The widespread availability of mass transportation alternatives is critical to communities like Irondequoit. As our region’s economy continues to transform, there is a continued focus on the mobility needs of our population.
Take, for instance, the new Conduent Customer Experience Center, housed in the old Macy’s at former Irondequoit Mall. In addition to the physical space being very much what the company was looking for, the connectivity of employees via the bus system was a major selling point for the company.
The Rochester Transit System is currently in the process of exploring changes to its fixed-route system to better meet the needs of the Greater Rochester community. In doing so, they have recently released draft recommendations for a system redesign. The draft plan may be found at RTS website — reimagine.rts.com.
In looking at the draft recommendations, there certainly are elements that would enhance the mobility of Irondequoit’s residents. For instance, as proposed, there would be greater connectivity going lateral on the Ridge Road/104 corridor. Also, the plan would create better direct service to MCC and Henrietta for residents of Irondequoit.
However, there are elements of the draft changes that would reduce access to service for residents, specifically the closing of certain bus route north of Titus Avenue. I understand that RTS has been presented with a challenging task: to make overall service more readily available and more efficient, while doing so over a relatively flat cost structure. For instance, I have relayed the need to ensure that summer workers in Sea Breeze have complete access to bus service.
RTS has advanced the concept of community mobility zones, whereby it would work with communities like Irondequoit to develop cost-effective solutions to fills gaps in access. I have committed to working with RTS to mitigate loss of service that is created by the system changes, and hope that Irondequoit can serve as one of these demonstration zones.
At this point, RTS is welcoming feedback from all community stakeholders as it continues this exercise. Final changes wouldn’t be implemented for a few years, yet they would have a lasting impact on our community. I encourage residents to review the draft recommendations and complete a brief survey, available on the RTS website — listed above — or by following a link on the town’s website, irondequoit.org.
On a different note, at our June workshop meeting, I presented the Staff Spotlight Award to Mary Heckman, who serves as Chief Tantalo’s administrative assistant. Mary plays an integral role in ensuring the Irondequoit Police Department is run efficiently and meets its objective of protecting our community. Well done, Mary.