Sunday, December 1, 2013

Route 52 - RTS' New Crosstown Connection

Immediately after Labor Day, RGRTA CEO Bill Carpenter was on hand for the inaugural voyage of the newest addition to RTS' stable of bus routes.  A route planned with the University of Rochester Medical Center's parking situation in mind, Route 52 crosses through the heart of the vibrant Monroe and Park Avenue communities before terminating at the brand new East Avenue Wegman's store.  This new alignment, which follows a rigid 30 minute departure schedule from 6-10AM and 2:30-7PM (with a single midday trip), has had us at Reconnect excited for some time.  We've finally crunched the numbers to bring the public an idea of just how much this development is enhancing service.

As can be seen on the map (click to enlarge), bus 52 overlaps significant sections of the 1 - Park Avenue and 11 - Goodman Street routes.  It also provides alternative crosstown service to the original weekday crosstown route, the 18/19 loop via 12 Corners, Brighton.  We'll start with the implications for crosstown service as we identify 5 attributes that make Route 52 a highly attractive and noteworthy option in our region's alternative transportation network.

  • When Route 52 is in service, its addition to the 18/19 crosstown route reduces average wait time for travel between Strong and Wegmans from 33 to 16 minutes.
Commuters living on either the south or east sides who work at the opposite end of each of these routes have more options, many departing from the same stops they are used to.

  • Route 52 extends evening options.  Last 19 to Wegmans from Strong: 6:20, Last 52: 7:05.  Last 18 to Strong from Wegmans: 5:51, Last 52 6:35.
No more rushing to make that last bus to avoid the time-consuming downtown transfer, Route 52 actually adds two departures after the final 18/19 at each terminus.
  • Addition of Route 52 reduces average wait time for travel along Route 11G between Swillburg and the Rochester Psych Center. during periods of overlapping service from 45 to 18 minutes.
  • Addition of Route 52 reduces average wait time for travel along Route 1 between Wegmans and Park/Goodman during peak periods from an already respectable 23 minutes to a quite excellent 13 minutes.
These overlaps are significant for riders not intending to ride the entire route length.  Now they can simply hop on the first bus they see to save wait time.  The effect is particularly pronounced in the apartment-heavy Park Avenue Corridor where the 13 minute average headway approaches a high level of service seen in locales which truly emphasize transit as a primary mode.

Last, but certainly not least:
  • Route 52 utilizes the same schedule 7 days a week.
This further facilitates an understanding of the schedule for users and shows a commitment to serving the needs of the irregular work schedules of hospital employees.

As we've seen, this route can be quite useful for many people for commuting, shopping, and weekend trips among other uses.  Anecdotally, our riders have not seen big crowds despite promotion throughout the system and by URMC.  We encourage our bus riding friends on the south and east sides to make good use of the service to send a signal to RTS that not just this route in particular, but additional crosstown service is highly valued by the Rochester community.  We are also committed to helping our friends not currently utilizing the system to take the leap so that they might too realize the convenience and efficiency of collective transportation.  If you'd like more information on how to take advantage of this route, other routes, fare information, or any other questions, please send an E-mail to Reconnect Rochester, your favorite transit ombusman, at or like us on Facebook and join the movement!

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