OTS will add 3 bus shelters, new garage

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 March 2014 at 12:00 am
bus garage proposal

Courtesy of Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority – This is a rendering of the proposed new bus facility on West Academy Street, next to the Orleans County Highway Department. Construction is expected in 2015.

ALBION – Orleans Transit Service is planning big things in 2013, including a new bus shelter by Rite Aid in Albion, one by the County Administration Building on Route 31 and another in Medina.

The agency, part of the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, also is working towards a new bus facility that would house the OTS operations, including space for 10 busses and a two-bay maintenance wing. That facility would cost about $2 million.

RGRTA has secured federal transportation money for the design phases of the project and is applying for the construction money, Bill Carpenter, RGRTA chief executive officer, told county legislators on March 13.

The new bus garage would be built next to the Orleans County Highway Department’s garage on West Academy Street, where OTS currently rents space. Moving OTS out of the highway facility will free up room for county personnel and equipment. The buildings and grounds department about three years ago merged with the highway crew.

OTS, meanwhile, is working to boost ridership 6 percent from the 35,500 during its 2012-13 fiscal year, said Mike Patterson, OTS manager.

The agency has nine employees and operates on a $570,684 budget. Fares and contracts cover $86,825 of the budget. A local mortgage tax generates $118,894 for OTS, while government aid makes up the difference.

County Legislator George Bower said he doesn’t think the mortgage tax should be used to support OTS. But Carpenter said the state has allowed that tax to help support public transportation. He said RGRTA has secured $371,997 in other funding – three times the mortgage tax – to provide the service.

OTS runs a fixed route schedule in Albion and Medina. It goes off those routes with a Dial-A-Ride service, as long as reservations are made 24 hours in advance. Patterson said OTS is looking at changing the fixed route in Albion to run by the new health care center on Butts Road. Several riders each day go to the center owned by Orleans Community Health.