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RTS Letting Customers Ride for Free During Corona Crisis

Access to the front of buses have been roped off from customers unless entrance is necessary for disabled or wheelchair bound riders.

By Staff

Starting Friday, March 20, Rochester Regional Transportation (RTS) will temporarily waive the requirement that customers pay a fare to ride the bus.

The waiving of fares will be in place at least through Sunday, April 19, 2020 or until the current State of Emergency is lifted, whichever comes first. Customers will have to enter and exit busses from the rear door.

Customers with mobility limitations who need to use the ramp to board the bus will still be able to do so through the front door by signaling the bus operator. RTS also encourages customers to maintain a distance of six feet between each other on the bus, at the RTS Transit Center and at bus stops.

Additionally, the company announced that if a customer recently purchased a weekly or monthly pass and because of the Coronavirus they are not able to complete their intended trips, RTS will have a credit policy in place so that the credit can be used for future trips. The information about this policy will be posted to the RTS website when it is available.

“The number one priority at RTS is the safety and wellbeing of our employees and customers,” said RTS CEO Bill Carpenter. “The best way we can support that is to incorporate responsible social distancing practices while providing safe and sustainable public transportation that people can rely on to maintain access to critical services in the community.

After April 19, RTS say they will assess the situation, in coordination with local elected leaders and health experts, and make a determination on next steps. Per the guidance set forth by Governor Andrew Cuomo and County Executive Bello, customers should stay home whenever possible and limit their travel to essential rides only, such as trips to work or the grocery store. Aside from making that critical travel easier, the waving of fares means we can reduce the amount of time spent at the closest point of contact between bus operators and customers.

“At this point, everyone should stay home and practice social distancing at all times. However we recognize that some travel is essential,” Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said. “We are grateful RTS is ensuring everyone has access to transportation to get those essential items, such as food or medicine.”

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