This is the last winter RTS customers will have to wait outside in the cold to catch a bus, at least in the downtown area near Main St.
That’s according to RTS CEO Bill Carpenter. He says the new transit center is 5 months ahead of schedule and on budget.
The $50 million bus terminal opens for business on November 28th, which is Black Friday.
Carpenter says they chose that date because most people are off from work, and bus riders could take the time to familiarize themselves with the new facility.
"So it remains a destination people want to be in, to use regularly, so we can attract folks who don't typically take the bus.”
Not only is RTS hoping the new indoor waiting and transfer area increases ridership, Carpenter says the new bus terminal would prove as a benefit to the community.
"We’ll have 50 jobs created at the transit center to provide customer service, to provide the security that's required the cleaning of the facility, the maintenance of the facility and, certainly, the management to run the facility."
The project created 400 construction jobs.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren says the 87-thousand square foot facility will keep bus riders warm in the winter and cool in the summer. But most of all: “It moves the buses off of Main Street. To get more activity, on-street parking … so that they could develop not only a residential [area] but also retail space. So I think that that's very important to the residents of the city of Rochester."
The transit center has 30 bus bays that can accommodate up to 100 buses per hour during peak times. The facility provides ticket vending machines, trip planning tools, two information desks and onsite security. Carpenter says RTS also plans to partner with the Rochester Police Department for security during busy hours.
The project also includes converting North Clinton Avenue and St. Paul Street, between the Inner Loop and East Main Street, into two-way streets. Curb replacements, street resurfacing and new traffic lights and signage all begin in June. Those changes carry a 1.6 million dollar price tag.
The transit center is funded through federal, state and local dollars.