NY: RTS Transit Center Will Open Ahead of Schedule

Waiting for the bus on Main Street in the freezing cold will be a thing of the past when the RTS Transit Center opens on Nov. 28, 2014.

On Feb. 25, RGRTA CEO Bill Carpenter was joined by Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren to announce that the RTS Transit Center will open five months ahead of schedule. The building was previously scheduled to open in April 2015.

Carpenter said, “We are very excited to have the Transit Center open earlier than planned. It takes a team to get this done — and is an example of what can happen when there is a willingness to work together for the good of the community. When the city and county encouraged us to move as quickly as possible, we assessed our internal resources and were able to move forward.” Carpenter acknowledged three critical pieces that needed to be in place to open by November: the City’s willingness to expedite the transition of St. Paul Street and North Clinton Avenue to accommodate two-way traffic; traffic signal work that needed to be completed by Monroe County, and The Pike Company’s ability to keep the project ahead of schedule.

“The early completion of the RTS Transit Center and the conversion of St. Paul Street and North Clinton Avenue to two-way streets benefits our community’s mass-transit commuters and Downtown Rochester,” said Mayor Lovely A. Warren. “This has been a brutal winter for many of our transit-dependent residents and we don’t want them to face another winter out in the cold making transfers. I want to thank Bill Carpenter and his team, most of all the construction workers and management team, for moving expeditiously and pushing to get this project done ahead of schedule. When we work together as a team, we move the community forward.”

Carpenter continued, “Everyone benefits when there is a spirit of cooperation. This earlier than planned opening of the Transit Center could not have happened without support from the Mayor and the County.” 

“RTS provides as many as 65,000 trips per day,” added Carpenter. “More than 20,000 customers pass through downtown daily. Soon, they will be able to arrive, wait, and depart in a safe, comfortable, and attractive facility. As new downtown development creates jobs, the RTS Transit Center will make bus travel more appealing and convenient for those workers. More than 400 construction jobs were created because of the Transit Center and when it is complete, approximately 50 more people will be employed here. The Transit Center will also cater to the growing trend of Millennials and retiring Baby Boomers and the increasing numbers of downtown residents who are giving up their cars and moving into urban areas.”

Rochester Downtown Development Corp. President Heidi Zimmer-Meyer was also present.

About the RTS Transit Center

Located in the heart of downtown Rochester, the enclosed, one-story RTS Transit Center spans an entire block between North Clinton Avenue and St. Paul Street.  The LEED-certifiable structure will provide modern amenities in a secure, climate-controlled environment that is fully ADA-accessible. Customers will transfer and wait for buses indoors—replacing the outdoor lineups that now occur along Main Street, St. Paul Street and North Clinton Avenue, and on Broad Street.

The 87,000 square foot building will feature all the amenities of a modern transportation hub: electronic displays of bus departure times, ticket vending machines, public rest rooms, and an information center staffed to assist bus customers as well as visitors to Rochester.  With 30 bus bays, it will accommodate as many as 100 buses per hour during peak times for service throughout Monroe County.

Groundbreaking for the RTS Transit Center took place on Nov. 20, 2012. The $50 million building is being funded by Federal Transit Administration funds (80 percent), New York State Department of Transportation funds (10 percent), and RGRTA (10 percent).