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RTS to offer free bus fare to military veterans starting July 15

Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority
Rochester's Regional Transit Service is training employees to use naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses.

RTS has announced a plan that will allow military veterans to ride for free on its fixed-route buses starting July 15.

That free fare for veterans was actually first announced a year ago as a result of the public hearing process for Reimagine RTS. That is a redesign of the transit system that has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello says public transit is a necessity for many local veterans.

“We know that our veterans population is one that is heavily reliant on public transportation, especially in regards to getting to essential healthcare appointments, grocery stores, and recreational activities. So it’s imperative that our veterans have access to these essential services,” Bello said.

RTS CEO Bill Carpenter said that through conversations the agency had during the planning phase of Reimagine RTS, they learned that transportation is a barrier to veterans having access to important destinations and services in the community.

The Veterans Outreach Center is managing the process vets will follow to apply for their RTS pass. They will have to go to the VOC office at 447 South Avenue in Rochester to get the pass.

Veterans will need to verify their service which they can do by bringing their DD214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) and completing the application process.

Veterans can contact the VOC for more information at 1-866-906-VETS (8387 )

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.