What to Expect from RTS as the Community Reopens
By Tom Brede, Public Information Officer
First thing’s first – we at RTS hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. With phase two of the New York Forward reopening process underway in our region, here is an update on what you can expect and need to know from RTS in the coming weeks.
Service Levels and Fares:
RTS in Monroe County is running on a normal schedule and we will continue doing so. In Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne and Wyoming Counties, we switched to a dial-a-ride service where customers need to call a day in advance to schedule a ride. Our plan is to continue providing dial-a-ride service through at least June 21. We have also extended the temporary waving of fares through June 21. We will notify you if and when we plan to make any changes to our service.
Enhanced Cleaning Program:
Our priority is keeping our employees and customers safe, which is why we quickly implemented an enhanced cleaning program for our buses and facilities when the COVID-19 pandemic was first detected in our region. As businesses reopen and people start riding the bus again, it is important that we keep our buses and facilities clean. Our enhanced cleaning program includes:
- Daily bus cleaning and disinfecting: All RTS buses are cleaned daily, with our 40- and 60-foot buses disinfected multiple times each day to ensure hand rails and other commonly used surfaces are cleaned throughout the day. All RTS Access and Regional buses are disinfected daily as well.
- Daily cleaning of the RTS Transit Center: The RTS Transit Center is cleaned multiple times during the day and in the early morning hours when the facility is closed.
- Cleaning bus shelters: We have increased the frequency of cleaning at the 10 busiest bus shelters in Monroe County.
In addition to our enhanced cleaning program, RTS has taken a number of steps to protect employees and customers during the pandemic. These measures include those that are part of an executive order from Governor Andrew Cuomo, guidance from health experts, and policies implemented by RTS. While the community is in the process of reopening, it is important that we stay focused on these measures.
- NYS face mask/face covering requirement: New York State’s requirement that employees and customers wear masks on public transportation is still in effect. We require our bus operators to wear face masks while on the bus and provide them with masks. To help customers comply with the requirement, we have masks available for free at the RTS Transit Center, on our RTS Access buses, and on our buses in Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne and Wyoming Counties.
- Temporary waiving of fares & rear door boarding: To protect employees and customers, RTS temporarily waived fares and requires customers to get on and off the 40- and 60-foot buses in Monroe County via the rear door. The combination of these efforts protects employees and customers by preventing hundreds of interactions with the fare box on every bus, every day, and promotes social distancing by reserving the front door and front of the bus for people with mobility limitations. The fare waiver and rear door boarding has been extended through June 21.
- Promoting Social Distancing: We encourage all customers to maintain a safe distance of six feet from each other whenever possible on RTS buses, at the RTS Transit Center and at RTS bus stops.
- Promoting Hygiene and Safety Tips: We encourage all customers to follow CDC guidelines to stay safe. These include washing your hands, not touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, sneezing into a tissue or your elbow, disinfecting frequently used surfaces, and staying home when sick.
It is our hope that through these measures we can continue providing you with safe, sustainable mobility, and help achieve a successful reopening through New York Forward. Thank you.