If we’re being 100% honest with each other I have to tell you I used to pee myself with fear at the thought of having to ride Rochester’s bus system. Not because the buses are dirty—they’re actually some of the cleanest buses I’ve ever been in. And no, I’m not afraid of the “people” who ride the bus—some my best friends use RTS to get everywhere they go. I’m ashamed to say I used to avoid taking the bus because I couldn’t read those damn bus schedules. Pathetic I know.
Traveling to and from downtown wasn’t the problem. All I had to do was find a bus stop and hop on—it’s a straight shot. But if I had to get anywhere involving a transfer (which, in Rochester, is pretty much everywhere) then I was lost. How in the world would I know which bus to transfer to once I got downtown? And how long would I have to wait? Would it be quicker to walk? How do I know if this is the most direct route? How much time do I have to leave myself to catch the 7 o’clock show at the Little? AAAAAAH! Forget it! I’ll drive.
Not so fast… There’s an app for that…
RGRTA is now part of Google Transit , a free service that lets people find routes and schedules right from the comfort of your PC or mobile device. The tool is designed to remove the uncertainty from riding the bus. No more standing at a stop, wondering when it will come and where it will go. Making a query automatically finds the next bus, because Google Transit factors in the time that the request is made.
It is also possible to use the system at home to plot a trip: For example, if I need to get from my house in Irondequoit to my office in Fairport by 9:00 a.m., it can quickly tell me that RTS Bus Route 3 leaves the intersection of Titus and Brookview at 7:01 and will take me downtown to Broad & Exchange, where the Route 21 bus leaves at 7:49 and gets me to Fairport at 8:12… Forty-eight minutes early! Okay, so our bus system isn’t perfect… The point is, I’ve lived in Rochester for 15 years, and thanks to Google, I’m now riding the bus with great confidence. Look ma, no hands!
What’s even cooler is Google Transit is now compatible with hundreds of cities across the planet. So whether you’re staying in Rochester, exploring the London Tube, or vacationing in Tunisia, Google’s got a map for that.
Tags: Broad Street, bus, Exchange Street, Fairport, Google, Google Transit, Google Transit Layer, Irondequoit, London Tube, mass transit, mass transportation, New York, public transportation, Regional Transit Service (RTS), Rochester, Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA), Rochester NY, Tunisia
This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 at 9:22 pm and is filed under Transit + Infrastructure. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.