Rochester's Regional Transit Service is one stage closer to finishing a multiple year-long overhaul, Reimagine RTS. The transformation includes changes to bus routes, frequency and streamlining the schedule so users who ride during the week can rely on that same route on the weekends as well.
CEO Bill Carpenter announced Thursday that they’re moving on to the second stage. The first stage explored fixed routes, improving them according to feedback from riders. Some changes include: improving frequency so buses come every 15 minutes during peak hours, making routes that are available during the week also available on weekends, and giving Seabreeze seasonal service.
“These routes will also run the same places seven days a week,” Carpenter said. “It’s a big improvement or enhancement of our current system where we have some routes going places five days a week. If you count on the bus Monday you can count on the bus Saturday or Sunday.”
Carpenter said he knows that local residents aren’t completely satisfied with the changes. During more than 100 feedback sessions, he said that users and riders said they want year-round service to Seabreeze and daily hours extended to 1 a.m.
The community is “looking for more than what Transportation Management and Design (the consultant) recommends,” Carpenter said. “Some items require additional funding and some will be looked at as we identify the best solutions for the community mobility zones. “
That’s Stage 2. Starting now through next winter, RTS will explore cost-efficient ways to provide transportation in seven different zones around the county. Brockport, Webster, Greece and Henrietta are just some of the zones. Six are outside of the immediate city while the seventh is located at Lyell and Lexington Avenue and marks a hole in the map, where buses don’t run regularly. Carpenter said instead they’ll experiment with different mobility options to get people around those areas. That may include shuttles or van pools.
“This is a large geographic area which represents about 5 percent of our ridership,” Carpenter said about the areas.
TMD’s full report can be read online. RTS will also prepare a companion report that digs deeper into recommendations provided by the public and how to best implement those down the line.