In celebration of the new RTS Transit Center opening Nov. 28, local officials participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Monday, Oct. 20.
In addition, officials announced RTS customers who catch a bus, or transfer, at the new $50 million, N. Clinton Ave. facility will ride for free until the end of the year.
“We want the community to see what we are so excited about,” said RTS CEO Bill Carpenter. “Free fares will provide an incentive for a visitor to drop by and give us a try—at the same time giving current customers a financial break to adjust to the changes we are making.”
Carpenter said fares from the center will remain free until Jan. 1, 2015, when regular pricing will resume at $1 per single-use trip, with customers in need of a transfer paying $1 per ride, or purchasing an all-day unlimited ride pass for $3.
“At $1 per ride we are still the best deal around—RTS customers continue to pay the lowest fare in New York state,” he stated. “But we continuously ask ourselves, ‘How can we make the transit experience better?’ We felt this fare holiday would give customers one more way to ‘enjoy the ride’.”
Officials had reportedly been discussing the city’s transit center project since the 1990s, until the groundbreaking began Nov. 20, 2012.
According to RTS officials, the Federal Transportation Administration funded 80 percent of the cost, while the New York State Department of Transportation and RGRTA funded an additional 10 percent each.
In addition, officials said the new, 87,000 square-foot facility will feature state-of-the-art amenities for more than 20,000 customers who travel through downtown each day.
The building will be fully enclosed and climate-controlled, featuring on-site customer service representatives, ticket vending machines, trip planning tools, rest rooms, and enhanced technology to meet the needs of visually and physically-challenged customers.
Additionally, the new center will replace the outdoor lineups that currently occur along Main St., St. Paul St., N. Clinton Ave., and Broad St., officials said.
RTS outlined its plans to streamline and simplify current routes at eight public information meetings, and a public hearing, in April and May.
The community had been invited to provide feedback for proposed service changes and route patterns that would go into effect when the transit center opened, officials stated.
Other changes RTS said it will make when the transit center opens include extending morning and evening weekday service to accommodate workers’ schedules.
For additional information on the new transit center, visit myRTS.com.