ROCHESTER — Regional Transit Service (RTS) today said that on July 15, it will reinstate the collection of fares across the eight-county region it serves, including the four GLOW region counties, and launch the new RTS Go contactless fare payment system in Monroe County.
Reinstating fare collection and front-door boarding, resuming regular service outside Monroe County
RTS will start collecting fares again for all RTS operations and implement a new policy for getting on and off its 40- and 60- foot buses in Monroe County. Under the new policy, customers will board the bus from the front door and exit the bus from the rear door. Customers with mobility limitations will be able to exit the bus from the front door.
“To keep employees and customers safe during the pandemic and promote the use of transit for essential trips, we switched to dial-a-ride service only in Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne and Wyoming counties,” RTS said.
RTS said starting on July 15, it will resume regular service for RTS Genesee, RTS Orleans and RTS Wyoming. Plans are currently being developed to resume regular service for RTS Livingston, RTS Ontario, RTS Seneca and RTS Wayne. The transit service said it will share those details once the plans are finalized.
“While the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic spurred changes to ensure the safety of our employees and customers, what didn’t change is the role of public transit as a critical component of our infrastructure that connects people to jobs and essential destinations in our community,” RTS CEO Bill Carpenter said. “With Phase 3 of the New York Forward reopening process underway, it is the right time to reinstate the collection of fares and implement our new fare payment system. The new system, RTS Go, offers new ways to manage and pay fares, and provides a new layer of safety on the bus for employees and customers through contactless fare payment.”
The Go system is included in the Transit app, which is RTS’ new real-time trip planning app. While the features of RTS Go will be available starting July 15, the Transit app is available for download today. Additional changes going into effect on July 15 include reinstating the boarding of the bus from the front door, fare media changes and the implementation of all-day reduced fares for senior citizens that are 65 and older, persons with disabilities, and children ages 6-11.
The RTS Go Fare Payment System
Aside from modernizing its fare payment system and providing new options for customers to purchase and pay their fares, RTS Go will offer contactless fare payment. This feature of RTS Go means that customers will simply tap their mobile phones or smartcards on the onboard validation unit when boarding the bus.
“This will add an important layer of safety on the bus for employees and customers as we support the reopening of our community and the continued fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” RTS said.
Another key benefit of RTS Go is “fare capping,” RTS said. This means customers who use RTS Go will pay $1 per ride, but never more than $3 a day, nor $56 a month, no matter how much they ride. The technology behind the system will know when a customer has reached those limits and stop charging him or her for the rest of that day or month.
Customers with a smartphone will be able to take advantage of RTS Go by downloading the Transit app from the App Store or Google Play. Customers who don’t have a smartphone will be able to buy a Go reloadable smartcard from ticket vending machines at the RTS Transit Center or online at myRTS.com. Customers will be encouraged to register their accounts with Customer Service or on myRTS.com. This will help protect the money they put on their accounts in case their RTS Go cards are lost or stolen.
The Transit app will also serve as RTS’s new trip planning app and will replace the Where’s My Bus? app. Customers will still be able to text 20105 for Where’s My Bus? arrival information after the launch of RTS Go.
RTS said that today, customers can:
• can download the Transit app from the App Store or Google Play.
On July 6, customers can set up their accounts and start purchasing fares through RTS Go by following the link in the Transit app.
On July 13, customers can start purchasing RTS Go smartcards from the ticket vending machines at the RTS Transit Center. July 15, they can start using RTS Go via the Transit app or RTS Go smartcards to pay their fares on RTS buses in Monroe County.
Videos are available on the RTS website for customers to learn about RTS Go and how to use the Transit app.
Use of Cash and Current Fare Media
Customers in Monroe County who pay with cash will still be able to do so. They will be able to use exact change on the bus for a one ride or all-day pass, and they will be able to use cash to purchase a one ride or all-day pass from TVMs. Customers using RTS Go will be able to reload their accounts through the Transit app or RTS Go cards by using cash at the TVMs, as well as with debit or credit cards. Our 40- and 60-foot buses will no longer be able to accept bills larger than $1. This means customers paying with cash will need to have their exact fare ready or pay $3 for an all-day pass. We will no longer be able to provide change cards starting on July 15.
“Our current fare media — magnetic stripe, Tap & Go! cards, on-board issue change cards — will no longer be available for purchase once RTS Go is in place. While we will neither issue change cards on the bus nor sell magnetic stripe and Tap & Go! cards, customers who currently have them will still be able to use them to pay their fares through the end of 2020,” RTS said.
All-day reduced fares for senior citizens, people with disabilities and children ages 6-11
Senior citizens, people with disabilities and children ages 6-11 will be eligible for the reduced (half-price) fare. The reduced fare is currently only valid during non-peak times. Starting July 15, the reduced fare, which is 50 cents per ride, $1.50 per day and $28 per month, will be available all day. These customers will still be able to use magnetic stripe, Tap & Go! and previously issued change cards to pay their fares.
Promoting safe and sustainable public transportation
To ensure the continued safety of employees and customers, RTS said it will continue its enhanced cleaning program for RTS buses and facilities.
RTS said it is providing employees with the personal protective equipment (PPE) they need to safely carry out their duties and is helping customers comply with facemask/covering requirements by providing masks at the RTS Transit Center, on RTS Access buses and buses at the regional counties it serves.
“We thank our customers for their support and encourage them to help us win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by wearing a face mask or face covering in public, and practicing social distancing on the bus, at the RTS Transit Center and RTS bus stops,” said Carpenter.
For all other information, visit www.myRTS.com.