Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A significant federal grant has been awarded to Rochester to assist with planning associated with a key piece of the Destination Medical Center project. The Federal Transit Administration today announced the distribution of over $16 million to 20 organizations throughout the nation to support comprehensive planning projects to improve access to public transportation.

The City of Rochester has been awarded $765,000 to develop Transit Oriented Development (TOD) plans for the proposed downtown transit circulator, which is currently described as a 3.5-mile exclusive guideway bus rapid transit line to service the Mayo Clinic campuses and other downtown locations. The circulator would be part of a far-reaching plan to upgrade Rochester's public transit systems that handle additional traffic from both visitors and people working in downtown Rochester as a result of the Destination Medical Center initiative.

Coincidentally, an open house-style public hearing on proposed zoning changes associated with Transit Oriented Development and other initiatives aimed at promoting infill and redevelopment around the downtown area was held earlier today at the Government Center.