Posted by: Brenda Massie, Board Member and Secretary, Reconnect Rochester.
As July winds down, I find myself thinking about how summers in Rochester fly by. Already, one month has passed since our annual ROC Transit Day. This year brought new merchants and vendors, new fun events like the swing dance and treasure hunt; but more importantly, a new wave of enthusiasm for public transit.
As the Secretary of Reconnect, I sometimes find myself trying to convince people that using public transit can be an enjoyable and even fun way to get around. I tell them if you ride the bus you may meet people and see things you may not have noticed if you were driving in a car.
So, when I received the following email titled “Birding By Bus” from a brave neighbor that decided to try the bus on ROC Transit Day, I felt inclined to share. These ROC Transit Day-ers used their passes to have an unexpected stay-cation and noticed some wonderful things about our City along the way…
First, thank you for the ROC Transit day bus passes. [We] had fun exploring the City.
We took the #5 bus at Highland and South to the High Falls District. The Dady Brothers were performing at noon at Granite Mills Park on the west side of the river. We crossed the beautiful Pont de Renne Bridge and were treated to some pretty spectacular views of the High Falls, the refurbished Genesee Brewery, the old industrial buildings of the Brown’s Race area. What we didn’t expect to see were the great blue heron, the belted kingfisher and turkey vulture soaring over the ravine. We noted all the birds we saw for entry into Cornell’s ebird database.
The day was cool with razzle dazzle sunshine. There was a very appreciative audience waiting for music to begin. The previous day’s thunderstorm had knocked out power to the park, but some inventive types strung a huge extension cord from across the street to power the mics and the speakers. It was a grand concert with plenty of opportunities to sing along. I even won a WXXI tee shirt because I had arrived via ROC Transit!
After the concert, we retraced our steps across the Pont de Renne and waited for the #5 bus to Summerville. We arrived at the lake shore at about 1:30 pm and had lunch dockside at Silk O’Loughlin’s Pub. Finally, we proceeded out on the Summerville Pier. The pier is not in the greatest shape, but that makes it all the more inviting to fishermen and birders. Migrating shorebirds find insects and shelter in the shrubs and weeds that have grown up through the cracks in the concrete. We spent about an hour on the sun bleached pier and counted a great number of birds. Caspian terns, common terns and a killdeer were the stars of the day.
Finally, we headed back to the Lilac Neighborhood via the #5 bus. We wanted to attend the dance performance outside the Rundel Library, but all that time in the sun had sapped our energy.
What a wonderful day! I learned that we seniors can ride the bus for $.50. I am proud of RTS for being so inclusive. Each of our bus trips included folks in wheelchairs and parents with strollers.
Thanks for a great Stay-cation!