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.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

Monroe County no longer has enough testing capacity to keep up with the demand for diagnosing COVID-19, public health commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said at a press conference on Wednesday.

“In the last two days, we’ve had a large spike in demand,” Mendoza said, adding that the health department would need to prioritize the processing of some people’s specimens but could not yet give details about how those decisions will be made.

What’s new with RTS? This hour, we sit down with RTS CEO Bill Carpenter who shares a number of updates.

Reimagine RTS is a redesign of Monroe County’s public transit system that’s set to launch on June 29th. RTS is also launching new mobile technology and adding electric buses.

Carpenter joins us in studio to discuss the work underway with these projects and what customers can expect both now and by the end of June. In studio:

No cash? No problem soon for RTS riders

Jan 16, 2020
CITY File Photo

Regional Transit Service bus riders will soon be able to board buses without cash or passes.

The public transit agency is aiming to launch a cashless, mobile payment system for riders in April. RTS spokesperson Tom Brede told CITY the new option will work through the agency’s app and online accounts linked to a source of funds, such as a bank account, enabling riders to pay their fares as they board by scanning a code displayed on their smartphone screens.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Officials at RTS have announced a new fare structure for military veterans, seniors and people with disabilities.

One of the changes involves the 50-cent half-price fare for seniors and people with disabilities that is currently in effect only during non-peak hours. 

With the new fare structure, that half-price fare would be in effect all day.

Also, with the new plan, military veterans would ride the bus for free.

Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority

Rochester’s Regional Transit Service has begun training its employees in a potentially lifesaving response to opioid overdoses.

Transit service workers are learning how to administer naloxone, often sold under the brand name Narcan, which can reverse an overdose.

The agency’s public information officer, Tom Brede, said it’s a reflection of how the opioid epidemic has become a “community crisis.”

“We’re not the emergency medical response,” Brede said, “but we do have a role.”

RTS moves on to Phase 2 of Reimagine RTS

Aug 3, 2018

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.

The local public transportation system is about to change. "Reimagine RTS" is a year-long effort to revamp Rochester's public bus system to match community needs and desires. RTS just released phase three of the study. Phase three shares with the public the recommendations of RTS' consultant, and gathers more feedback.

So what should we expect to change, based on phase three? More bus routes? A new system entirely? We find out with RTS CEO Bill Carpenter