Rochester takes a look at using bigger buses

Published 9:02 am Monday, January 23, 2017

ROCHESTER — Rochester’s public transit operator has demonstrated a 60-foot articulating bus that might become a part of the city’s transit system in the future.

The articulating bus with an accordion-like joint in its body was brought from Minneapolis to Rochester by First Transit to see if it could be a good fit for the city, according to a press release.

The bus includes three axles and two rigid sections connected with a pivoting joint. It can carry up to 100 people per trip.

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Tony Knauer, Rochester Public Transit director, said the passenger capacity of the buses would be a benefit for the city’s most popular routes.

He said the bus could also potentially be of assistance on Mayo Clinic campus routes and Destination Medical Center plans.

“A high capacity vehicle like this would greatly assist while giving you the flexibility to adjust the routes, which is what a rubber tire vehicle does for you versus a metal tire vehicle,” said First Transit region director of operations Paul Buharin.

The public transit department would have to amend its capital improvement program budget and its five-year plan before Rochester residents can expect to see an articulating bus.

Knauer said the department would probably go to the Rochester City Council sometime around August with a recommendation on how this type of bus could be used by the city.