Calendar

Image by Pettycon from Pixabay 

The following meetings, events or activities have been canceled or closed because of fears of spreading the coronavirus.

If you are announcing a specific event being postponed or canceled, please email news@postbulletin.com.

If you have a general announcement, submit it here.

March 27

• The Harlem Globetrotters appearance at Mayo Civic Center has been postponed. A new date expected to be announced. 

• Lissie's concert at The Castle, hosted by My Town My Music, has been postponed until Sept. 5.

April 3

• Fools Five auction postponed.

• Rochester Music Guild Lunch & Learn featuring Artu Duo canceled.

April 4

• Fools Five road race postponed.

• Destination Medical Center's  Assistive Tech Challenge in Rochester postponed to a date later in the summer.

April 9

• Olmsted County Genealogical Society meetings postponed.

April 7

• New Rapid Transit for a Growing, Equitable Rochester Open Houses, canceled. This includes the midday open house at 11:30 a.m. at University of Minnesota Rochester and the evening open house at 5 p.m. at Bethel Lutheran Church. Alternative engagement activities will be forthcoming.

April 18

• World Festival 2020, postponed until a date in September 2020.

April 26

• The Wine and Watercolor at the State Theatre in Zumbrota is canceled.

May 9

• Freedom Honor Flight, including veterans from southeast Minnesota, to Washington, D.C., postponed.

May 14

• Olmsted County Genealogical Society meetings postponed.



The health and safety of our Rochester community continues to be the City of Rochester’s top priority. Following the social distancing guidelines of the Minnesota Department of Public Health, the City of Rochester is taking the following actions:

  

§  All City of Rochester facilities will be closed to the public at the start of business on March 18, 2020

§  The City will continue to provide service by focusing on virtual, telephone, and electronic communication. 

§  Additional details regarding the modifications to service, in the various areas, will be provided shortly.   

§  The City’s current intent is to cancel the March 23, March 30, and April 6, 2020 Study Sessions. A final decision will be made by the preceding Friday of each meeting date.

§  Adjusting the number of Rochester Public Transit (RPT) routes and increasing buses to allow for social distancing;

§  Suspending some on-street parking restrictions in an effort to encourage single passenger transportation; and

§  Lifting seasonal parking restrictions, ending the alternate side parking rules for the season.

 

Transit Changes 

Effective Friday, March 20, regular transit service is being reduced, with RPT operating Routes 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26, seven days per week.

 

Monday through Friday, Routes 21-26 will operate every 30 minutes from 5:30 AM to 10:30 PM. On weekends, those routes will follow the regular posted schedule from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.  

 

 

 

Routes

Weekdays

5:30 AM – 10:30 PM

Weekends/Holidays

7:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Neighborhood routes

21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26

30 min frequency

60 min frequency

Park & Ride routes

1D, 3D, 4D, 6D, 15D 18D

Peak schedule +
30 minute off-peak

No service

 

Park & Ride Routes 1D, 3D, 4D, 6D, 15D and 18D will be in operation according to their current weekday peak schedule. Midday service to Park & Rides will be provided on those same direct routes with a 30 minute frequency. 

 

RPT’s paratransit service, Zumbro Independent Passenger Service (ZIPS) will continue to operate regular dial-a-ride service for persons with disabilities. 

 

Detailed bus schedules will be posted to RPT’s website rptride.com by 3:00 PM on Thursday. Efforts to update the DoubleMap mobile app are also underway. For questions regarding these changes, contact Rochester Public Transit at 507-328-7433.  

 

By reducing the number of routes, RPT is making more buses available to serve the busiest routes to allow for social distancing as recommended by the Minnesota Department of Health.  

 

Specifically, riders are asked to keep one seat between them and others at all times. That means riders should not sit next to another passenger in any row of seats and begin filling the bus from back to front skipping every other row whenever possible. Standees are asked to observe a 6 foot distance between themselves and other passengers. 

 

Drivers are being instructed to depart stops once their buses are 50% full—or about 20 passengers. Please understand that the drivers’ actions in following this policy are for the safety of all on board. RPT is adding additional buses to minimize the potential of leaving riders at the stop.  

 

Parking Changes 

The City of Rochester is implementing temporary changes to on-street parking policies to allow for increased commuter traffic resulting from the effort to reduce the occupancy aboard buses. We ask for patience from those that may encounter traffic delays due to the potential increase in peak traffic volumes and encourage people to build this into their commute times. 

 

Effective March 18, the following changes will be in effect:  

·         Commuters to downtown Rochester will be allowed to park in any surface lot at Soldiers Field Memorial Park and along George Gibbs Dr SW at no charge 

·         Seasonal parking restrictions are lifted, ending the alternate side parking rules for the season 

·         The city is suspending enforcement of residential permit-only parking areas through the end of March.  

 

Other parking ordinances remain in effect including parking meter enforcement, no parking zones (including driveways, fire hydrants, and mailboxes), and overnight parking restrictions. Please observe all posted signs in the downtown area.  

 

We understand the impact this change may have in residential permit parking areas and we appeal to residents’ sense of civic duty to support the healthcare system in this extraordinary time. Of the changes, Rene Halasy, Executive Director of RNeighbors, states “Neighborhood parking is a challenge in the best of times, and there will be core neighborhoods where this change is inconvenient. Please keep in mind this is a temporary situation that will allow health care workers the social distancing safety to continue doing their extremely important jobs to get our community through this time.” 

 

The City also maintains six parking ramps and a series of surface lots for daily parking. Daily parking rates still apply in these locations.  

 

Questions regarding parking can be directed to City of Rochester Public Works at 507-328-2400, but we ask the public to understand that our team has a number of other critical items to address during this period.  We request that you refrain from making on-street parking complaints unless it’s a matter of public safety or other emergency. 

 

Reminders for Transit Riders 

These and other measures are being taken because the health and safety of RPT employees and customers is our top priority. RPT continues to monitor the situation closely and work with our governmental partners to review our response plan and implement effective programs to prioritize public health. 

 

To date, RPT has implemented new and enhanced cleaning procedures for our vehicles and facilities, disinfecting high-touch surfaces and operator compartments on every vehicle each night. Operators are also conducting multiple mid-day wipe-downs as the schedule allows.  

 

ZIPS paratransit operators are wearing personal protective gear such as disposable gloves when providing services. This is due to the close proximity and personal contact which at times is required to serve persons with disabilities.  

 

For the safety of other passengers and the operator, persons showing signs of illness and those who have had close contact with persons who are ill should not use public transit. Customers are also encouraged to limit non-essential trips, and travel during non-peak times when possible, to reduce occupancy on buses.  

 

Please continue to follow Minnesota Department of Health recommendations to stay healthy: wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue into the trash; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces; and avoid close contact with people who are sick. 

The latest City news and information regarding COVID-19 can be found by visiting the City webpage.


 

DPS-DVS Offices Statewide Closing for Two Weeks; Driver's License Extensions on the Way

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DPS-DVS) is closing all exam stations statewide beginning Friday at the close of business to follow Governor Tim Walz’s executive order for Minnesotans to stay home and slow the spread of COVID-19. Offices will stay closed through April 10, when the executive order is set to expire. 

Independently owned and operated deputy registrar and driver’s license agent offices that provide driver and vehicle services will also be closed during this time. Many offices have already closed due to COVID-19 concerns. Anyone who plans to visit an office March 27 before they close should first visit the DVS locations page to see which offices are open and if their hours have changed.

Minnesotans will not have access to a number of services, including renewing their driver’s licenses or ID cards, during this time. 

Driver’s Licenses and ID Cards

Once it reaches his desk, Gov. Walz is expected to sign a bill passed by Minnesota legislature that includes an extension for Minnesotans whose driver's licenses or ID cards expire during this time. 

The bill extends the expiration date for any valid driver's license, instruction permit, provisional license, operator's permit, limited license, and farm work license that would expire during the peacetime emergency. The expiration dates for these licenses will be extended for two months after the month the peacetime emergency ends.

DPS-DVS will provide an update once the bill is signed. 

REAL ID

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is extending the REAL ID full enforcement deadline to Oct. 1, 2021. The deadline was originally set for Oct. 1, 2020, but is being delayed by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This gives Minnesotans more time to apply for a REAL ID or enhanced driver’s license or ID card. 

Vehicle Registration

Minnesotans will still be able to renew vehicle registrations online and by mail during the peacetime emergency. As such, there are no extensions for expired or expiring vehicle registrations.

  • Renew vehicle registration for a car, pickup under 1 ton or SUV online at drive.mn.gov.
    • US Bank charges a separate service fee of 2.49% for all credit card transactions. ACH (electronic check) payments have a separate service fee of $1.50. DPS-DVS does not determine or collect these service fees for online registration renewals. 
  • Mail your vehicle registration by sending the bottom half of your renewal notice with your check or money order made payable to DVS Renewal to:

DVS Renewal

PO Box 64587

St. Paul, MN 55164-0587

Minnesotans have until the last day of the expiration month to renew their vehicle registration. They must display their registration stickers by the 10th of the following month. 

For example, Minnesotans whose vehicle registration expires in April have until April 30 to renew their registration and until May 10 to display the new stickers on their license plates. 

DVS will continue to receive and process mailed renewals, deposit checks and mail license plates and stickers to customers. 

Road Tests

Anyone who has a class D, commercial driver’s license (CDL) or motorcycle road test appointment scheduled during this time will receive a cancellation notice by email or text message. DPS-DVS is committed to making sure anyone affected by these road test cancellations is able to obtain a new appointment as soon as possible. Once normal operations resume, DPS-DVS will call, email or text those affected to offer the first available day and time for their road test.

Submitted Applications

Some DVS staff will continue teleworking and processing previously submitted driver’s license and ID card applications, including REAL ID and enhanced driver’s license and ID card applications. 

DVS Public Information Center

DPS-DVS staff will continue to be available to answer questions submitted to DVS using the driver and vehicle services contact forms:

DPS-DVS Public Information Center staff will also be answering phone calls during its normal Monday-Friday business hours, but staff will be very limited March 30 through April 10, so it may be difficult to get through. 

Other Services

  • ​The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development will continue to process and print refund checks during this time. 
  • DPS-DVS will continue to mail monthly registration renewal notices to Minnesotans. 

Additional Resources

 

 

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