Many transit loving Rochesterians, put off by the RTS “hub and spoke” system, have long clamored for the convenience of crosstown routes. The new Route 52 answered those calls by connecting the Park Ave neighborhood with the University of Rochester Medical Center (via Goodman and Elmwood) without having to stop and transfer downtown. The new route had many of us excited .
But after less than a year of service, RGRTA said Route 52 drew too few customers to keep it going. And a little over a week ago, RGRTA announced that it would pull the plug…
Of course, the customers who started using #52—many of whom gave up their coveted parking spot at UofR—are now left feeling abandoned and frustrated. One of these riders wrote a letter to RGRTA, and asked me to share it here in the hopes that others would feel inclined to do the same…
The abrupt closing of Route 52 is really getting my goat. I’m shocked and dismayed that RGRTA didn’t say anything before closing a route that does provide service to people and without trying to do anything. I wrote the below letter to RGRTA. I was wondering if you could do a post about the closing of 52 and why RGRTA hasn’t seemed to do anything to help it before making this announcement, and if you could try encouraging people to write in in protest?
I am dismayed by the sudden announcement of discontinuing Route 52. I understand your stated reasons, such as the fact that the route has low ridership and is losing money.
However, I question why it is being decommissioned with 30 days notice. With the leadup to the transit center, you’ve been holding meetings and soliciting feedback for route changes. Why did you not start such a process for 52 before it became this bad? Why not have the same types of meetings and open houses as you had for route 4, where you could solicit feedback from riders? Why not trial changes such as reducing some lesser ridden times, or making it a little less frequent than every 30 minutes? Why not try to work with the community to improve route, rather than just letting it suffer quietly and with no word, leaving riders like myself startled and confused when the closure was announced.
Another question: why not wait until the College Town construction is done to see how that might affect ridership? College Town is supposed to draw more people to that area for living, working, and spending money, and given Park Ave’s popularity, the easy tie between the two would seem appealing. Ridership might have declined in the summer when it’s nice to bike, but perked back up as it gets colder and the bus becomes more appealing.
I really enjoyed taking a single line to and from work on every weekday, and having easy access to Wegmans and stores on weekends. I’m really disappointed that nothing about 52 being in danger was communicated before the shutdown. I realize there’s likely nothing my words can do to keep it open, but I hope that in the future, before RGRTA discontinues a route, that they’ll make some more noise about the subject and work with the population it serves earlier.
Write to RGRTA:
If you would like to express your thoughts or opinions about Route 52, please write to RGRTA using this contact form .
Tags: bus, bus routes, Elmwood Ave, Goodman Street, mass transit, Park Ave neighborhood, Park Avenue, public transit, Quinn Avery, Regional Transit Service (RTS), Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA), route 52, transit, University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC)
This entry was posted on Sunday, August 10th, 2014 at 11:33 pm and is filed under Opinion, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure. 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.
Hop a 1 and transfer to one of the 3+ buses that go to UR/strong already. Thought this was a nonsense bus and stated so on RTS website when announced. Add a bus to the best served destination in the city. You can still ride the bus to work, you just have to ride with us non UR employees.