Regional Transit Service (RTS), in partnership with the Rochester City School District (RCSD), has announced a revised transportation plan, which will put more students on express service in the afternoon, and reduce the number of students who transfer downtown, officials said.
According to officials, phase one of the two-part plan, in which 1,600 RCSD students have already been bypassing their prior stop at the downtown RTS Transit Center, went into effect March 19.
In addition, by the time the plan has been fully implemented on May 4, over 2,100 more students will travel directly from school to home at dismissal, officials said.
“RTS has been the Rochester City School District’s transportation partner for over 35 years, providing safe, convenient, and reliable bus transportation for more than 9,000 RCSD students daily,” said RTS CEO Bill Carpenter. “This plan accelerates our progress to maximize the number of students able to travel directly from home to school and back each school day.”
Carpenter said, ultimately, RTS plans to reduce the number of students who transfer buses at the center by 50 percent.
New routes currently have been implemented for students attending All City, Charlotte, East, Edison, Franklin, Monroe, Northeast/Northwest, School of the Arts, and Wilson Commencement. Phase two will impact students who attend Rochester Career Mentoring, School 58, University Prep, and Rochester Early College.
In addition, according to Carpenter, RTS will make provisions for students who participate in after-school activities, such as sports, co-ops, or college study programs.
The district’s director of safety, and transit security officials, will also be heading up a collaborative effort with Rochester Police Department officers in response to safety concerns at the center, officials said.
“The district is responsible for providing safe transport of students to and from school,” stated RCSD Superintendent Bolgen Vargas. “Safety is our first priority, and we take the responsibility seriously. We appreciate the efforts that RTS is making to support safe and efficient transportation with these new routes, and we will continue to address safety concerns through effective collaboration with our community partners.”
According to RTS officials, 3.2 million customers have passed through the RTS Transit Center since it opened November 28, 2014.