Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority

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Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority
RTS bus logo.png
SloganEnjoy The Ride
Headquarters1372 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14609
LocaleMonroe and surrounding counties
Service areaMonroe, Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, and Wyoming counties, New York
Service typePublic Transit
DestinationsRochester and surrounding area
HubsRTS Transit Center
FleetBus, Van
Daily ridership54,900 daily (Fourth quarter 2016)[1]A
Fuel typeDiesel, diesel-electric
OperatorRTS, B-Line, RTS Livingston, RTS Wayne, RTS Genesee, RTS Ontario, RTS Wyoming, RTS Orleans, RTS Seneca, RTS Access
Chief executiveBill Carpenter
WebsiteOfficial Website

The Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA) is a New York State public-benefit corporation which provides transportation services in the eight-county area in and around Rochester, New York. Currently, RGRTA oversees the daily operation of eleven subsidiaries under the parent company of the RGRTA, including paratransit services.[2]


The RGRTA is guided by a 14-member board of commissioners (two of which are vacant).[3] The management team is headed by CEO Bill Carpenter, who reports to the board.[4] In 2017, the RGRTA had operating expenses of $116.51 million and a level of staffing of 1,045 people.[5]


Rochester Railway Company[edit]

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 New York State Public Service Commission approved a reorganization plan in 1937 put together by attorney Howard Woods and his committee of stockholders.[6]

Rochester Transit Corporation[edit]

On August 2, 1938, Rochester Transit Corporation assumed operation of the bus and streetcar operations serving the city.[7] 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).[8] 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[edit]

A 1990 Orion V bus

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.[9] 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.[10]

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, the Capital District around Albany and New York City. 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.[11]

Regional Transit Service[edit]

Logo of 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, Monroe Community College and Rochester Institute of Technology. Students in the Rochester City School District are also served. 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). RTS also serves major shopping centers and malls in Monroe County, such as various Walmart locations, Marketplace Mall in Henrietta, Eastview Mall in Victor and The Mall at Greece Ridge in Greece.

Bus routes[edit]

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

Prior to November 28, 2014, the opening date 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. ROC-It routes are routes with limited stops.

The current routes operated by Regional Transit Service include the following (as of January 7, 2019):

Monroe County[edit]

  • Route 1 Lake Ave/Kodak/Charlotte
  • Route 3G/3W Lyell Ave/The Mall at Greece Ridge/Walmart Chili
  • Route 4 Genesee St/Strong Hospital
  • Route 5 MCC Downtown Campus (operates only when school is in session)
  • Route 6 Jefferson Ave/Greater Rochester International Airport/Wegmans Distribution Center
  • Route 8 Chili Ave/Walmart Chili/Lifetime Health
  • Route 9 Jay St/Maple Ave/Rochester Technology Park/Westmar Plaza
  • Route 10 Dewey Ave/Northgate Plaza/Walmart Dewey
  • Route 13 Edison Tech/Colfax St
  • Route 14 West Ridge Road LIMITED (Rochester/Greece)/East Ridge Road via Portland Ave/Bishop Kearney High School (Irondequoit, around 7:30 AM only)
  • Route 15 Latta Road/Dewey Ave/Lake Ave LIMITED/Walmart Dewey
  • Route 16 Crosstown via LaGrange Ave
  • Route 19 S. Plymouth Ave/University of Rochester/Strong Memorial Hospital/College Town
  • Route 23 Jefferson Rd/Walmart Marketplace
  • Route 24 Marketplace Mall/Rochester Institute of Technology via Mt. Hope Ave
  • Route 25 Thurston Rd/MCC Brighton Campus/Brooks Ave
  • Route 28 Genesee Park Blvd/West Ave/Strong Hospital
  • Route 31 Park Ave
  • Route 33 N. Goodman St/Irondequoit Plaza (mornings-afternoons)/Culver-Ridge Plaza (after 7:00 PM only)
  • Route 34 Hudson Ave/Carter St/Irondequoit Plaza/Keeler St Apartments (Towers)
  • Route 35 St. Paul Blvd/Seneca Park Zoo/Irondequoit Plaza/Summerville
  • Route 36 Clifford Ave/Fernwood Ave
  • Route 37 N. Clinton Ave/Cooper Rd/Irondequoit Plaza
  • Route 38 East Main St/Browncroft Blvd/Wyand Crescent
  • Route 39 Bay St/Webster Ave (not to be confused with Route 103)
  • Route 40 Portland Ave/Seabreeze via E. Ridge Rd & Culver Rd/St. Ann’s Community
  • Route 41 Joseph Ave/Walmart Hudson
  • Route 42 Parsells Ave/Laurelton Road/Hill Haven/Baytowne Plaza
  • Route 45 South Ave/Strong Hospital/Monroe Community Hospital
  • Route 47 Monroe Ave/Pittsford
  • Route 48 University Ave/Strong Hospital/Browncroft Blvd
  • Route 51 S. Clinton Ave/Lac De Ville Blvd
  • Route 53 S. Goodman St/Rochester Psychiatric Center/Monroe Developmental Center (PSYCH/VA/MDC)
  • Route 55 Monroe Community College Brighton Campus via Mt. Hope Ave (operates only when school is in session)
  • Route 57 East Ave/Nazareth College/St. John Fisher College
  • Route 59 MCC Connector/Direct service between Downtown Campus and Brighton Campus (only operates when school is in session)
  • Route 74 RIT East End Express (operates only on the campus of RIT, NO DOWNTOWN)
  • Route 81 East Rochester via W. Commercial St/Fairport via Fairport Rd and Main St. Fairport
  • Route 82 Penfield via Route 441
  • Route 83 Calkins Rd via E. Henrietta Rd
  • Route 84 Eastview Mall (Victor)
  • Route 101 Avon/Rush Park & Ride
  • Route 102 Newark/Lyons
  • Route 103 Town of Webster/Xerox via Empire Blvd/Ridge Road (NY-404)
  • Route 104 Brockport/Spencerport/Rochester Technology Park/SUNY Brockport
  • Route 106 Hilton/Hamlin/Clarkson via NY 104
  • Route 124 Marketplace Mall ROC-It (LIMITED)
  • Route 134 Hudson Ave ROC-It (LIMITED)
  • Route 145 South Ave ROC-It (LIMITED)
  • Route 150 Dewey Ave ROC-It (LIMITED)
  • Route 155 MCC Brighton Campus ROC-It (LIMITED) (operates only when school is in session)
  • Route 163 Lyell Ave ROC-It (LIMITED)
  • Route 172 Nazareth College/Pittsford Plaza (Sundays only) (LIMITED)

Routes outside Monroe County[edit]

  • Route 201 Albion (RTS Orleans)
  • Route 202 Medina/Lyndonville (RTS Orleans)
  • Route 203 Batavia (RTS Orleans)
  • Route 204 Brockport (RTS Orleans)
  • Route 205 Albion/Medina (RTS Orleans)
  • Route 210 Batavia (RTS Genesee, operates on Saturdays only)
  • Routes 211 & 212 Batavia/Genesee Community College (RTS Genesee)
  • Route 214 Batavia/LeRoy (RTS Genesee)
  • Route 221 Warsaw (RTS Wyoming)
  • Route 222 Arcade to Batavia (RTS Wyoming)
  • Route 223 Arcade Commuter (RTS Wyoming)
  • Route 224 Warsaw to Arcade (RTS Wyoming)
  • Route 225 Sardinia (RTS Wyoming)
  • Route 226 Silver Springs/Castile/Pike (RTS Wyoming)
  • Route 227 Perry (RTS Wyoming)
  • Route 228 Wyoming (RTS Wyoming)
  • Route 229 Attica (RTS Wyoming)
  • Routes 231 & 232 West Livingston County via Mt. Morris (RTS Livingston)
  • Routes 242 & 243 East Livingston County via Mt. Morris (RTS Livingston)
  • Route 250 Canandaigua North (RTS Ontario)
  • Route 252 Canandaigua South (RTS Ontario)
  • Route 253 Canandaigua to Eastview Mall (RTS Ontario)
  • Route 254 Canandaigua to Geneva via Routes 5 & 20 (RTS Ontario)
  • Route 255 Canandaigua to Geneva via Routes 21 & 96 (RTS Ontario)
  • Route 261 Geneva (RTS Ontario)
  • Route 280 Del Lago Resort and Casino (RTS Seneca)
  • Routes 281 & 282 Seneca Falls/Waterloo/Geneva (RTS Seneca)
  • Route 290 Lyons to Canandaigua (RTS Wayne)
  • Route 293 Canandaigua to Lyons (RTS Wayne)
  • Route 296 Lyons to Geneva (RTS Wayne)
  • Route 298 Geneva to Lyons (RTS Wayne)
  • Routes 302-307 Wayne County (RTS Wayne)
  • Route 308 Lyons to Webster (RTS Wayne)
  • Route 331 Route 31 Shuttle (RTS Wayne)

Other subsidiaries[edit]

  • 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.[12]
  • RTS Livingston (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.[13]
  • 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.[14] 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 Ontario (formerly County Area Transit Service) serves Ontario County with a focus on Canandaigua and Geneva.
  • 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 19, 2014, RGRTA announced a rebranding of all their bus lines in the surrounding counties under their control to be named RTS, with the county name following, as shown above, rather than independent names. The changes were officially implemented immediately with equipment and uniforms changing as they are phased in.[15]


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.[16][17] The center has 30 bays capable of handling up to 100 buses per hour.[18]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

References and Notes[edit]

A^ This ridership number only accounts for RTS Monroe County. It does not include other subsidies, including RTS Access.

  1. ^ "PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION RIDERSHIP REPORT Fourth Quarter 2016" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. APTA. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Public Authorities Administrative File: RGRTA" (PDF). State of New York - Office of State Comptroller. p. 3. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
  3. ^ "RGRTA Commissioners Page". Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  4. ^ "RGRTA Management Page". Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  5. ^ "NYSABO 2018 Report" (PDF). pp. 16, 44. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  6. ^ Smith, Henry Bradford; McKelvey, Blake (July 1968). "Rochester's Turbulent Transit History". Rochester History. 30 (3): 18.
  7. ^ King, Shelden S. (1975). The New York State Railways. Elmira, New York: Whitehall Mail Service. p. 28.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Smith, Henry Bradford; McKelvey, Blake (July 1968). "Rochester's Turbulent Transit History". Rochester History. 30 (3): 21–22.
  10. ^ Smith, Henry Bradford; McKelvey, Blake (July 1968). "Rochester's Turbulent Transit History". Rochester History. 30 (3): 23–24.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "RGRTA - Regional Operations: BBS Services". RGRTA. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
  13. ^ "RGRTA - Regional Operations: LATS". Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
  14. ^ "RGRTA Regional Operations: WATS Service". Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Riders Get A Chance To Check Out The New RTS Transit Center". WXXI (AM). Rochester, New York. 2014-11-28. Retrieved 2014-11-30.
  17. ^ "Praise, complaints as RTS Transit Center opens". Democrat and Chronicle. Rochester, New York. 2014-11-28. Retrieved 2014-11-30.
  18. ^ "RTS Transit Center Features". Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2014-11-30. External link in |website= (help)