It has been a tough couple of weeks for the most vulnerable in our community.
A crisis with school bus transportation in the City of Rochester threatened our children’s ability to return to school buildings. RTS stepped up to fill the gap and ensure secondary students could get to school. Given limited workforce resources, this required RTS to scale back its regular service.
Beginning today, September 13, seven RTS frequent routes will change from having 15-minute service to 30-minute service on weekdays. The impacted routes are: Joseph (3), Hudson (4), Portland (5), East Main (8), Monroe (11), Genesee (16) & Lake (22).
Please help us get the word out to RTS riders about this sudden change in service.
These service cuts will have a serious impact on people’s daily lives. Thousands of essential workers will have longer commutes. The transit dependent will have a harder time getting their groceries, accessing childcare and other essential services. The elderly will struggle more to pick up their medications and get to healthcare appointments.
We support the RTS decision to help address the immediate school transportation crisis. We also believe this community shouldn’t have to choose between getting our kids to school and providing adequate public transportation.
So, now what?
- More resources will help RTS restore service to previous levels as soon as possible. We urge our public officials at all levels of government — city, county, state and federal — to support our public transportation system and the people who rely on it by helping to secure that funding.
- YOU can help by contacting your own representatives with the message that public transit is essential in the lives of people in our community, and service must be fully restored.
- We at Reconnect Rochester will continue to work, alongside a coalition of grassroots partners, to advocate for funding for robust public transportation in Monroe County. We’ll continue to coordinate those efforts with RTS, the Amalgamated Transit Union that represents RTS workers, and transit advocates across New York State.
Thank you to RTS for answering the call and responding to this community crisis, as they have done throughout this pandemic with free fares and emergency transport services. Thanks especially to our essential RTS drivers who will make sacrifices with their own work schedules and routines to make this happen.
There is no way to sugar coat this. A rollback in service frequency — a hallmark of the Reimagine RTS system redesign that riders had just a few months to enjoy — is a step backwards.
Let’s work together to get us moving forward again.