Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority
|Locale||Monroe and surrounding counties|
|Service area||Monroe, Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne and Wyoming counties; New York|
|Service type||Public Transit|
|Destinations||Rochester and surrounding area|
|Hubs||RGRTA Transit Center Opening November 2014|
|Operator||RTS, B-Line, LATS, CATS, WATS, WYTS, STS, OTS, Lift Line|
|Chief executive||Bill Carpenter|
The Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA) is a public benefit organization which provides transportation services in the area in and around Rochester, New York. Currently, RGRTA oversees the daily operation of eleven subsidiaries under the parent company of the RGRTA including the Regional Transit Service (RTS), Batavia Bus Service (BBS), Ontario County Area Transit System (CATS), Livingston Area Transit Service (LATS), Wayne Area Transit Service (WATS), Wyoming Transit Service (WYTS), Wyoming Transit Service (WYTS), Orleans Transit Service (OTS), Seneca Transit Service (STS) and Lift Line.
Rochester Railway Company
Public transportation in the greater Rochester area can trace its roots back to the streetcar and interurban lines operated by the Rochester Railway Company and later New York State Railways. In 1929, New York State Railways entered receivership, and local interests formed a plan to reorganize the former Rochester Railway. After several years of negotiation, the Public Service Commission approved a reorganization plan in 1937 put together by attorney Howard Woods and his committee of stockholders.
Rochester Transit Corporation
On August 2, 1938, Rochester Transit Corporation assumed operation of the bus and streetcar operations serving the city. The last streetcar line was converted to bus operation in 1941, though contract operation of the city-owned Rochester Subway continued until 1956 (RTC ended freight operations in the Subway by 1957, transferring the responsibility to the connecting railroads).
From Private to Public
With postwar prosperity came increased use of automobiles and the spread of population out to the suburbs. Rochester Transit Corporation was plagued by labor unrest, and strikes in 1952 and 1965 ground the system to a halt. A dispute over job listings and seniority caused a brief two-day strike in May 1967. With the transit workers contract coming to an end that fall, stalled negotiations led to another strike in November 1967. The work stoppage continued through the holiday season, and with no end in sight, the City of Rochester drew up a plan to condemn and purchase the transit company operations. Over the objections of RTC, the strike came to an end on January 25, 1968, and the city contracted with National City Management Company to operate the bus lines as Rochester Transit Service.
Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA) was formed in 1968 by a state act of government which also formed three similar agencies in Syracuse, Buffalo, and the Capital District around Albany. The RGRTA took over the former RTC bus operation from the City of Rochester and later began expanding bus service to outlying suburban and rural areas. The lines that made up the former RTC service became part of the Regional Transit Service (RTS) in Rochester and Monroe County.
Regional Transit Service
The largest subsidiary of the RGRTA, Regional Transit Service (RTS) serves Monroe County (Rochester and its immediate suburbs) as well as providing service to students at University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology. Suburban and park-and-ride routes serve the outlying towns in Monroe County and surrounding counties of Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne and Wyoming, including service into Avon, Victor, Lyons, and Le Roy).
Regional Transit Service operates 28 individual routes, most of which operate on a hub and spoke system from Downtown Rochester. City routes currently originate from Main and Clinton, or Main and St. Paul Street. Suburban routes and park and ride routes currently operate from a transit center located at Broad and Chestnut Streets. Starting in November 2014 all routes will move to the new RGRTA Transit Center at 60 St. Paul Street. With the move will come a change in routes, stops and times.
In downtown Rochester and some outer terminals, buses may be found to interline, in which a bus may operate between two or more different routes during scheduled runs.
Two routes (numbers 12-9th Ward/MCC and 27-Unity) do not serve Downtown Rochester.
The current conventional routes operated by Regional Transit Service include:
- 1 Lake/Park
- 2 Thurston/Parsells to Laurenton
- 3 Lyell/Goodman
- 4 Hudson/Genesee via Melrose
- 5 St. Paul/South Av.
- 6 Clifford/Jefferson
- 7 North Clinton/Monroe
- 8 East Main/Chili Av/Genesee Park Blvd.
- 9 Bay/Webster/Jay/Maple/Buffalo Av.
- 10 Dewey/Portland
- 11 Joseph/So. Clinton
- 12 9th Ward/M.C.C.
- 13 Edison
- 14 West Ridge/East Ridge
- 15 Latta
- 16 Crosstown via Driving Park Blvd.
- 17 East Avenue
- 18/19 Plymouth/University
- 20 Spencerport/Brockport
- 21 Fairport
- 22 Penfield
- 24 Marketplace Mall/R.I.T.
- 30 Webster
- 50 Mt. Hope
- 91 Suburban Plaza/Avon
- 92 Eastview Mall/Lyons
- 96 Hilton/Hamlin/Clarkson
- Batavia Bus Service (BBS) serves Genesee County with local bus service in the city of Batavia, commuter service to and from Le Roy, and once-weekly dial-a-ride service to many of the smaller outlying communities of Wyoming County. Also of note, the BBS is the oldest of the smaller subsidiaries of the RGRTA network.
- Livingston Area Transit Service (LATS) serves Livingston County with several routes connecting with the county seat of Geneseo and to sites in/near Rochester. It also operates a local bus service in Geneseo and special service for students at SUNY Geneseo. One line connects to Wyoming Transit Service (WYTS) buses in Perry.
- Wayne Area Transit Service (WATS) serves Wayne County with several loop routes based around the county seat of Newark and the town of Sodus. WATS joined the RGRTA as a subsidiary in 1980. A shuttle service also connects with Regional Transit Service (RTS) buses during commuting hours in Lyons.
- Wyoming Transit Service (WYTS) serves Wyoming County, running three loops connecting towns in the community to the county seat of Warsaw. A local loop bus service is also offered to passengers weekdays in the Village of Warsaw.
- Orleans Transit Service (OTS) serves Orleans County with a focus on the larger villages of Albion and Medina with one line connecting to the Batavia Bus Service (BBS) subsidiary in Batavia, and special service for students at SUNY Brockport.
- Seneca Transit Service (STS) serves Seneca County with a focus on Geneva, Seneca Falls, and Waterloo. Additional service also operates on a less frequent schedule as far south as Interlaken and Lodi.
- LiftLine, Inc. (provider of paratransit services to the area served within 3/4 mile of any fixed RTS route)
- RGRTA Maritime Development Corporation
- Genesee Transportation Service Council Staff, Inc.
- Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority - Buffalo, New York
- Central New York Regional Transportation Authority - Syracuse, New York
- Capital District Transportation Authority - Albany, New York
- Metropolitan Transportation Authority - New York Metropolitan Area
References and Citations
- "Public Authorities Administrative File: RGRTA". State of New York - Office of State Comptroller. p. 3. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- Smith, Henry Bradford; McKelvey, Blake (July 1968). "Rochester's Turbulent Transit History". Rochester History 30 (3): 18.
- King, Shelden S. (1975). The New York State Railways. Elmira, New York: Whitehall Mail Service. p. 28.
- Amberger, Ronald (1985). Canalboats, Interurbans and Trolleys: The History of the Rochester Subway. Rochester, New York: Rochester Chapter NRHS. p. 93. ISBN 0-9605296-1-6.
- Smith, Henry Bradford; McKelvey, Blake (July 1968). "Rochester's Turbulent Transit History". Rochester History 30 (3): 21–22.
- Smith, Henry Bradford; McKelvey, Blake (July 1968). "Rochester's Turbulent Transit History". Rochester History 30 (3): 23–24.
- "RGRTA - Regional Operations: BBS Services". RGRTA. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "RGRTA - Regional Operations: LATS". Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "RGRTA Regional Operations: WATS Service". Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority. Retrieved 8 May 2011.