March 24, 2015
RTS, in partnership with the Rochester City School District (RCSD), has launched a revised transportation plan which puts more students on express service in the afternoon and eliminates the need for them to transfer buses at the RTS Transit Center. Phase 1 of the two-part plan went into effect on Thursday, March 19. By the time the plan is fully implemented on May 4, 2015, over 2,100 more students will travel directly from school to home at dismissal, bypassing Downtown and the RTS Transit Center.
Pass rules have been modified
The new routes are being implemented for students at All City, Charlotte, East, Edison, Franklin, Monroe, Northeast/Northwest, School of the Arts, and Wilson Commencement. Most students from these schools already have orange passes for express buses that take them to and from school without transferring Downtown. Students who have gold or gray passes for routes that previously transferred Downtown are now required to take an express bus to go home. Orange passes will not be valid at other bus stops or for RTS line service, including weekend service.
RTS adding express bus service to accommodate additional students
With the addition of RTS express service to certain schools (identified as Loop Service), students from these schools who possess a Non-ETS Pass (gray pass) or All Day Pass (gold pass) will now be required to use Express Transfer Service to travel directly home from school in the afternoon. Gray and gold pass holders who require the use of RTS fixed route service to participate in intra-campus activities, co-ops, or college study have received a blue tag to affix to the back of their pass enabling them to access RTS line service. Students who need transportation to after-school activities, such as sports, may continue to use a “Two plus Two” Activity Pass (blue pass) obtained from their school for use with their Smartcard ID to board an RTS bus.
Phase 2 of the plan will be implemented on Monday, May 4, 2015. RTS Express Service will be provided at dismissal time to students who attend Rochester Career Mentoring, School #58 World of Inquiry, University Prep, and Rochester Early College. Additional details will be provided in late April.
A plan designed to serve the best interests of students and families, RTS customers, and the community
“RTS has been the Rochester City School District’s transportation partner for over 35 years, providing safe, convenient, and reliable bus transportation for more than 9,000 RCSD students daily,” said RTS CEO Bill Carpenter. “This plan accelerates our progress to maximize the number of students able to travel directly from home to school and back each school day,” said RTS CEO Bill Carpenter.
More than 3.2 million customers have passed through the RTS Transit Center since it opened on November 28, 2014. “We expect this change will diminish safety and security concerns at the RTS Transit Center, and ensure that the RTS Transit Center remains a safe, comfortable, and welcoming community destination for public transit customers,” noted RTS Chief Operating Officer Miguel Velazquez.
Collaborating on security at the RTS Transit Center
Superintendent Bolgen Vargas, Ed.D, and representatives from the District are working together with RTS and the Rochester Police Department on ways to improve community safety at the Transit Center. The District’s Director of Safety and Security is heading up a collaborative effort in response to safety concerns where District safety personnel from schools are paired with Rochester Police Officers during school dismissal times at the Transit Center. One significant advantage of this pairing is that District personnel have relationships with many of the students and are able to influence them to make good decisions. While the extra presence of District staff is not permanent, their availability on an as-needed basis is helping to facilitate a smooth flow of students during transition times.
“The District is responsible for providing safe transport of students to and from school. Safety is our first priority, and we take the responsibility seriously,” said Dr. Vargas. “We appreciate the efforts that RTS is making to support safe and efficient transportation with these new routes, and we will continue to address safety concerns through effective collaboration with our community partners.”
RTS and RCSD personnel began an extensive effort to communicate these changes, and are overseeing enforcement of these updated pass rules so that students utilize the appropriate RTS bus routes made available for them.
Back to all news