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New hubs, more frequent service among promises in RTS plan

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James Brown WXXI
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RTS Headquarters on East Main Street

After about two years of collecting surveys from riders and input from community stakeholders RTS has unveiled its new system for people who use the bus.

The plans include building new connection hubs in key areas like Baytowne Plaza, University of Rochester and St. John Fisher College. New “community mobility zones” will include an Uber-like service in select areas to help people get to work or to a hub. 

RTS CEO Bill Carpenter said they’re also adding routes that won’t require the rider to have to stop downtown.

“One of the key elements or characteristics of the new system is it will have some crosstown routes, we’ll have more frequent buses going north and south and east and west,” said Carpenter.

Carpenter says that 10 of the most popular bus routes will now run every 15 minutes. 20 other routes will run every half hour. Current bus waits vary by the time of day but most routes run once or twice an hour. 

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Credit Provide by RTS
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New RTS System map

The increased frequency will mean trimming some routes like the current Bay Street line but Carpenter said the more than 14,000 bus riders who responded to its survey were willing to make tradeoffs for consistency.

“A customer might have to walk a little bit further but as we did our research from the surveys they said, ‘I don’t mind walking an extra five minutes as long as a bus will be there when I get there,’” said Carpenter.

The one thing Carpenter said won’t be changed is the fare. It’s still $1 per ride or $3 for a day pass. 

RTS plans to roll out the changes to the public over the next year. 

Reimagine RTS Final Report by WXXI News on Scribd