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Would you take the bus to work if it was easier? How about free?

People don’t use public transit because it takes too long to reach a destination, they have to transfer buses, the times are not convenient or the bus stops are not near their homes. People also like to run errands before and after work. Those are all very legitimate reasons not to take the bus.

But not everyone can feasibly drive to work at the University of Rochester. It has more than 20,000 workers and it’s growing. Parking is finite. Roads are jammed. Not everyone has a vehicle. Not everyone wants a vehicle. Gas is expensive. It hurts the environment.

The College Town project on Mt. Hope Ave. was supposed to have a transit center. But it was scrapped. Meanwhile the college is pushing for its own personal $100 million exit ramp on 390. Given that heaps of (unnecessary?) tax dollars are going into College Town, I called the transportation priorities a travesty.

My faith has been somewhat restored, although I still think the onramp project is ridiculous. The U of R and RGRTA are partnering to get more workers to take the bus. I did this story for 13WHAM:

“We’re partnering with them to make the destinations easier to get to and to make a way to view public transportation much more attractive,” said RGRTA CEO Bill Carpenter.

RGRTA visited the University of Washington in Seattle, which pays for workers to use the bus. RGRTA and the U of R are studying where workers live and where routes make the most sense. It’s possible some routes could bypass the downtown transfer point.


“What we will be doing is making it easier for them, whether it’s how our routes are designed or how the fare is paid,” said Carpenter. “We like people to get to work. We’re going to try to make it more convenient. We will make it more convenient for them.”

This is a positive development. It make sense to make public transit more user friendly for the area’s largest employer. Not everyone will choose to take the bus. But there could be an arterial in the city or suburbs where it makes sense for RGRTA to run a direct route to the college. At this point, the entities are figuring out demand. It’s a smart way to approach how to service the customer.

11 Responses to Taking Bus to Work Made Easier?

  1. The lead time between the busses for the most part is too long. It also seems like the stops are way too close together, add in mandatory transfers downtown for anything but the shortest trips and you get a bus ride that takes way longer than driving and is inconvenient because I usually get there way ahead of when I need to be or would be late. The whole system needs a rework. I can ride my bicycle faster than the bus can take me to most places, which I often do instead of driving

  2. November 23, 2012 at 11:42 am RaChaCha responds:

    Again, we’ll know they’re really walking the walk and not just talking the talk when they begin to plan for transit hubs at both the medical center and River Campus, do a serious study of light rail between them and DT and/or RIT, and make a more serious effort to get faculty & staff to live within walking/biking distance.

  3. I hate to tell the bus company that there are other placed people work and there is.very poor bus service. Ie. My son works in penfield we live in the city there are buses tba run the could work with his schedule. Thus I drive to and from penfield daily. The U of R has enough Money do what want for their 20,000 employees but they aren’t the only game in town!!!!

  4. November 23, 2012 at 8:19 pm Tony Mittiga responds:

    Let’s see what studies reveal about potential demand, new routes, expansion of existing routes, and other issues, before asking for transit centers, and light rail service. Transportation is a practical concern, not a moral issue, of who can bike, or walk, the farthest.

  5. November 24, 2012 at 12:45 am Eduardo Ricardo responds:

    If this whole bus issue doesn’t bother you, then you don’t care! And this makes me mad as hell!

  6. November 24, 2012 at 12:03 pm Kevin Yost responds:

    There could be a satellite bus station at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Kendrick Road, as well as a light rail line along the Lehigh Valley and Erie-Lackawanna lines between downtown and Erie Station Village in western Henrietta, using the bridge over the Genesee River that could be used for pedestrians as well as the trains. This line could also extend to Charlotte and have a spur to Southtown Plaza, Marketplace Mall, and Lehigh Station Road in east-central Henrietta and be one of several public light rail lines.

    There could also be satellite bus hubs at University Avenue and Winton Road and at West Ridge Road and Lake Avenue as well.

  7. UR already has its own free shuttle buses for its students, faculty, and staff. They have various stops throughout the 19th Ward and the Southeast Quadrant, and one that just runs between the River Campus and the Eastman School. I’ve always found them very convenient.

  8. It should be noted that although the website divides the schedules into “Students” and “Staff,” they are free for everyone.

  9. Pingback: Garages & Lots NOT the Answer » The Rochesterian

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