So you've arrived, and now you need the basics: phone, utilities, a way to get around town, and, maybe, a way to get out of town. Here is some info to help you get settled in.
The Greater Rochester International Airport is at 1200 Brooks Avenue, four miles southwest of Rochester (464-4000, www.rocairport.com). It's small, but it gets the job done: about 220 flights a day. Parking is affordable ($4.50 to $10.50 a day) and waits are manageable. Flights in and out of this medium-hub airport can be expensive, but a few bargain airlines --- JetBlue, Independence Air, and AirTran --- are helping the cause.
You need to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (428-4132, 800-225-5368) within 10 days of changing your address; if you are moving to Rochester with a valid out-of-state license, you have 30 days to apply for a NYS license. There are three DMV locations to choose from: 1940 West Ridge Road in Greece, 2199 East Henrietta Road in Henrietta, or 545 Titus Avenue in Irondequoit. There's no DMV office in downtown Rochester, but there is the Metro Mobile Service, a van that makes several city stops throughout the week. Call the Mobile Service Hot Line at 428-4132 for times and locations.
Phone and Internet
Frontier Telephone is the choice for local telephone service. Call 800-921-8101 or visit www.frontieronline.com for hookup. Frontier also offers DSL Internet service. For a cable connection, call the local cable provider, Time Warner Communications (756-2337, www.twrochester.com), to sign up for their Internet service, Roadrunner (soon, local commercials will bore that name into your brain).
For mass transit, your only choice is to get on the bus. The Regional Transit Service ("We're here to take you there") and its parent, Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, cover the city and suburbs fairly well and recently have been making a push to improve their image and expand their service. Base fare is $1.25 for city routes. Buses run much more frequently during daylight hours. Schedules and info: 654-0200, www.rgrta.org.
One of two large-scale projects affecting transportation is the impending Renaissance Square, a $230 million public works project to include a Monroe Community College campus, a performing arts center, and a central bus station --- all on the corner of Main Street and Clinton Avenue in downtown Rochester. Questions over the project's costs, necessity, location, environmental ramifications, etc, are ongoing, even as architects are drawing plans.
The other big deal is the Spirit of Ontario (nicknamed "The Breeze"), a high-speed ferry between Rochester and Toronto that began service last summer. After only two months, the operating company suspended service, citing huge financial losses. The ferry terminal had already been built; tickets had been bought; millions had been invested. Now the City of Rochester has bought the boat and plans to restart operation in May. The Breeze will be news for a long time: Stay tuned.
Trash and recycling
Rochester residents can contact the city's Department of Environmental Services (428-5990, www.cityofrochester.gov) with questions, concerns, or to get a guide for what to put in the big green bin for trash, and what to put in the little blue bin for recycling. If you live in the suburbs, your area's private trash hauler should get in touch with you. For waste removal and recycling help in the suburbs, contact the Monroe County Solid Waste and Recycling office at 760-7600 or www.monroecounty.gov.
Rochester Gas & Electric (546-2700, www.rge.com) is the area's natural gas and electricity provider. If you want the modern conveniences, you'll want to get in touch. (Unless you live in Fairport, Spencerport, or Churchville, all of which have their own electricity distribution systems.) The city's Water Bureau can be reached at 428-5990; the county water authority is at 442-2000.
To be able to pull the lever in local, state, and national elections, register with the Monroe County Board of Elections in person at 39 West Main Street, over the phone at 428-4550, or download the forms off the www.monroecounty.gov website.