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ROC Transit Day, June 21

ROC Transit Day is coming! Be car-free with us on June 21.
If you’re like most people, you’ve used public transit in other cities—maybe while sightseeing in NYC or backpacking through Europe—but then you come home to Rochester and you get right back in your car and drive everywhere you need to go. We may not even think about it. It’s just habit.

On those days when I do leave my car at home and take the bus to work, it’s like being on vacation; from my routine. I don’t have to hunt for a parking space and lock up my car, or hike thru a nasty parking lot or gloomy garage. I just step off the bus and I’ve arrived.

I still remember the way I felt the first time I used the bus in Rochester. It was almost euphoric, really. I felt like I was free. Exactly the opposite of the way this video makes me feel…

Well here is your chance to experience the rush of being car-free for a day. Thursday, June 21 has been dubbed ROC Transit Day external link by our local transit advocates at Reconnect Rochester external link. They are inviting as many Rochesterians as possible to leave their cars at home and go for a bus ride instead.

The Event… And Your Key to the City

Get a ROC Transit Day pass, good for free RTS bus rides all day June 21.Coinciding with National Dump the Pump Day external link, Reconnect Rochester is partnering with Rochester Transit Service (RTS) to give away 1,000 of these specially designed bus passes. Each pass is good for unlimited FREE rides on RTS buses all day on June 21. Not only is it a transit pass, it will also unlock great treasures for anyone who uses it…

Find out how to get your pass here external link.

Ride and Win…

FREE PRIZES will be given to random RTS bus riders all over the city that day thanks to support from local businesses such as The Little Theatre, Krudco, SWBR Architects and others. Prizes will include tickets to The Little Theatre and Rochester Rhinos soccer games, Krudco t-shirts, Rochester Subway posters, and gift certificates to local establishments.

A Chance to Win on Facebook…

Take a photo of yourself riding the bus on ROC Transit Day and upload your photos to the Reconnect Rochester Facebook page for a chance to win a prize.Share photos of you and your friends riding the bus on ROC Transit Day on the Reconnect Rochester Facebook page external link. The photo that receives the most “Likes” by Monday, June 25 will win one of those great prizes.

Discounted Movie Tickets…

Even if you don’t win a prize on the bus that day, you can still show your transit pass at The Little Theatre on June 21 and get $5 movie tickets (regular evening tickets are $8).

Mascots…

Psst… Rex external link (the Rhinos mascot) may even join the Reconnect Rochester volunteers as they hand out prizes! Have you ever seen a rhino riding a bus? This may be your chance.

Free Beer…

Transit Riders will receive a free beer and appetizers at Legend's Sports Bar (while supplies last).The day will wrap up with a happy hour at Legend’s Sports Bar & Grille (120 E Main St, Radisson Hotel) from 5:00-6:30pm. Show your USED transit pass and receive A FREE ROUND OF BEER & APPETIZERS. But hurry down – this one is “while supplies last!” Join the happy hour event on Facebook external link.

The Goal is Simple

The goal is simply to increase awareness of the great resource that lies in our public transit system and convince enough people to use the system so that we may start to expand upon it in the future. But the challenge will be enormous: to get drivers to try something new. That’s not an easy task!

RTS will be tracking just how many people use those free transit passes on June 21. The critics don’t believe people will actually use transit in Rochester. Let’s prove them wrong.

So grab your free ROC Transit Day pass external link, plan your trip external link, and get out there on June 21. And let your friends know about it… join the Facebook event external link.

Also on ROC Transit Day…
“Guerilla Wayfinding” Signs

Guerilla Wayfinding for Rochester. [ILLUSTRATION: Gary Jacobs, RocCity 2.0]
On the evening of June 21, a new wayfinding experiment will kick off. Under the cover of night, street teams will be hanging these signs (shown above) designed by Gary Jacobs, co-founder of TEDxRochester external link.

Guerilla Wayfinding for Rochester. [ILLUSTRATION: Gary Jacobs, RocCity 2.0]72 signs will offer pedestrians & cyclists directions (and distances) to 24 unique destinations around Rochester. Each sign includes icons for an idea of what you’ll find at each location, and a QR code to the RocWiki external linkpage for each destination.

This type of guerilla project was originally inspired external link by Matt Tomasulo of Raleigh, North Carolina. The recycled coro-plast signs will be zip-tied to street-light poles and will not damage public property in any way. They are also color-coded: Blue = Neighborhoods, Violet = Entertainment Orange = Civic, and Green = Parks.

Here's one of those wayfinding signs spotted on Exchange Street downtown on June 22. [PHOTO: Scott Wolf]

And another on State Street. [PHOTO: Scott Wolf]

ROC Transit Day and Guerilla Wayfinding Signs, two great examples of what we can do as ordinary citizens to help “lead” our leaders into the 21st century.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, June 9th, 2012 at 1:36 am and is filed under Events, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development, Video. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Responses to “ROC Transit Day, June 21”

  1. Powers says:

    The problem with RTS is that it’s optimized for downtown commuters and virtually no one else. If I live in Penfield and want to go to Pittsford, I have to take a bus into the city and a different bus back out, taking at least six times longer than driving. That’s just not practical.

  2. @Powers, That is probably the most common feedback Reconnect Rochester heard from people, second only to “sure, I’d love to give the bus a try.” It’s a very good point you raise so I sent your comment directly to RTS for a response. Below is their statement, and it sounds like they are open to feedback so let’s start a dialog…

    From RTS:

    This customer makes a good point. We are a radial city, and always will be. Ridership patterns and economics don’t support town to town direct lines or loops. So basically there are two things working against us: our distributed suburban density and our street layout (radial).

    When we have experimented with circulators, they have not worked (under 5 people per bus per hour – which means that we spend $122 per hour and collect $4). Our urban density is really great for radial headway based lines (like the route 10). We have 60+ people per hour per bus there.

    What we have found is that new customers are choosing to move and live on main lines that coincide with where they work and shop. The Dewey Ave corridor from Driving Park to Ridge Road is a great example of this livability density that is developing around urban transit and urban/suburban livability corridors – and the route 10 gives access to North of Ridge shopping density and Downtown Rochester municipal access, all within a 12 minute trip. If a customer transfers, they are usually 30-45 minutes to anywhere in Rochester.

    We would be open to ideas as to how to do this better. We are considering experiments in Greece and Gates to move customers to Gates/Greece/Chili using a circulator model combined with subsidies (payments from retail and business partners) to offset the $122 vs. $4 issue noted above. We will be approaching Penfield and Irondequoit and Webster in a few months to next year to discuss East side options.

    We are also trying to identify ways to improve demand management with other modes (rideshare) or via headway based service that is not downtown through routed. Again, open to ideas here as well …


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