Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson (D-Rochester/Chili/Riga/Rush/Wheatland) announced the Assembly passed legislation he sponsored that would require public notice of any planned, substantial change in service of the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA) and would allow the public to speak at a hearing regarding these changes (A.6754).
“A significant number of Rochester-area residents, including individuals with disabilities, depend daily on RGRTA transportation; many as their only mode of transportation” Bronson said. “So when the authority decides to make considerable changes to a bus route, it inflicts a large burden on the lives of people who rely on these services. This measure would provide enhance authority transparency making sure that the authority no longer makes such changes without input from the community first.”
According to Bronson, public notices and hearings would be scheduled when the RGRTA plans to change a bus route, change the frequency of service or close – completely or partially – a passenger stop or route. The public hearings would be held at least 30 days prior to any substantial change and would be accessible to those affected by the proposed change to allow them to speak on the topic.
“Since the bus service provided by the RGRTA is a public service, it only makes sense that the public should have the right to express their concerns on any changes that will affect their daily commutes,” Bronson said. “By providing detailed information on any changes in a timely manner and a forum for residents to express their opinions, they will be given the opportunity to impact the authority’s decision and have their voices heard before it is too late.”
Current regulations require only minimal effort by the RGRTA to inform the public about changes in service and of their right to speak at hearings, Bronson said. Bronson’s bill would require the authority to display posters on buses and stops operating on the affected routes at least 30 days prior to the hearing. The posters would describe, in detail, the proposed change and its effective date, and the time and place of the hearing, including a reminder that the public has the right to speak about any changes.
“By establishing these new requirements for the RGRTA, we can help protect the public’s best interest and their right to vocalize their opinions about changes that may impact their lives,” said Bronson. “I will continue working to make sure that every resident’s voice is heard.”