Regional Transit Service recently announced it will study a redesign of the public transit system in Monroe County.
The study, called Reimagine RTS, is expected to be completed by the end of 2018. RTS has engaged the services of a consulting team to assist with technical analysis and community engagement.
Transportation Management & Design Inc. will conduct the study, analyze community input and data and make recommendations for what a reimagined public transit system could look like. TMD has contracted with local firm Highland Planning to support community engagement efforts.
“The public transit system in Monroe County has essentially been the same for decades, designed when downtown Rochester was the center of our community from every perspective,” said Bill Carpenter, CEO of RTS. “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.”
The Reimagine RTS study will be conducted in three phases: set goals and gather input, analyze data and identify priorities and products and recommend changes.
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.
TMD will analyze all the input gathered during the first phase. 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.
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 rely heavily on input from customers, business partners and community stakeholders. Community outreach will occur throughout the process.
As mentioned in the second phase, RTS will conduct a customer origin and destination 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 the third phase.
RTS is conducting the survey through Oct. 27. A third-party vendor unaffiliated with the Reimagine RTS study is conducting the survey. Participants who complete the survey and return it to the person from the third-party team will receive a free bus pass.
“When the study ends, the work to evaluate our options and make important decisions begins,” Carpenter said. “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.”
RTS will hold an information session from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 25 at The College at Brockport MetroCenter, 55 St. Paul St., Rochester.
As the study progresses, updated information will be posted to the Reimagine RTS webpage. Information about upcoming events and a link to the Reimagine RTS survey will be posted to this page when they are available. Those interested in receiving updates about the study can sign up for news alerts via this page. There is access to an online form that can be used to share thoughts and ideas on how to improve the public transit system.
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