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March 30th, 2016
Chatfield Area Service Announcement
In response to numerous rider requests, Rochester City Lines will make an adjustment to service in the Chatfield area. Beginning Monday, April 4th, ALL afternoon buses will begin dropping off at Kwik Trip and the Greenway Co-op ONLY. This will provide faster home-bound service through Chatfield for all riders.
The 6:40am Chatfield bus will continue to pick up at the coop and grocery store (new time of 6:48am), and will also begin stopping at Kwik Trip (6:50am) on the way to Rochester in the morning.
Rochester City Lines is committed to maintaining increased frequency and flexibility for all riders along the Hwy 52 South Corridor, and accordingly there will continue to be a 4:40pm departure, and one bus at 5:10pm which will serve all stops on the route- two stops in Chatfield, one in Fountain and one in Preston.
Rochester City Lines
Background on this decision:
On February 1st of this year, RCL initiated a new 4:40pm departure to expand service frequency. As part of this change, the 5:10pm departures to Preston/Fountain and Chatfield which had previously been delivered on two buses, were combined to one bus. This change was made with the expectation that ridership loads would balance out between the two buses.
The change also provided consistency across all departure times for your service area. In the past, Chatfield riders could become confused on days when service was combined at 5:10. On more than one occasion, a Chatfield rider would miss their bus, expecting a separate Chatfield bus when they instead should have boarded the Preston/Fountain bus. This issue has been eliminated.
We now have just over eight weeks of operational experience, or 40+ trips worth of data to explore how these changes are working out. In the first week of service, we had two trips at 5:10 when there were more passengers than seats. This situation occurred a third time in week two, and a fourth time in week three. Since that time we have not had a situation in which a seat was unavailable. At the same time, this new 4:40 departure has exceeded our early expectations, and is a very popular choice for commuters.
In closing, some riders have suggested expanding service further south to include a Harmony pickup. Our prior experience with Harmony service demonstrated a low amount of riders coming from Harmony and other points south. Additionally, our most recent survey on the corridor showed only about a dozen people commuting from this region. As such, RCL is not considering a service area expansion at this time.
January 25, 2016
Rochester City Lines Expands Public Transportation Options
New daily departure to Preston, Fountain and Chatfield starts February 1st
With an eye toward future growth, Rochester City Lines is expanding bus service for commuters along the U.S. 52 South corridor with the launch of a 4:40pm departure serving Preston, Fountain and Chatfield. The new route, which will run Monday-Friday, starts February 1st.
“We’re very excited about this new service. With the added frequency, buses now serve the region every 30 minutes during the peak afternoon hours” said RCL commuter services manager Christian Holter. “Riders will appreciate the added flexibility and ability to get home a half hour sooner.”
To encourage people to try out the service, RCL is offering free 10-Ride passes to anyone currently driving to work in Rochester. Interested persons should call 507-288-4353 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 22nd, 2016
Rochester City Lines Commuter Bus News: Downtown Boarding Area Reorganization
Rochester City Lines will be reorganizing a significant portion of the downtown commuter bus stands for regional public commuter service. These changes will take place on Monday, February 1st. These efforts will improve service for users by increasing both pedestrian and vehicle safety. Boarding locations and access points will also be improved for many routes. Riders from the following towns should pay close attention to these changes:
Please see the two maps accompanying this article for a current and future layout of all commuter bus boarding areas. For purposes of this article, each bus stand affected by these changes has been assigned a color. On the first map, you can see where the current boarding area is, and on the second map you can see where the boarding area will be relocated to when the changes take place on Monday, February 1st.
AM dropoff locations and PM departure times for all routes are NOT affected by these changes. For questions about regional public commuter service, please contact Rochester City Lines at email@example.com or 507-288-4353.
BOARDING AREAS IN DOWNTOWN ROCHESTER EFFECTIVE 2/1/16
November 2, 2015
Owatonna Commuter Service Expansion
Rochester City Lines is pleased to share that we will begin offering a second daily round trip from Owatonna. The new departure will begin on Monday, November 30th, just after the Thanksgiving holiday. This new 5:34am departure will provide arrival to Rochester by 6:35am (St Marys) and 6:40am (downtown), with PM departure at 4:10pm.
As part of this change, riders for the 5pm departure will begin boarding the 5:10 Hayfield bus. This bus will deliver passengers to the Dodge Center park & ride on Hwy 14, where a quick transfer will be made to a waiting bus for continuing service to Owatonna. This change will also help us meet our goal of providing an earlier departure from Rochester at 5:10pm.
Additionally, the current bus will begin departing Owatonna at 6:35am on a seasonal basis to allow for extra travel time. This change also will begin November 30th and last through the end of winter.
For questions, comments or feedback, please call us at 507-288-4353 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 3, 2015
Zumbrota/Pine Island Service Realignment
Beginning Monday, September 14th, RCL will be realigning bus services in your area. Please see your boarding town below to learn about how this will affect you.
Zumbrota: RCL is adding a NEW 4:40pm departure. This bus will leave from the Twin Cities stand and will serve the Armory stop in town. Also, the 8:10am reservation-only pickup will be discontinued due to lack of use.
Pine Island: The 5:10 Cannon Falls/Pine Island bus is being discontinued. Cannon Falls riders will board the Twin Cities bus, and Pine Island riders will board the Zumbrota bus. Departure time will remain 5:10.
September 3, 2015
Re: RCL Regional Bus Service
Attention Twin Cities, Hampton and Cannon Falls Area Commuters:
Beginning Monday, September 14th, RCL will be realigning bus services in your area. Please see your boarding town below to learn about how this will affect you.
Bloomington: NEW 5:30am departure will be added to arrive in downtown Rochester at 7:15am. The 6:00am departure will make regular stops in Hampton and Cannon Falls so as to arrive in Rochester closer to the currently scheduled time of 7:40am. There also will be a NEW 4:40pm departure from downtown Rochester. Finally, the 5:15pm departure will be moved to 5:10pm.
Inver Grove Heights: NEW 5:45am departure will be added to arrive in downtown Rochester at 7:15am. The 6:15am departure will make regular stops in Hampton and Cannon Falls so as to arrive in Rochester closer to the currently scheduled time of 7:40am. There also will be a NEW 4:40pm departure from downtown Rochester. Finally, the 5:15pm departure will be moved to 5:10pm.
Hampton: NEW 6:05am departure will provide arrival into downtown Rochester by 7:15am.The 6:35am departure will be provided by the Twin Cities bus and will arrive in downtown Rochester closer to the currently schedule time of 7:40am. There also will be a NEW 4:40pm departure from downtown Rochester. Finally, we will be adding a NEW 7:35am stop in Hampton on a reservation-only basis. This bus arrives in Rochester at 8:40. Finally, the 5:15pm departure will be moved to 5:10pm.
Cannon Falls: NEW 6:15am departure will provide arrival into downtown Rochester by 7:15am.The 6:45am departure will be provided by the Twin Cities bus and will arrive in downtown Rochester closer to the currently schedule time of 7:40am. There also will be a NEW 4:40pm departure from downtown Rochester, leaving from the Twin Cities stand. For the 5:10 departure, Cannon Falls riders should board the Twin Cities bus.
For questions, please contact us online or call 507-288-4353.
April 27, 2015
RCL Adding New Zumbrota/Pine Island Service
Rochester City Lines is pleased to announce an expansion of area commuter service. Starting Monday, May 11th, RCL will be adding a 3:35 Zumbrota/Pine Island bus to serve riders from these towns. Departure from the downtown Zumbrota stand will be at 3:35, with a 3:37 departure from the St Marys Campus. The route will make one stop in Pine Island and will serve both stops in Zumbrota. This service change will impact two other routes:
-The 3:35 Twin Cities bus will no longer stop in Zumbrota, as Zumbrota will be served by the new bus.
-The 4:10 Pine Island bus will be merged with the 4:10 Zumbrota bus. Pine Island riders boarding at 4:10 should board the Zumbrota bus.
We are excited to add new service for Pine Island riders, and believe the increased frequency will improve the ridership and support of the public commuter bus service in this area. For questions, email email@example.com or call 507-288-4353.
January 13, 2015
Lake City Commuter Parking Change
Effective Monday, January 26th, RCL will be adding a stop at Underwood Park on 10th Street (west of Kwik Trip) to the Lake City route.
The stops at Public Works and the City Lot will continue with new departure times.
Both buses will pick up at all locations. The NEW morning schedule will be as follows:
Public Works Lot
Arrive St Marys
The City has asked that commuters using the Underwood site park on the north side of the parking lot (see yellow arrow on image) so that snow can be pushed downhill into the space between the street and the parking lot. The bus will pull into the commuter lot to load riders.
September 12, 2014
Important Message for LeRoy/Grand Meadow Riders
We are sorry to share that after Friday, November 7, 2014, Rochester City Lines will discontinue service on the LeRoy/Grand Meadow route.
Despite the safe and dependable service provided by your driver Roy and our operations, ridership has fallen below the level needed to sustain this route. We encourage commuters to make use of the other routes serving your area.
September 9, 2014
Road Construction on C.R. 142
Due to construction on County Road 142 between Dover and Eyota, there will be two changes on the St. Charles/Dover/Eyota route. These changes will begin Monday, September 15th and last several weeks until all work is done.
Dover Residents: The pickup location will relocate one block north to C.R. 10 and Center Street in Dover. Departure times will remain 5:58am and 6:58am.
Eyota Residents: AM departures will be at the same locations, but five minutes later than currently scheduled.
There will be no changes for St. Charles residents. Morning buses are expected to continue to arrive downtown by the scheduled times. For questions about bus service, contact RCL at firstname.lastname@example.org or 507-288-4353. For questions and information about the road project, contact Olmsted County Public Works at 507-328-7060.
August 21, 2014
Riders Report Newsletter- Summer Edition
The latest edition of Rochester City Lines' newsletter The Riders' Report is now available!
August 18, 2014
Austin Area Service Announcement
First of all, we want to thank you for your participation in the bus route survey earlier this summer. Over 90% of you shared your thoughts and opinions with us, and we believe we have been able to identify changes that will benefit all riders. Below are several changes that will take place after Labor Day beginning Tuesday, September 2nd.
-Revised PM Departure Times. There will be three departures from Rochester. The new times will be 3:45, 4:15 and 5:15pm. All buses will go to both Dexter and Austin.
-Revised Dexter departure for early AM route. To provide timely service to Rochester in the morning, the early bus will depart Austin at 5:40am and Dexter at 6:00am (currently 6:03).
-St. Mary's service. All buses will now stop at St. Mary's before AND after leaving downtown. The 3:33, 4:03 and 5:03 departures from St. Mary's will be primarily for those needing to transfer to other commuter routes. NEW outbound departure times from Canadian Honker Restaurant (across from St Mary's) will be 3:47, 4:18 and 5:18.
-Regular Driver. We are currently seeking for someone in the Austin area who can become a member of our team and provide dedicated service on the Austin route. If you know of anyone who would be interested in this driving job, please encourage them to contact us at 507-288-4353 or email@example.com. If you are a rider who has an interest in becoming a driver (get paid to drive to work!), we are flexible and can provide training.
We hope these changes will make Rochester City Lines more user-friendly, and we ask you to share the news with your friends and coworkers to encourage and welcome new riders on board.
Thank you, and thanks for riding!
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
June 7, 2013
Rochester City Lines Seeing Record Growth
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
ABOUT METRO MAGAZINE
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.