Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - The city of Rochester has heard from six transit companies interested in pursuing the contract for operating Rochester’s public transit system.

First Transit, the company that was awarded the contract in 2012, and Rochester City Lines are among them. Rochester City Lines ran the city’s public bus system for decades before the federal government ordered the city to use a competitive bidding process for the contract. That process resulted in the loss of the contract for Rochester City Lines, which has been the subject of an ongoing lawsuit ever since. The legal fight, which has twice gone to the Minnesota Supreme Court, is expected to go to trial in Olmsted County Court later this year.

The firms interested in the next contract, which would be for five years with options that could run another five years, were told to submit their proposals by August 23rd, with an expectation the city would award the contract in October.

The city’s current contract with First Transit expires at the end of the year.