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Navigating the Rochester transit system for #ROCtransitday

How two college-educated girls managed to get lost riding the bus

Navigating the Rochester transportation system, simply put, was difficult. Thursday was ROC Transit Day, a “grass roots” campaign to encourage car users to be car-free for the day. When our editor, Jane, suggested my fellow intern, Holly, and I participate in the day and find restaurants, shops, and other businesses off the bus stops, we were excited. We were to use social media and hashtags to show we participated in the day and we were up for the challenge. What we didn’t realize is how much of a challenge it would be to actually get to these places.  

We downloaded two different apps on our smart phones to give us times and information and set off for the bus stop right outside our office. Perfect, right? No. We thought the bus we needed would be arriving at 9:50 a.m. but when the bus didn’t show up 15 minutes later we checked our two different apps and now the next buses would be at 11:19 and 11:43 a.m. We went back inside to the air-conditioned office and tried to figure out the next plan of action.

Coming from three years of living in Boston I thought we could handle this. I had mastered each branch and line of Boston transportation within my first two weeks of living there and often ventured out of the city into the surrounding neighborhoods and suburbs. But this was not so easy.

We got on at a different bus stop around 11:30 and after successfully (with help from two different bus drivers) finding City Blue Imaging, a jazz café called Stromboli’s, and the National Museum of Play (we are twenty and twenty-one—we really needed to go), we thought we had this public transportation thing down. We found our bus (the 31) and thought we were headed back to Park Avenue where we wanted to end our day by getting coffee or ice cream. Things took a turn for the worse when we turned into the city’s transit center on East Main Street. Uh, what?

We had to wait another thirty minutes before our bus would pick us up at the transit center, but we knew this bus would be our bus. We finally got our gelato at Jembetat Café and enjoyed a nice walk back to our office on East Avenue. What did we learn on our bus adventure? Sometimes it’s just easier to walk or brave the traffic in your car. 

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