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July 15th, 2016

Re: Kasson/Byron Service

Attention Kasson & Byron Riders: after conducting the survey and having additional conversations on board the bus with many of you earlier this summer, RCL will be moving forward with a route change beginning Monday, August 1st. Please note the current 5:15 departure will be moved to 5:12 to offset the additional trip time to Kasson.

Afternoon departure times will be as follows:
3:40pm- Kasson/Byron (park & ride lots only)
4:10pm- Kasson/Byron (park & ride lots only)
4:40pm- Kasson/Byron (park & ride lots only)
5:12pm- Kasson/Byron (Byron 4th St run, Kasson regular local route)
5:45pm- Kasson/Byron (park & ride lots only)

Routing through Byron for 8am service will be limited to a single run along 4th St from 2nd Ave NW to 10th Ave NE with pickup points at 2nd Ave and Frontage Road, 2nd Ave and 4th St, 4th St and 5th Ave NE and the Park & Ride lot. See a map below for details. The streamlined 4th St run through Byron will be provided by the Owatonna bus which will come off Hwy 14 and make the scheduled stops. The 5:12 Kasson/Byron departure will be the only bus that provides the 4th St run in Byron in the afternoon.

RCL would like to sincerely thank each and every one of you for your participation and comments in this process. We had nearly 100 responses and saw a vast majority of riders in favor of these changes from both towns, so we are excited to bring this into service!

Byron 4th st run

 

July 15th, 2016

Re: St. Charles Area Service
Attention St. Charles Area Commuters: RCL will be making several changes to regional bus service along Hwy 14. Please see the below schedule which will begin Monday, August 1stAll available stops are listed.
 

St. Charles Hwy 14 & Church Ave St. Charles Park & Ride Eyota S Front St & Center Ave (bike depot) AM Arrival to Downtown AM Arrival to St Marys Campus PM Depart from Downtown
5:38am 5:40am 5:52am 6:15am 6:20am 3:40pm
6:03am 6:05am 6:17am 6:45am 6:50am 4:10pm
6:33am 6:35am 6:47am 7:15am 7:20am 4:40pm
7:03am 7:05am 7:17am 7:45am 7:50am 5:10pm
7:33am 7:35am 7:47am 8:15am 8:20am  


Please note, St. Charles service will be limited to two stops, one at Hwy 14 & Church Ave and one at the park & ride. Due to low and declining ridership, the Dover stop will be discontinued at this time. Dover riders who are Mayo Clinic employees may trade their Zone D passes for the cheaper Zone C- Eyota pass at the Card Access Office.

These changes will significantly improve service times for St. Charles & Eyota riders, while expanding frequency and flexibility in both the morning and afternoon.

These changes come as a direct result of rider participation in surveys conducted on board the routes in May of this year.

 

July 15th, 2016

Re: Winona Area Service

Attention Winona Area Commuters: RCL will be making several changes to regional bus service along Hwy 14. Please see the below schedule which will begin Monday, August 1st.

Winona Wal-Mart Stockton Hwy 14 & 
D St
Lewiston Park & Ride Harrison St St. Charles Park & Ride AM Arrival to Downtown AM Arrival to St Marys Campus PM Depart from Downtown PM Depart from St Marys Campus
5:00am 5:15am 5:25am 5:40am 6:15am 6:20am 3:40pm (Transfer)
5:25am 5:40am 5:50am 6:05am 6:45am 6:50am 4:10pm (Transfer)
5:55am 6:10am 6:20am 6:35am 7:15am 7:20am 4:40pm  
6:25am 6:40am 6:50am 7:05am 7:45am 7:50am 5:10pm (Transfer)
6:55am 7:10am 7:20am 7:35am 8:15am 8:20am 5:15pm* 5:17*

*The 5:15pm will serve as a non-stop Winona express route and will travel from Downtown and St Marys to Winona Wal-Mart via I-90. All other departures will serve all stops.

Due to low and declining ridership, the Utica stop will be discontinued at this time. Utica riders who are Mayo Clinic employees may trade their Zone E Annual passes for the cheaper Zone D- St. Charles pass at the Card Access Office.

These changes come in part as a direct result of rider participation in surveys conducted on board RCL routes in May of this year.

July 14th, 2016

Alternate Preston Pickup for Filmore County Fair

Preston Riders: Commuter parking will be relocating next week for the Filmore County Fair which will be taking place at the Fairgrounds. This will be for Monday, July 18th through Friday, July 22nd. The alternate pickup will be at the Preston Middle School, located at 702 Chatfield Ave NW, Preston, MN 55965. Commuters should park in the parking lot on the south side of the school. All departure times will remain the same.

 

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.

Thank you,
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 info@rclbus.com.

 

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: 

  • Plainview/Elgin/Viola (see GREEN in accompanying maps)
  • Winona/Stockton/Lewiston/Utica (see PURPLE in accompanying maps)
  • St. Charles/Dover/Eyota (see YELLOW in accompanying maps)
  • Owatonna/Claremont (see BLUE in accompanying maps)
  • Hayfield/Dodge Center/Kasson/Byron (see RED in accompanying maps)
  • Spring Valley/Racine/Stewartville (see ORANGE in accompanying maps) 

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 info@rclbus.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.

In review:

  • NEW 5:34am departure from Owatonna, arriving in Rochester by 6:35am (St Marys) and 6:40am (Downtown)
  • NEW departure to Owatonna at 4:10pm
  • 5:15pm departure moving to 5:10pm (riders will board Hayfield bus)
  • 6:43am departure moving to 6:35am on a seasonal basis
  • All changes begin Monday 11/30/15

For questions, comments or feedback, please call us at 507-288-4353 or email us at info@rclbus.com.

 

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 info@rclbus.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

City Lot

Underwood Park

Arrive Downtown

Arrive St Marys

5:43am

5:48

5:50am

6:40am

6:45am

6:43am

6:48

6:50am

7:40am

7:45am

 

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.

Rochester City Lines Map

Rochester City Lines Location

 

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 info@rclbus.com 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!

Click here to read The Riders' Report- Summer Edition

 

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 info@rclbus.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

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.

 

March 6, 2013

March Newsletter is out!

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

READ THE RIDERS' REPORT

 

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 www.rochestercitylines.com.

 

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 

 

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.