Mayo Clinic under fire for noisy buses

(ABC 6 News) – Topics ranging from the Chateau Theatre to increasing city council wages led to a contentious city council meeting Monday night.

But during the public forum, several people spoke out against noise pollution.

Dozens of buses come in and out of downtown daily, transporting employees and patients to Mayo Clinic. But the clinic’s neighbors in Kutzky park are losing sleep over it.

Around a dozen Kutzky Park residents spoke up asking the council to step in and change a popular Mayo Clinic bus route.

"Like water torture, the buses wear on anyone exposed and quickly become intolerable," Kutzky Park resident Jim Frost said.

The route runs along Center street and takes employees to the Mayo Clinic west lot starting at 4:30 in the morning.

"Nobody, including Mayo can be allowed to operate many noisy shuttle buses on any residential street. Especially before 7 a.m., when people like me are trying to sleep," Frost said at Monday’s city council meeting.

Speakers at the meeting cited city ordinances prohibiting quote unnecessary noise and health concerns.

"These buses are impacting the quality of life of the people who live there," said Olmsted County Assessor Mark Krupski.

Mayo Clinic said in a statement saying "The number of buses using the route is higher than usual because of COVID-19 precautions on bus capacity."

Also noting, they’re working with the city to incorporate their transit system into the upcoming bus rapid transit project which it says would take them out of those neighborhoods.

In the meantime, the city council voted 6-0 to assign city staff to research the issue.

The Kutzky park neighborhood association says representatives from Mayo Clinic attend their meetings, but no changes have occurred.

Mayo Clinic contracts the buses along this route with Groome transportation. We reached out to Groome Transportation on this story but declined to comment.