Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Look for some noticeable changes in Rochester’s existing public transit program over the next few years, some sooner than others.

A proposed new five-year plan that has been worked on the past two years was presented to the Rochester City Council on Monday.

The goal is to provide more service, including longer hours, crosstown routes and a first for the city - Sunday offerings. Another first are proposed runs to the city airport, which is anticipated in the fourth year of the plan.

The extra service means more cost. Operating expenses are projected to increase from $9.3 million this year to $14.7 million by 2021. It’s expected extra revenue will help keep local costs from rising, without a fare increase.

The plan also calls for the addition of more buses, from the current 38 to 72 by 2021.

The plan was based in part on surveys and interviews, including non-riders. Among the findings - 54 percent of the respondents have not used public transit within the past six months, the highest unmet needs are evening and weekend service, and geographical gaps in service.

After another round of input, the plan is expected to be brought back to the council in May for its consideration.

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