New RPT Park & Ride Equals Free Rides for RCTC Students

(Rochester, MN) The Rochester City Council has authorized Rochester Public Transit (RPT) to enter into a 3-year agreement with Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) to lease 746 parking spaces for the purpose of establishing a new public Park & Ride location. In exchange, RPT will offer free transit rides to current RCTC students on all RPT routes at all times.

Once signed, the agreement goes into effect on September 1, 2017. RCTC students who are enrolled at the College can begin using the free service on the first day of class, August 21, 2017. To ride, a current student simply needs to present the driver a valid RCTC student ID card.

Park & Ride location.

Park & Ride location.

The RCTC Park & Ride will begin operations Tuesday, September 5, 2017. New signage will identify the five surface lots along College Drive SE and College Parkway SE—the outer most spaces of the College’s West Lot. A new bus stop will be centrally located.

As with other city-operated park and ride locations, all commuters are welcome to use the lot which will be served by a new direct route, 3D, offering direct service to downtown and the St. Marys every 20 minutes during peak times.

“This new partnership is truly exciting for the College,” said Michael Anthony, Ph.D., the College’s vice president of student affairs and enrollment management.  “We are helping to ease the growing traffic and parking concerns downtown, but more importantly, we are giving our students access to affordable transportation options throughout the city.  This is definitely a win-win.”

At nearly 750 spaces, the RCTC Park & Ride represents a 50% increase in Rochester Public Transit’s overall park and ride capacity. “Park and ride service is a key strategy for reducing road congestion and easing parking demand downtown,” said RPT Transit Planner Bryan Law, adding “we are grateful to RCTC for partnering with us to expand this important service.”

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