Getting Around Rochester

Rochester, NY, is a sprawling metropolis full of things to see and do. Visitors to the Empire State's third largest city will find a modern public transportaiton system, easy access to and from the airport, guided walking tours to many of the popular landmarks, and excellent taxi service.

Greater Rochester International Airport is linked to the downtown business district via I-390 and I-490. There are a half-dozen major car rental agencies represented in the main arrivals hall. Taxi queues are found directly outside the terminal and offer rapid transport to the central business district. The airport is located approximately six miles from downtown, and the commuting time is relatively short.

The Regional Transit Service operates dozens of routes throughout the metro area. The service includes a large depot in the heart of downtown. Routes operate in a hub-and-spoke arangement, with most of the routes originating at the downtown transit center. Every bus has a bicycle rack on the front and can accommodate passengers in wheelchairs. Visitors wishing to use the RTS as a means of transportation are advised to check the transfer regulations. Very few crosstown routes exist, meaning that passengers often have to travel to the downtown hub and transfer to another route when making a trip to the other end of town.

Rochester has both an inner and outer loop of highways that connect to the feeder routes leading downtown. There is convenient freeway access to the shore of Lake Ontario, the New York State Thruway via I-390, and to the outlying communities of East Rochester and Pittsford.

Taxi service in both the downtown area and the suburbs is available by telephone request. Very few taxis will pick up passengers hailing at curbside. The major exceptions are the airport and Amtrak train station.

Traveling by foot is especially popular in Rochester. Much of the central business district is connected by an elevated skyway. This has greatly reduced the amount of surface street traffic outside of communer times in the early morning and late afternoon. Visitors will find the numeorus signs along the skyway quite helpful. Many intersections near the skyway have convenient underground pedestrian tunnels that are clearly marked on the downtown walking guides and brochures.

Bicyle rentals are available from several companies in the Rochester area. The unique Genesse Riverway Trail connects many of the neighborhoods near to the central business district and has several offshoot trails offering easy access to area suburbs.