November 10, 2023
At a press conference today, Regional Transit Service (RTS) unveiled a themed bus that has been wrapped to show appreciation for military veterans. The bus will make its debut at the 2023 Veterans Day parade in Rochester on Saturday, November 11, and will then be in service through the month of November. Event participants included RTS CEO Miguel Velázquez, ATU Local 282 President John Trott, Teamsters Local 118 President Tim Barbeto, Veterans Outreach Center Executive Director Laura Heltz, and Monroe County Veterans Service Agency Director Nick Stefanovic.
“RTS and our partners at ATU Local 282 and Teamsters Local 118 wanted to do something to say thank you to the military veterans at RTS and throughout the community for their sacrifice and service to our country. With a large fleet of buses at RTS, wrapping one of them as a fun and highly visible way to say thank you, was the right approach,” said RTS CEO Miguel Velázquez. “We currently have 89 military veterans working as part of the RTS team and it is an honor to work beside them. RTS also works closely with the Veterans Outreach Center and Monroe County Veterans Service Agency to support military veterans in our community, and we are happy to have the opportunity to continue working with them on this critical effort.”
The Veterans-themed bus isn’t the only way RTS is showing appreciation to veterans. In July 2020, RTS and the Veterans Outreach Center (VOC) launched a program for military veterans to ride RTS fixed-route buses for free. To date, more than 1,400 veterans have taken more than 600,000 free rides through the program. To get their customized pass, veterans are required to go to the VOC office at 447 South Avenue in Rochester. They need to prove they are military veterans and can do so by bringing with them their DD214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) and completing the application process. The VOC case management team will process the veteran into their system and conduct a brief interview. Following that, VOC will issue the Veteran’s Pass. More information is available on the VOC website at https://veteransoutreachcenter.org/rts.
“If not for our Military Veterans there would be no Union, Bus Company, Communities. ATU 282 thanks all Veterans for your sacrifices that help keep America safe,” said ATU Local 282 President John Trott.
“This Bus is a testament to what RTS stands for and a tribute to our Veterans who greatly deserve it, welcome home,” said Teamsters Local 118 President Tim Barbeto.
"Empowering veterans with free bus passes isn't just a ride; it's a journey towards gratitude, connecting service to society through the partnership of VOC and RTS," said Veterans Outreach Center Executive Director and US Army Veteran Laura Heltz.
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