Tuesday July 5th 2022

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TRANSIT””Transit Changes in the Med City


Unfortunately, there is no significant transit news in the Phillips neighborhood, or even the Twin Cities, for me to report this month. Therefore, I am going to digress from my usual local focus and talk about changes coming to the transit system in Rochester as of the 12th of July.

The last time I wrote about Rochester Public Transit in the Alley was about three years ago when I first started this column. RPT was in the midst of a major service improvement from six days a week to seven. That”™s right: until a few years ago, buses didn”™t even run on Sundays in the Med City. Now, RPT is rectifying another shortcoming of their system: the complexity of routes. Most weekday routes don”™t run the same at night or on weekends: for example, to go to Apache Mall on weekdays, Routes 7 and 7A are the way there. At night it is route 7N, and on the weekends it is Routes 23 and 24. The minor variations between them are a lot to remember.

The new system unifies the daytime, night, and weekend service so the same route number will always go to the same places. That simple policy is something we in the Twin Cities take for granted. This will be accomplished, in part, by going from one- and two-digit route numbers to three digits.

We used to have a similar cacophony here in the Twin Cities until about 20 years ago. Minneapolis and Saint Paul had duplicate route numbers: the Saint Paul 4 was different from the Minneapolis 4, and freeway buses were numbered after the freeway with radically different routes differentiated only by a letter. 35M went to Burnsville and 35B went to Edina!

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