Rex the Rhino is planning his bus ride as we speak. Music buskers are tuning up for their performances during the evening rush hour on Main Street. Murphy’s Law on East Avenue is priming the kegs for our happy hour celebration (RSVP here ). And our volunteers are wrapping up HUNDREDS of prizes to deliver to random transit riders.
Get Your Fare Card!
Best of all, we still have 300 limited edition ROC Transit Day fare cards left to give away before the 20th. And we’re making them available to you now – first come first serve. Send us your mailing address and let us know how many fare cards you’d like (no more than 5 per person please). Email your request to [email protected].
We can’t guarantee on time delivery for requests made after Sunday, June 16. So email us now!
A few short weeks ago I told you about ROC Transit Day 2013. The idea is simple… pedestrians make for a vibrant city. The more people Rochester has walking the streets instead of driving, the stronger our community will be; and the stronger our local economy will be. ROC Transit Day is a holiday from our cars. It’s a day to celebrate local businesses. And it’s a day to cast a symbolic vote for a stronger transit system…
A year and half ago I managed to convince RGRTA to try something new. I said, “let me give away free bus rides for one day.” I imagined most people would say “no thanks, the bus isn’t for me.” But I also knew my mom was right when she said, “try it, you might like it.” That year I think maybe 200 people participated and left their cars at home for the day.
What began as a fun little experiment, has turned into ROC Transit Day – a full blown Rochester holiday from our cars. This year ROC Transit Day will be on Thursday, June 20.
In this, its second year, the volunteers at Reconnect Rochester are giving away 1,000 special edition RTS fare cards – designed by yours truly. And we’re asking Rochester’s business community to get involved too…
Sorry it’s been so quiet in the subway for the past week. It got crazy busy with many things happening on many different fronts, and I had to force myself into a self-imposed digital detox program. But here’s a quicky update…
I just got back from the Genesee-Finger Lakes Active Transportation Summit; a conference (held in downtown Rochester) where mobs of cycling and transit advocates gathered for a day of discussion about moving Rochester forward… literally. Believe me, Spiderman isn’t the only one sporting the spandex lately. There’s an undeniable groundswell of support for walkable, bike-friendly streets, and transit options in this town. Maybe you were following the tweets coming out of Reconnect Rochester throughout the day? But if you were at the conference, you understand what I mean. The excitement was palpable, and contagious.
Last November I had the ridiculously huge privilege to give a talk at TEDxRochester. The gravity of the honor may have been too much for my little brain to comprehend. In fact, when they initially asked me to do it I said “no thanks” – twice. Long story short, I gave in. And I’m glad I did, because the experience was one of those “once in a lifetime” things.
Since much of my talk was influenced by you, RocSubway readers and participants, I thought you’d like to watch (and share) the official video which has just been released. A word of caution: I’m not the most riveting public speaker, but there is lots of good stuff buried within this 12-minute presentation, so watch thru to the end if you can…
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…
Sorry if we caused a mass panic last week with all of the reports of UFO’s and abductions. We staged the whole UFO thing. But we can’t apologize for the adbuctions. As it turns out, every dollar we spend on gasoline, over $1.5 MILLION each day*, leaves the local economy never to be seen again. Vanished! The numbers are real. The UFO’s are not. We can do something about the vanishing resources.
Did you know every $1 invested in public transportation generates approximately $4 in economic returns. It’s true. Households that use public transportation and live with one less car can save on average $9,000 every year.
The volunteers at Reconnect Rochester find these numbers downright frightening. And we’re doing something about. We’ve organized a ‘human resistance’ movement have been getting the word out this weekend at the Greentopia Festival about Critical Mass Transit Day.
ON THE 3RD THURSDAY OF OCTOBER, AND EVERY MONTH THEREAFTER, WE WILL LEAVE OUR CARS AT HOME & JOIN TOGETHER FOR A “CRITICAL MASS” TRANSIT RIDE. EVERYONE IS INVITED! NO ONE IS IN CHARGE! LOOK FOR YOUR COMRADES ON RTS BUSES WEARING THIS PIN…
ON OCTOBER 20 SHOW THIS PIN TO YOUR RTS DRIVER AND RIDE FREE ALL DAY!
THAT part is no hoax. RTS has kindly agreed to honor our NO-UFOs pin as free entry onto any RTS bus all day on October 20. Just flash this pin at the friendly driver. Even if you’ve never ridden RTS before, now is the perfect time to give it a try. If only for one day. To get to work, or for a leisurely trip around the block.
Visit Reconnect Rochester at the Greentopia Festival (High Falls, vendor area, booth 55) and grab your FREE pin today… before they VANISH.
A RocSubway reader (who has asked to remain anonymous) submitted the above photo a little over an hour ago. All we know is that the picture was taken at a gas station on Main Street near downtown Rochester. The victim has not been identified. At this time the FBI has stepped in and taken the scene over from RPD.
Yesterday, this photo (left) went viral after it was posted to Reconnect Rochester’s web site. It was taken at a Greentopia event in the High Falls neighborhood on Wednesday. The object in the sky has yet to be identified.
Have you seen this photo? It was posted yesterday on Reconnect Rochester’s site. The organizers of the Greentopia Festival turned Commercial Street (in High Falls) into “green” space and hosted a lunch picnic for workers in the neighborhood. As if that weren’t strange enough… Then I looked a little closer at the photo. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT IN THE SKY?!?
I took the liberty of digitally enhancing the area of the photo that caught my eye. Tell me this isn’t the least bit curious…
While Rochester searches for its next mayor to take office and begin the arduous task of planning the City’s future, Reconnect Rochester is taking the issues to the candidates and the candidates to the people.
This month Congress will begin reauthorizing federal highway and transit dollars. To kick things off, the U.S. Congressional Transportation & Infrastructure Committee will hold a series of field hearings around the country, including a February 18th stop in Rochester.
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On Monday June 28 at 7:00pm you are invited to a FREE screening of PBS’s eye-opening film, BLUEPRINT AMERICA: BEYOND THE MOTOR CITY. The documentary is touring cities across America to raise questions—and seek answers—about the future of transportation in America. Can we build the “infrastructure of tomorrow” today? Can the cash-strapped and car-dependent cities of the so-called Rust Belt become new models for fast, clean, public transit? The links and similarities between Rochester NY and Detroit MI are glaringly obvious—and I think you owe it to yourself to see this film.
Howard Decker is new to Rochester. He moved here last Fall after spending much of his professional life designing transit systems from Chicago to Houston to Washington DC. He is a lifelong historic preservationist, an FAIA, architect, urban designer, and former Chief Curator of the National Building Museum. As a self-proclaimed “transit-geek” he is now spending time familiarizing himself with, and blogging about Rochester and working with groups such as the RRCDC and Reconnect Rochester . Last week Howard attended the public input meeting on RGRTA’s planned transit center on Mortimer Street. Today he posted his opinion on the whole thing. Read his article (below). And please attend the final public input meeting tomorrow night (May 5).
Buses and Subways and Trains, Oh My
A Town Square (May 4, 2010) — Our home place here is in the midst of considering a change to its transit system. As usual, Rochester is the perfect case study of how cities can screw themselves up with the greatest of ease. My newly adopted city, like so many of its sister places, has made a vast litany of urban gaffes over the last century, and we are about to see yet another. Let me explain.
In the early 20th century, Rochester had a system of streetcars and interurbans and even a subway, all of which provided transit options to citizens. In those days, say the 1920s, the population of the city was quite a bit larger than today, though the region was much smaller – sprawl was only just getting started.
By the mid 1950s, everything was gone. Streetcars gone. Interurbans gone. Subway gone. Left on the roads? Cars, and buses. Retail was headed out of town, following all those who began to sprawl. Downtown’s fate was sealed…
…Okay great, now here’s an update. Since that article, traffic to RochesterSubway.com has doubled, our Facebook fan club has grown from 100 to over 400 (and counting), and my inbox hasn’t had a moments rest. This is all very encouraging and a sure sign that the people of Rochester really want to see their city thrive. The big question is; do the people of Rochester care enough to make an effort? All signs point to yes. So far we’ve got 12 people (including myself) who have risen to the challenge. Together we will lead a city wide movement to Reconnect Rochester.
After the Erie Canal was rerouted south of downtown Rochester, the Rochester
Industrial & Rapid Transit Railway (the subway) was built in
its place as a link between the five different railroads and interurban trolley
lines that served the Rochester area. As the industrial landscape of Rochester
changed, and highways replaced the railroads, the Rochester subway gradually
became a relic of a bygone era. In 1956 the subway was abandoned and much of
its route was converted into Interstate 490 built to connect Rochester
with the New York State Thruway (I-90). Read more about the history of the Rochester Subway.
RochesterSubway.com exists to help spark
public dialogue around how we can better connect the neighborhoods of Rochester
NY, surrounding communities, and their cultural offerings. Rochesters
future is written in her past. Let's rediscover it.