Reimagine public transit in Rochester

Originally published on September 22, 2017 2:32 pm

Rochester's bus company wants its customers to "Reimagine RTS."

That's the name of a forthcoming study of public transit in Monroe County, according to Regional Transit Service CEO Bill Carpenter.

Carpenter says the current bus system was designed 40 years ago when downtown Rochester was the center of the community in a number of ways.

"Since then the demographics of our area have changed , locations of employment centers have changed, the number of available mobility options have changed.  We've made adjustments here at RTS, but the basic system is still the same," he said.

The availability of alternate transportation like Zagster bikes or Uber and Lyft, has also created a new reality for public transit.

"And it's a future we need to reimagine, and we're going to starting today.  The name is inviting for the public to participate with this process.  We're asking everyone, 'boy, let me reimagine too what public transit might look like,'" he said.

Carpenter says the Reimagine RTS study, which begins next month, will be conducted in three phases.

He says they'll work with stakeholders to establish public transit goals, survey customers to identify where and when they begin and end their journey each day, then provide data to a consultant which will make recommendations.

RTS will have an informational session about the study on October 25 at the SUNY Brockport MetroCenter in Downtown Rochester.

RTS hopes to complete the study by the end of 2018.

Carpenter says the half million dollar project will not have any impact on bus fares.