As early as summer 2020, RTS could be providing public transit in some key suburban areas through smaller buses and more flexible routes.
RTS has been working its way through Reimagine RTS, an effort to improve and modernize the Monroe County's public transit system. The agency and a consultant already developed a plan to revamp RTS's fixed route system so buses can run more frequently on routes that are more direct and better connected.
But those plans also call for replacing some underused routes with Community Mobility Zones, a concept RTS and another consultant, IBI Group, have been fleshing out.
The zones would cover parts of Irondequoit, Webster, Greece, and Henrietta, as well as areas around Brockport and Spencerport; Pittsford and Eastview Mall; and Lexington Avenue in the city. Both will use smaller buses or vehicles.
The consultant recommends an on-demand service for the Irondequoit, Greece, Lexington Avenue, and Henrietta zones, says RTS CEO Bill Carpenter. Users can book a ride to a bus connection for $1, or to a custom destination for an additional fee, likely somewhere between $3 and $5, he says.
For the other areas, the consultant recommends a flex route system. A vehicle will travel in a loop anchored by a transit hub – Baytowne Plaza at the Penfield-Webster border, for example – and users will be able to board for $1, Carpenter says. They can request a pick-up or drop-off anywhere within three-quarters of a mile of that route, which would cost an additional $1, Carpenter says.
Representatives from RTS and its consultant have held information meetings over the past week and half. They'll hold community-wide info sessions from noon to 1 p.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, February 14, at the RTS Transit Center, 71 North Clinton Avenue.