966 by the Holter family. The Holters have built their business from the ground up, and have trained and developed a knowledgeable staff that is eager to provide enjoyable and dependable transportation for travelers of all ages.

January 9, 2013

RCL Publishes GTFS Data

     Rochester City Lines continues to lead the way in utilizing emerging technologies with the publication of their General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data. By partnering with Portland, Oregon based Trillium Transit Solutions, information, prices and times on every RCL commuter route can now be discovered by searching for public transit options in Google Maps and 3rd party mobile apps for transit; allowing even more riders to save money, relax and preserve the environment by discovering and taking advantage of existing public transit services like RCL.

     RCL Community Liaison Christian Holter commended the advancement saying “By publishing our GTFS data and making it available for anyone to use, Rochester City Lines is joining the ranks of some of the largest and most technologically progressive transportation entities in the nation. As more and more transit information goes mobile, the quantity- and quality of the information available to developers becomes increasingly important. Taking this step fits squarely within our company mission statement, “Rochester City Lines shall meet the growing needs of the community through innovative service delivery. We will excel in all areas to meet the customer’s need.”
     HopStop, a leading app development company that was named one of the “Top 100 Fastest Growing Software Companies” by Inc. Magazine has already contacted RCL and is in the process of adding the data to its’ growing list of door-to-door transit, walking, biking, and taxi directions.
Rochester City Lines is a family-owned business in Rochester, Minnesota founded in 1966 by the Holter family. The Holters have built their business from the ground up, and have trained and developed a knowledgeable staff that is eager to provide enjoyable and dependable transportation for travelers of all ages.
For more information or to request RCL’s GTFS data, visit


December 24th, 2012

Dexter Commuter Parking News

This news story is shared on behalf of Lake Geo Travel Plaza

Rochester City Lines would like to thank the Pit Stop Bar & Grill and Lake Geo Travel Plaza for providing a clean and safe parking area for commuter riders during the past several years. It has been and will continue to be an asset to riders both now and in the future.

Starting in 2013, parking at the Lake Geo Travel Plaza will be by permit only. Commuter riders that leave their vehicles parked for the day will need to register for either a Monthly or Daily parking permit. The cost for a Monthly permit will be $20. In return, permit holders will receive a Coffee Card with 14 punches. Each punch is valid for one cup of coffee valued at $1.50 each, for a monthly Coffee Card total of $21. If coffee is not your thing, an alternative beverage can be substituted. For occasional parkers, daily parking permits are available at a cost of $2.00 per day and will not qualify for a beverage.

To register, go into the convenience store at Lake Geo and provide them with the following information:

  • Name
  • License Plate
  • Phone Number

You may register up to two vehicles. Vehicles not registered will be subject to towing at the owners expense. For further details or questions, Rochester City Lines encourages you to call the Lake Geo Travel Plaza at 507-584-1801.


December 12, 2012

Bus Riders Continue to Connect Hassle-Free

Rochester City Lines, Mayo Clinic and the City of Rochester extended an agreement this week that will allow commuter riders to continue to transfer to in-town transit routes at no additional charge during the coming year. Commuter riders can complete their trip on any in-town route using their Rochester City Lines 10-Ride, monthly or annual pass. For details, call us at 507-288-4353.


September 5th, 2012

New RCL E-Newsletter The Riders Report  now available

The Riders Report, the new enewsletter from Rochester City Lines hit inboxes across the web yesterday. If you didn't get yours, you can read it online and sign up for your own by clicking the link below.

READ The Riders Report

SIGN UP for The Riders Report


July 10th, 2012

New Rochester City Lines App Delivers Instant Information to Bus Riders

Riders of all ages now have access to news, schedules, and savings.

Rochester City Lines is excited to connect with bus riders using technology as mobile as their bright red and yellow coach buses. The RCL Bus app, which is now available for free download to iPhone, iPad, and Android device users, is designed to provide riders with information about RCL’s commuter services.
Some of the key features in RCL Bus include:
  • Information on bus stop locations, pricing, and departure times for all 44 communities served by RCL, including Austin, Owatonna, Winona, and the Twin Cities
  • GPS directions to the nearest bus stop from your location
  • Ability to receive instant notifications for weather/schedule updates
  • Access to RCL news, events, and photos
  • Full social integration with Facebook and Twitter
Speaking about the app, City Lines’ community liaison, Christian Holter, said “RCL Bus is a really great tool for new and veteran riders alike. Because they choose to ride the bus, we know that our riders deeply value their time and resources; so the ability to receive instant updates on schedule changes and weather-related service updates is something that we believe will be well received.”
Hosted by app developer ShoutEm, Inc., RCL Bus is immediately available in the Google Play Store and the App Store from Apple.
Rochester City Lines is a family-owned business in Rochester, Minnesota. Founded in 1966 by the Holter family, they have worked to surround themselves with experienced and knowledgeable staff, eager to provide enjoyable and dependable transportation for travelers of all ages.
Official Press Release


February 1, 2012

RCL Recognized as "Innovative Operator" in Motorcoach Industry

Rochester City Lines is proud to share that we have been chosen as one of seven “Innovative Operators” in North America by recognized industry trade journal Metro Magazine. The January 2012 issue features a full page story and is titled “Integrity of Service Keeps Minnesota Coach Operations Robust”. The article highlights the Holter family’s 52 year legacy of providing first-class quality transportation through Richfield Bus Company, Heartland Tours, and Rochester City Lines.

In the article, RCL general manager Dan Holter states that “dependability and service” are the driving principles that have been handed down to him from his parents, who founded RCL in 1966. Speaking about the recognition, Holter says “We are honored to be noted for the work of our family and employees.  There is a great amount of joy in providing service to others.  The bus service can be very difficult as those in the industry know.  We have learned to be good ducks.  We stay calm on the surface and paddle hard to earn a job well done.”

We at RCL would like to thank each and every one of you, our riders. Without you, this award would not be possible, and it is because of your participation through comments, phone calls, and surveys, that we can continue to serve you as a leading innovator in the motorcoach industry.

To read the full article in the January 2012 issue of Metro Magazine, click here.


METRO is one of the oldest and largest magazines entirely devoted to public transportation in the world. It has served the rail market since 1904 and the bus market since buses were invented! Metro's editorial and marketing staff is dedicated to providing readers with the most timely and insightful coverage of the public transportation industry, especially its transit and motorcoach segments.

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