Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority

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Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority
Slogan Enjoy The Ride
Founded 1969
Headquarters 1372 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14609
Locale Monroe and surrounding counties
Service area Monroe, Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne and Wyoming counties; New York
Service type Public Transit
Destinations Rochester and surrounding area
Hubs RTS Transit Center
Fleet Bus, Van
Daily ridership 61,000 daily (First quarter 2015)[1]
Fuel type Diesel, diesel-electric
Operator RTS, B-Line, RTS Livingston, RTS Wayne, RTS Genesee, RTS Ontatio, RTS Wyoming, RTS Orleans, RTS Seneca, RTS Access
Chief executive Bill Carpenter
Website Official Website

The Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA) is a public benefit organization which provides transportation services in the area in and around Rochester, New York. Currently, RGRTA oversees the daily operation of eleven subsidiaries under the parent company of the RGRTA including the Regional Transit Service (RTS), RTS Genesee (RTSG), RTS Ontario (RTSO), RTS Livingston (RTSL), RTS Wayne (RTSW), RTS Wyoming (RTSW), RTS Orleans (RTSOR), RTS Seneca (RTSS) and RTS Access.[2]


Rochester Railway Company

Public transportation in the greater Rochester area can trace its roots back to the streetcar and interurban lines operated by the Rochester Railway Company and later New York State Railways. In 1929, New York State Railways entered receivership, and local interests formed a plan to reorganize the former Rochester Railway. After several years of negotiation, the Public Service Commission approved a reorganization plan in 1937 put together by attorney Howard Woods and his committee of stockholders.[3]

Rochester Transit Corporation

On August 2, 1938, Rochester Transit Corporation assumed operation of the bus and streetcar operations serving the city.[4] The last streetcar line was converted to bus operation in 1941, though contract operation of the city-owned Rochester Subway continued until 1956 (RTC ended freight operations in the Subway by 1957, transferring the responsibility to the connecting railroads).[5] The company was returned to local control in 1943 when the remaining shares owned by Associated Gas & Electric were bought out.

From Private to Public

With postwar prosperity came increased use of automobiles and the spread of population out to the suburbs. Rochester Transit Corporation was plagued by labor unrest, and strikes in 1952 and 1965 ground the system to a halt.[6] A dispute over job listings and seniority caused a brief two-day strike in May 1967. With the transit workers contract coming to an end that fall, stalled negotiations led to another strike in November 1967. The work stoppage continued through the holiday season, and with no end in sight, the City of Rochester drew up a plan to condemn and purchase the transit company operations. Over the objections of RTC, the strike came to an end on January 25, 1968, and the city contracted with National City Management Company to operate the bus lines as Rochester Transit Service.[7]

Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA) was formed in 1968 by a state act of government which also formed three similar agencies in Syracuse, Buffalo, and the Capital District around Albany. The RGRTA took over the former RTC bus operation from the City of Rochester and later began expanding bus service to outlying suburban and rural areas. The lines that made up the former RTC service became part of the Regional Transit Service (RTS) in Rochester and Monroe County.[8]

Regional Transit Service

The largest subsidiary of the RGRTA, Regional Transit Service (RTS) serves Monroe County (Rochester and its immediate suburbs) as well as providing service to students at University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology. Suburban and park-and-ride routes serve the outlying towns in Monroe County and surrounding counties of Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne and Wyoming, including service into Avon, Victor, Lyons, and Le Roy).

Bus routes

Regional Transit Service operates 45 individual routes, most of which operate on a hub and spoke system from Downtown Rochester. All routes originate at the RTS Transit Center (Pictured Below) at 60 St. Paul Street along Mortimer Street.

Prior to November 28th, 2014 and the opening of the transit center routes originated from the corner of Main and Clinton or from Broad Street. The Main and Clinton stops had been in place since 1863. With the move came a change in routes, stops and times including the elimination of through-routing, in which a bus would operate between two or more different routes during scheduled runs.

Routes are color coded with those in green serving the east side of the county and those in blue serving the west side.

The current routes operated by Regional Transit Service include:

  • Route 1 Lake Ave
  • Route 3 Lyell Ave
  • Route 4 Genesee
  • Route 6 Jefferson Ave
  • Route 8 Chili
  • Route 9 Jay/Maple
  • Route 10 Dewey Ave
  • Route 13 Edison
  • Route 14 Ridge Road
  • Route 15 Latta
  • Route 16 Crosstown
  • Route 19 Plymouth
  • Route 23 Jefferson Rd
  • Route 24 Marketplace
  • Route 25 Thurston/MCC
  • Route 28 Genesee Park/Strong
  • Route 31 Park Ave
  • Route 33 Goodman
  • Route 34 Hudson Ave
  • Route 35 St. Paul Blvd
  • Route 36 Clifford Ave
  • Route 37 Clinton
  • Route 38 East Main
  • Route 39 Bay/Webster
  • Route 40 Portland
  • Route 41 Joseph Ave
  • Route 42 Parsells Ave
  • Route 45 South Ave
  • Route 47 Monroe
  • Route 48 University
  • Route 50 MCC
  • Route 51 S. Clinton
  • Route 53 S. Goodman
  • Route 57 East Ave
  • Route 81 Fairport
  • Route 82 Penfield
  • Route 83 Calkins Rd
  • Route 101 Avon
  • Route 102 Perinton-Bushnells Basin
  • Route 103 Webster
  • Route 104 Brockport
  • Route 106 Hilton
  • Route 124 Marketplace Limited
  • Route 134 Hudson Limited
  • Route 150 Dewey Limited

Other subsidiaries

  • RTS Genesee (formerly Batavia Bus Service) serves Genesee County with local bus service in the city of Batavia, commuter service to and from Le Roy, and once-weekly dial-a-ride service to many of the smaller outlying communities of Wyoming County. Also of note, the RTS Genesee is the oldest of the smaller subsidiaries of the RGRTA network.[9]
  • RTS Livingson (formerly Livingston Area Transit Service) serves Livingston County with several routes connecting with the county seat of Geneseo and to sites in/near Rochester. It also operates a local bus service in Geneseo and special service for students at SUNY Geneseo. One line connects to RTS Wayne buses in Perry.[10]
  • RTS Wayne (formerly Wayne Area Transit Service) serves Wayne County with several loop routes based around the county seat of Newark and the town of Sodus. Then WATS joined the RGRTA as a subsidiary in 1980.[11] A shuttle service also connects with Regional Transit Service (RTS) buses during commuting hours in Lyons.
  • RTS Wyoming (formerly Wyoming Transit Service) serves Wyoming County, running three loops connecting towns in the community to the county seat of Warsaw. A local loop bus service is also offered to passengers weekdays in the Village of Warsaw.
  • RTS Orleans (formerly Orleans Transit Service) serves Orleans County with a focus on the larger villages of Albion and Medina with one line connecting to the RTS Genesee subsidiary in Batavia, and special service for students at SUNY Brockport.
  • RTS Seneca (formerly Seneca Transit Service) serves Seneca County with a focus on Geneva, Seneca Falls, and Waterloo. Additional service also operates on a less frequent schedule as far south as Interlaken and Lodi.
  • RTS Access (formerly Lift Line) (provider of paratransit services to the area served within 3/4 mile of any fixed RTS route)
  • RGRTA Maritime Development Corporation
  • Genesee Transportation Service Council Staff, Inc.

On August 19th, 2014, RGRTA announced a re branding of all their bus lines in the surrounding counties under their control to feature RTS (insert region here) rather than independent names. The changes were officially implemented immediately with equipment and uniforms changing as they are phased in.[12]


In 2014, the authority opened a $50 million 87,000 square feet (8,082.56 m2) RTS transit center in downtown Rochester, replacing the former bus station that was part of Midtown Plaza (Rochester).[13][14] The center has 30 bays capable of handling up to 100 buses per hour.[15]

External Links

See Also

References and Citations

  1. "Transit Ridership Report (First Quarter 2015)" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. May 27, 2015. p. 24. Retrieved August 24, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Public Authorities Administrative File: RGRTA" (PDF). State of New York - Office of State Comptroller. p. 3. Retrieved 14 May 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Smith, Henry Bradford; McKelvey, Blake (July 1968). "Rochester's Turbulent Transit History". Rochester History. 30 (3): 18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. King, Shelden S. (1975). The New York State Railways. Elmira, New York: Whitehall Mail Service. p. 28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Amberger, Ronald (1985). Canalboats, Interurbans and Trolleys: The History of the Rochester Subway. Rochester, New York: Rochester Chapter NRHS. p. 93. ISBN 0-9605296-1-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Smith, Henry Bradford; McKelvey, Blake (July 1968). "Rochester's Turbulent Transit History". Rochester History. 30 (3): 21–22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Smith, Henry Bradford; McKelvey, Blake (July 1968). "Rochester's Turbulent Transit History". Rochester History. 30 (3): 23–24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "RGRTA - Regional Operations: BBS Services". RGRTA. Retrieved 7 May 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "RGRTA - Regional Operations: LATS". Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority. Retrieved 7 May 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "RGRTA Regional Operations: WATS Service". Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority. Retrieved 8 May 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Riders Get A Chance To Check Out The New RTS Transit Center". WXXI (AM). Rochester, New York. 2014-11-28. Retrieved 2014-11-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Praise, complaints as RTS Transit Center opens". Democrat and Chronicle. Rochester, New York. 2014-11-28. Retrieved 2014-11-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "RTS Transit Center Features". Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2014-11-30. External link in |website= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>