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Rerouting of Rochester bus routes will be delayed

17 hours ago
James Brown / / WXXI News

Regional Transit Service, the public bus system for Rochester and its suburbs, was supposed to launch new bus routes with more frequent service on June 29, along with some other operational changes.

Now, the effort is on indefinite hold.

On Friday, RTS officials announced it would delay the implementation of the redesign, known as Reimagine RTS, for the foreseeable future, citing complications stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

RTS riders ditch the bus — and that's OK

Mar 25, 2020
Max Schulte / WXXI News

The morning rush-hour bus from Webster to downtown Rochester was running mostly empty the other day, and that was just fine by Tracy Wyatt, one of the handful of passengers.

“You see people on the bus coughing without covering their mouths,” said Wyatt, who waited for an afternoon bus home at the Transit Center that afternoon wearing a makeshift mask she fashioned out of a scarf. “It’s a little frightening.”

James Brown / / WXXI News

All RTS rides will be free starting Friday until further notice. CEO Bill Carpenter said that'll limit the amount of times the fare box is touched during the coronavirus outbreak. 

An RTS employee tested positive for COVID-19 this week, but Carpenter says this decision is unrelated.

James Brown WXXI

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.