ROCHESTER, MINN. The Post-Bulletin reports that First Transit Inc., the parent company of the Rochester Public Transit Operator, is partnering with driverless vehicle company EasyMile to pilot an autonomous passenger shuttle at an office park near San Francisco. The shuttle would connect riders to multiple Bay-area transit options by running a fixed route in the office park.
The pilot will begin with two vehicles that can carry 12 passengers each and run for 14 hours on a battery charge. Each will be staffed by a customer service agent.
Rochester Public Works director and city engineer Richard Freese says the transit share of downtown commuter trips needs to increase from the current 10 percent to 30 percent to account for the new Destination Medical Center and anticipated job growth.