ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Changes are happening within the Regional Transit Service to accommodate the Rochester City School District’s major bus driver shortage.
The new schedule launched Monday, allowing RTS to make stops at 5 additional schools in the RCSD. Because of it, hundreds of students were able to return to the classroom, just a few days after the district’s first day.
The company said the deal with the district would affect run-times for buses on seven out of nine routes. Buses will be making rounds every 30 minutes instead of 15 minutes.
Over at the RTS bus station, regulars were noticing an effect on their end.
“It’s different,” said Esland Williams. “And it is hard to find a bus for me, it is hard because they keep switching it so I don’t know.”
Passengers say it’s going to be an adjustment.
“I missed my bus,” said Keander Davis. “Like I’m late to work that’s something that’s irritating.”
Bob Jackson was not prepared to see changes this morning.
“I just found out that today.”
He uses RTS every day, relying on it for many things.
“I use the bus for medical appointments, grocery stores, or just to visit a friend but the buses are extremely important for me, that’s my means of major transportation,” said Jackson.
Meanwhile RTS is urging the community to be patient with those who rely on the buses:
“We hope all our customers received notice of the changes to RTS Connect and are making the necessary adjustments. If any customers are learning about this for the first time, the new schedules are posted to myRTS.com and we have updated the interactive map on our website. We thank the community for being patient with our customers as they adjust to the changes we made today to the transit system, and we thank them for being patient with us as we begin working to reestablish our 15 minute routes.”
-Bill Carpenter, RTS CEO
Back in May, RTS launched “Reimagine RTS”, a new system that allowed for faster trips and shorter wait times. 15-minute intervals were part of that. RTS says they’re sad to be stepping away from upgrades customers asked for, but believe it is for a good cause.
“We want to get these kids in school, once we get that up and running we’ll go back and focus on the 15-minute frequency again,” said Carpenter.
Routes affected are Joesph, Hudson, Portland, East Main, Monroe, Genesee and Lake Avenue. Carpenter says these are their most popular routes.