A major look at possibilities for east-west transit routes across the south metro is coming up in 2015.

But it's much less clear where the money would come from for such an advance.

That was among the key messages last week when top Dakota County transportation officials addressed the Rosemount City Council on the prospects for improvement in getting folks around.

Buses, trains, automobiles, roads — everything but airplanes -- was on the docket during an annual briefing.

County engineers Mark Krebsbach and Brian Sorenson said they will publish their study next year. But they added that such plans are not currently on the agenda for the Metropolitan Council, the policymaking body that operates Metro Transit.

The study comes amid increasing ridership on bus routes heading to and from Rosemount.

Express buses connecting the city's park-and-ride to downtown Minneapolis saw a 9.3 percent increase through August 2014 over last year, said Robin Selvig, a spokeswoman for Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA), which provides public transit in the south metro.

She estimated the route carries more than 80 riders a day and likely more since the late-August addition of four daily trips to the route. Another four trips — two each in the morning and afternoon — will be added next May, she said.

Rosemount's other main bus route, which goes to and from the Apple Valley Transitway Station, with the ability to drop people off at certain "flex" locations, grew 13 percent over the same period to an average of 60 rides each day.

Mayor Bill Droste is pleased with the increases. He said he was "astounded" to see about 50 cars in the parking lot two days after the year's first snowfall.

"For a small park-and-ride that just started, I believe that it's going very well."

Droste said he believes more routes will be added to the smaller "circulator" route to Apple Valley as more trips are added to the Red Line, the bus rapid-transit system on Cedar Avenue.

At the work session, the county planners said a proposed high-speed Zip Rail between the Twin Cities and Rochester, still years away, is something that they're watching "seriously."

This summer, some county commissioners told state officials of their concerns that the line might not include a stop in Dakota County. Commissioner Kathleen Gaylord said her support for the project is contingent on the construction of a station nearby, "so that our residents have an opportunity to utilize it and so it doesn't just fly over Dakota County."

City Council members were also briefed on several road projects.

Among them: the widening of County Road 42 as it leads into and passes under Hwy. 52, as well as paving County Road 73 between County Road 42 and Cliff Road as part of an expansion of roadways in the growing corridor between Rosemount and Inver Grove Heights.

A public forum on the Pine Bend Corridor last month drew more than 100 people, with reactions ranging from support for more roadway connections in the corridor to opposing new traffic and loss of "rural atmosphere" that building and paving roads would bring.

Traffic at some key intersections — between Hwys. 52 and 3 east to west and north to south between Hwys. 55 and 42 — is expected to more than double, even triple, by 2030.

County officials had no major news for a project that could transform Rosemount. The conversation on development at UMore Park — the site of a gravel mine where the University of Minnesota hopes to build a model environmental community — was limited to discussion of a possible traffic light and business park.

Other plans include improvements to the east-west McAndrews Road, which changed its signage this year after complaints; and to access for future commercial construction northeast of the intersection at Hwy. 3 and County Road 42.

Development east of Hwy. 3 has been a sore spot for the city, said Droste, due to a county rule meant to space out interchanges. A decade ago, Droste said, Rosemount lost the chance to bring a Target to the east side of town when the county wouldn't make an exception to its rule, which was designed to reduce congestion in the busier stretches of County Road 42 in Burnsville and Apple Valley.

"Today we're held [to] the same policies as 42 and I-35 in Burnsville or Cedar and 42 [in Apple Valley]," he said. "It just makes it very difficult."