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These profiles were gathered during our Transit Ambassador pilot program which launched in July 2023 and wrapped up at the end of September. Over 10 weeks, two Reconnect Rochester Transit Ambassadors conducted 2-3 minute surveys, capturing the experiences of over 200 RTS riders at 40 different locations. We learned alot about what’s on the minds of RTS riders and their ideas for system improvements. View the survey results and recommendations that we shared directly with RTS leadership.

Disclaimer: All stories in this blog series are reflective of the rider’s experience and may not convey the most up to date and accurate information on the current RTS system. We will add relevant links directly to the RTS website where readers can find more information and inquire with the RTS team for further clarification on routes, bus passes, amenities, schedules and other details that might be pertinent to rider experiences.

Jenelle Harriff (she/her/hers)

I live in North Winton Village, by Winton and Browncroft. So I’m on routes 8, 9 and 10. I was very disappointed that they eliminated the Winton road service because the abbreviated 9 route from Blossom Route to downtown flies! 

So unfortunately the system change made my life a lot tougher and I wasn’t a huge fan [of Reimagine RTS], but most of the time I get the service when I need it. 

OnDemand doesn’t extend past East Avenue and there’s no service to Linden Avenue. So all of those healthcare agencies and offices really cut out my prospective employers. Paychex, Remade Institute, all of the big companies out there don’t have bus service to get to work, unless you’re willing to pay for a $20 uber. So it really compressed my job hunt and it was discouraging. I have several college degrees and a great job history, and it really puts a linchpin in everything. 

Thankfully I was able to find a position in Canandaigua on Main Street, so I trialed it and I was able to get there by bus! It took a while but all the connections worked to RTS Ontario: I went from Blossom Loop and got to Eastview and connected my next bus to Finger Lakes Gaming and took the third shuttle down to the West Avenue Hub, and my new job is one block away.

The lack of transit to a lot of the best paying jobs in our region really made it so I was pushed to relocate and it’s discouraging. I love my neighborhood here in the city and I’m very involved in my community as the Block Captain. I’ve been a vendor at the public market since I was 17 and I’m involved in my local Community Gardens. But I need to independently get around and I don’t like to depend on family or friends to do so.

My local stop doesn’t have any seating or shelter. But, I love the bus stop cubes because even just to put your bags down after shopping because the ground gets muddy in bad weather, just those little touches makes people’s lives easier, or just a place to lean or I’ve seen people who are disabled with walkers using the cubes which is really helpful. It’s nice to see those enhancements.

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