WXXI AM News

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The local public transportation system is about to change. "Reimagine RTS" is a year-long effort to revamp Rochester's public bus system to match community needs and desires. RTS just released phase three of the study. Phase three shares with the public the recommendations of RTS' consultant, and gathers more feedback.

So what should we expect to change, based on phase three? More bus routes? A new system entirely? We find out with RTS CEO Bill Carpenter

RTS is hoping to make riding the bus easier and more accessible in the coming years. But they need feedback from the community to do so.

On Friday, CEO Bill Carpenter announced the transit group would move into Phase 3 of the Reimagine RTS study. It’s doing the project with a consultant, Transportation Management and Design,  and now a draft of the report is ready for community members to weigh in on.

Leaders in Upstate New York say they need more attention – and more funding – to bolster transit options. For most cities that are not New York City, that means bus lines. RTS chief Bill Carpenter says the money has remained steady, but the needs have increased, and Rochesterians want better options. So what could RTS do with a big increase in funding? What should they do? And what about other cities that are considering not just buses, but other ideas?

Our guests discuss it:

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ New York City's subway system handles about 5.7 million riders every weekday, more than 10 times the combined daily ridership of all other public transportation systems in the rest of New York state.

Even though their ridership is nowhere near the Big Apple's, upstate New York's largest public transit face many of the same challenges their big-city counterparts at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority deal with on a regular basis, including aging infrastructure and increased demand for service.

In a previous program, we discussed how transportation intersects with poverty. This hour, the CEO of RGRTA, Bill Carpenter, joins us to discuss what RTS is doing to serve as many people as possible.

How does transportation intersect with poverty? Peter Nabozny, with the Center for Governmental Research, published a series of articles to find the answer. He explored bus commutes, car ownership, sprawl, and what can be done to improve matters.

We discuss what he found, and what can change to offer more opportunity for those living in poverty in Rochester. Our guests:

  • Peter Nabozny, associate principal for the Center for Governmental Research
  • Brenda Massie, Innovation and Strategic Initiatives for the City of Rochester, and board member and secretary for Reconnect Rochester

The new RTS center in Rochester has seen an increase in ridership, but also a number of violent incidents. We'll sit down with RTS CEO Bill Carpenter to talk about safety, security, and what they're doing to convince riders that the RTS center is a reliable place to be. We'll also talk about why RTS walked away from their contract with the Rochester City School District, the future of transportation, including options outside of the automobile.