Wayne Area Transportation Service users won’t be left out in the cold this winter waiting for their bus with the installation of two bus shelters at popular bus stops in Palmyra and Marion.

Wayne Area Transportation Service users won’t be left out in the cold this winter waiting for their bus with the installation of two bus shelters at popular bus stops in Palmyra and Marion.

Officials from the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority and WATS were joined by Mayor Vicky Daly, Board of Supervisors Jim Hoffman and County Clerk Mike Jankowski for a special ribbon cutting ceremony at the bus stop on Main Street, near Cuyler Street, in the village of Palmyra where a new bus shelter has been opened for those who rely on WATS to get where they’re going everyday.

“It is an excellent addition,” Daly said. “Many people take the bus and waiting inside the shelter is definitely preferable than in the elements. The fact that there are seats within it is a nice extra. Predictions are for a 'good old fashioned, snowy winter' this year. The shelter will be well used.”

The Palmyra stop sees about 6,000 people a year on average. A WATS bus picks up and drops off at this busy stop nine times a day. In Marion, the stop at Buffalo and South Main streets sees 4,000 customers annually. Supervisor Jody Bender was excited to be able to offer bus riders a place to wait for a bus in the small, quiet community and has no doubt the shelter will be used substantially this coming winter and with great appreciation. A separate ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the Marion bus shelter where Bender said she was pleased to see a sizable turn out to celebrate the town’s new addition.

Funding for the new shelters totaling $29,000 was provided by the Federal Transit Administration.

Jankowski has serves on the RGRTA board for the last eight years. He noted that the shelters are important to public transportation in rural counties as local residents need their jobs and need the inexpensive means WATS offers to get to those jobs. For many customers, the bus is the only way for them to get to work, school and appointments.

“WATS provides quality, convenient and affordable transportation to 160,000 customers annually,” said RGRTA CEO BIll Carpenter. “We continue to make investments to improve the experience for our customers. Whether the project is large or more modest like these bus shelters, our goal is the same. With these new shelters, our customers will no longer have to wait for the bus in the rain or snow.”

Wayne County boasts seven shelters in all now with the opening of the Palmyra and Marion locations, including ones in Lyons, Clyde, Wolcott, Sodus and Macedon. Bob Jordan, operations manager at WATS, said they operate 31 buses along fixed routes with 31 drivers employed by WATS. Each bus is handicapped accessible.

The cost to ride a WATS bus is only $1. Carpenter said they keep costs down to make riding the bus an affordable option for customers. Rising costs to operate the buses are offset by state aid, revenue from the county and community partnerships with area businesses that benefit from WATS stopping there, such as grocery stores. Carpenter said RGRTA asks those particular businesses to make up the difference in cost to continue to have WATS buses stop there. Overall, it truly is a great partnership.

WATS offers fixed route loop service, medical service shuttles to dialysis centers in Rochester, Clifton Springs and Victor, and commuter links to business centers in Ontario and Monroe counties.

“The addition of two bus shelters is a positive step to promote public transportation by showing consideration four the customers,” Hoffman said. “I applaud the efforts of RGRTA and its leadership for their continued diligence in making public transportation a more attractive option for Wayne County residents.”

In the past year, RGRTA has introduced new products and innovative transit tools that improve customer experience, such as commuters traveling from Lyons, Newark and Palmyra to Rochester on RTS Route 92 can use a new feature, “Where’s My Bus” and from their phone learn in seconds when the bus will arrive at a stop along Route 31.

Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority provides public bus transportation in Monroe, Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, and Wyoming Counties.  Recognized as one of the best-run transit systems in the nation, our 800+ employees proudly enjoy serving our customers who count on us for 18 million rides each year. A public benefit entity and one of four regional transportation authorities in New York State, RGRTA is governed by twelve appointed commissioners who represent the City of Rochester, County of Monroe, and the surrounding counties in which RGRTA provides services.   For more information, visit rgrta.com.