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RTS to Study Redesign of Public Transit System

By Staff –


RTS contract - MR Lavoz LocalRegional Transit Service (RTS) has announced the organization will study a redesign of the public transit system in Monroe County.

The study, “Reimagine RTS,” will run from October to the end of 2018, RTS officials said.

“The public transit system in Monroe County was designed more than 40 years ago, when downtown Rochester was the center of our community from every perspective,” the organization’s CEO, Bill Carpenter, stated. “Since then, the demographics of our area have changed, the locations of employment centers have changed, and the number of available mobility options has changed. Demands from senior citizens, millennials, individuals with disabilities, and those working to escape poverty continue to grow. More businesses are locating to areas of our region that we do not serve well, if at all. Individuals have more transportation options than ever before with the emergence of bike sharing, car sharing, ride sharing, and vanpools. This has created a new reality for public transit, which is why we are conducting this study.”

RTS has hired Transportation Management & Design Inc. to conduct the study, and Highland Planning will support the organization’s community engagement efforts.

According to a press release, “Reimagine RTS” will rely heavily on input from customers, business partners and community stakeholders, and the study will be conducted in the following three phases:

  • Phase 1: Set Goals and gather input.Working with stakeholders in the community, RTS will set the goals and guiding principles for the study and the overall redesign project. TMD will review existing conditions and data. RTS and TMD will gather as much input as possible from customers, employees, and stakeholders in the community on what they need from the public transit system in Monroe County.
  • Phase 2: Analyze data and identify priorities and products.TMD will analyze all the input gathered during Phase 1. Included among that data will be information collected during a separate survey focused on identifying where RTS customers begin and end their journey each day.**
  • Phase 3: Recommend changes.TMD will build upon and use the information from the first two phases to reimagine the public transit system in Monroe County. This will be in the form of recommended changes for consideration.

**RTS will conduct a customer Origin and Destination (O/D) Survey to better understand where they are starting and ending their journey each day. A customer’s ride on RTS may only constitute a portion of their overall journey. Knowing specifically where they start and end their day will help TMD provide more accurate and customer-focused recommendations during Phase 3. RTS will conduct the O/D Survey October 5-27, 2017. A third-party vendor unaffiliated with the “Reimagine RTS” study will conduct this survey. Participants who complete the survey and return it to the person from the third-party team conducting the survey will receive a free bus pass.

“When the study ends, the work to evaluate our options and make important decisions begins,” Carpenter stated. “We will review the recommendations with employees, the RGRTA Board of Commissioners, customers, and stakeholders in the community. We will identify the resources we need to bring our reimagined public transit system to life. This project will be successful if we get as much input and involvement from the community as possible. I thank our customers, employees, and community stakeholders in advance for helping us reimagine public transit.”

As the study progresses, updated information will be posted at

RTS will also hold a “Reimagine RTS Information Session” Wednesday, Oct. 25, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the SUNY Brockport MetroCenter Grand Hallway at 55 St. Paul St.

Visit for additional information regarding the organization.

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