February_2022 - 24

Regional Transit Service
Adding New Tools to
the Mobility Toolbox
While establishing the frequent
network was one of the biggest
improvements, RTS knew there
were areas where a fixed-route
bus was no longer feasible, but the
community still needed access to
transit. Staying with its guiding
principle of increasing the mix
of mobility options, RTS created
seven on-demand zones to serve
customers outside of downtown
Rochester more flexibly, cost effectively
and consistently.
" Now, [there is] much more
customized service that works, "
Carpenter said.
The RTS On Demand microtransit
service operates in zones
based on the old 40-foot bus network
and includes 10 connection
hubs that mark the end of the newly
designed fixed-route network.
Nine of the 10 hubs were constructed
and include new shelters
with heaters and real-time information,
as well as electric charging
stations for personal vehicles at
select locations. Connection hubs
were also strategically located near
public restrooms.
Riders can request a ride
through the app, online or by calling
to get anywhere within that
zone or transfer to RTS Connect
24 | Mass Transit | MassTransitmag.com | FEBRUARY 2022
RTS ON Demand
operates curbto-curb
service in
seven zones.
" In a system
redesign like
this, we now
have a platform
where we can
better serve our
community with
mobility options.
It wouldn't have
been possible
before. "
-BILL CARPENTER,
CEO, RTS
fixed-route service at a connection
hub or bus stop. The curb-to-curb
service operates seven days a week
in all but one zone and while service
hours vary, they are generally
5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. weekdays
and 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on
weekends. All vehicles have bike
racks and are ADA accessible.
In addition to buying the new
vehicles, which include six lowfloor
buses and 24 high headroom
vans, RTS had to hire and train
staff and invest in fare collection
equipment and on-demand software.
Carpenter shares that while
the software is a bit clunky, RTS is
continuing to work with its vendor
and explore other options
through a future procurement.
Brede shares using the software
and operating the on-demand
service has been a learning
curve for RTS and its vendor
because they had " never operated
that before. "
" We didn't pilot the on-demand
service. We launched it as part of
the redesign, " Brede explained.
" That's why it's a good first step. "
For next steps, RTS has recommendations
from its consultant
for future or expanded zones.
But it also has the flexibility to
respond swiftly if a new job center
comes to town or community
needs change.
" Because we have a new system,
we have new ways to think
about making service improvements
and [expansions] when
more funding comes along, "
Carpenter said.
Continuing a
Robust Paratransit
Service Area
Prior to Reimagine RTS, the
agency had a supplemental service
area that complemented its
federal requirements. However,
since the on-demand zones replaced
inefficient service using 40foot
buses, the paratransit service
area would drastically be reduced.
Seeing this, the board tasked RTS
to maintain the same geography
of the paratransit network prior
to the redesign.
One way RTS managed this
was allowing eligible paratransit
customers to ride RTS On
Demand for free when staying
within the same zone. Trips that
go from one zone to another or
from a fixed-route stop to an
on-demand zone cost $5 since
that trip " is more expensive " to
operate, says Carpenter.
" We had a public meeting
about that, " Carpenter explained,
saying that while the community
was appreciative of the geography
that would be served, the cost
http://www.MassTransitmag.com

February_2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of February_2022

Editor’s Notebook
People & Places
SkyTrain
Bolstering the Mobility Toolbox
2022 Mobility Outlook
Outfitting Networks with Improved Connectivity to Create a Better Rider Experience
Products
February_2022 - 1
February_2022 - 2
February_2022 - 3
February_2022 - 4
February_2022 - 5
February_2022 - Editor’s Notebook
February_2022 - 7
February_2022 - People & Places
February_2022 - 9
February_2022 - 10
February_2022 - 11
February_2022 - SkyTrain
February_2022 - 13
February_2022 - 14
February_2022 - 15
February_2022 - 16
February_2022 - 17
February_2022 - 18
February_2022 - 19
February_2022 - Bolstering the Mobility Toolbox
February_2022 - 21
February_2022 - 22
February_2022 - 23
February_2022 - 24
February_2022 - 25
February_2022 - 2022 Mobility Outlook
February_2022 - 27
February_2022 - 28
February_2022 - 29
February_2022 - Outfitting Networks with Improved Connectivity to Create a Better Rider Experience
February_2022 - 31
February_2022 - 32
February_2022 - Products
February_2022 - 34
February_2022 - 35
February_2022 - 36
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