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RTS rate fare changes could come by next summer

Local News

By this time next year, more people could be riding public buses in Rochester. That’s because the Rochester Transit Services is rolling out special fares. 

This is all about veterans, seniors, and people with disabilities in the community. If the RGRTA Board of Commissioners approves this part of the Imagine RTS plan, military veterans would ride for free. For daily bus use, that could save an estimated $700 per year. Seniors over 65 and people with disabilities would pay a half-price fare of $0.50. That’s down from the $1.00 fare they pay now during peak hours. 

These discounts are being proposed as changes for the whole day, not just peak or off-peak hours. Bill Carpenter, the CEO of RTS, says this is about breaking down barriers for public transport. 

“So as part of Reimagine RTS, we did a lot of listening in the community, a lot of focus groups, a lot of input that we received. People with disabilities, senior citizens…being constrained to certain hours for the discount was a barrier. And then as we spoke to veterans groups, the need for them to have access to transportation services was critical,” says Carpenter. 

Laura Stradley, the Executive Director of the Veterans Outreach Center, says this kind of offer is exactly the kind of tool to help veterans transition to civilian life. 

“For RTS to offer a way for them (Veterans) to easily access us and other community services providers is only going to strengthen our community,” says Stradley. 

The RTS Board of Commissioners will vote on the final Reimagine RTS plan at its meeting on June 27. 

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