Transportation in Rochester
Public transportation in Rochester is not as extensive as in some larger cities. Rail and bus systems are not as widespread, and many living areas are more spread out. Many Americans own cars, the most common form of transportation, but it is quite possible to live in Rochester without owning a car. Options include:
- Campus shuttle service
- Zipcar rentals
- Regional Transit Service (RTS)
- Carpools and Zimride
- Apple Transportation
You can use the Walk Score website and free app to identify nearby restaurants, stores, parks, and more depending on where you live. This can be a good indicator of how frequently you will need various transportation options.
The Department of Transportation and Parking Management and International Services Office (ISO) websites provide additional transportation-related information.
Note about driver’s licenses: If you have an international driver’s license, you are able to drive in New York State (ISO offers more information about driving in the U.S.). However, car rental agencies may have different policies regarding international licenses, so check with the individual company.
On-Campus Shuttle Service
The University’s shuttle fleet provides an easy and convenient mode of transportation around and between campuses. There are 10 shuttle lines available.
Shuttle services are free with your University ID, so be ready to swipe your ID card when you board the shuttle.
The University’s Department of Transportation and Parking Management provides additional information about shuttle routes, transit times, and locations.
Zipcar offer an independent mode of transportation. The company’s cars may be rented by the hour or for an entire day. Gas and insurance are included in the rental fee, and new renters receive $35 in free-driving credit toward their first rental.
You will need a valid driver’s license to rent a Zipcar (international licenses are accepted).
In general, you must be 21 years or older to be eligible for Zipcar rentals (18-20 years old if affiliated with a college or university). Please note: Most other car rental companies require their renters to be at least 25 years old, but some companies rent to younger people for additional fees.
Zipcar vehicles are located on the River Campus, at the Medical Center, and at the Eastman School.
Regional Transit Service (RTS)
RTS is Rochester’s primary public transportation system. RTS buses run throughout the city, giving commuters an alternative transportation option.
The University’s Department of Transportation and Parking Management offers multiple RTS bus pass options, a Trip Planner tool, and information on fares and routes. Bus schedules are also often available at the Common Connection in Wilson Commons or in the back of Rush Rhees Library (near ITS).
Visit the RTS website for more information.
Ride-sharing operates through allowing users to place a request for an on-demand private driver by setting a pick-up and drop-off location via the app of their choosing. Rides are available 24/7 and are often more cost-effective than taxis.
Carpool and Zimride
Carpooling is an arrangement between people to make a regular journey in a single vehicle, typically with each person taking turns to drive. This may be a convenient and affordable transportation option for some, one that reduces fuel costs, tolls, and the stress of driving.
Carpooling is a convenient and affordable option to consider when determining an appropriate transportation method. Carpooling is an arrangement between people to make a regular journey in a single vehicle, typically with each person taking turns to drive. This in turn may reduce fuel costs, tolls, and the stress of driving.
Taxis operate throughout the city and surrounding areas, including to and from the airport. These services usually need to be scheduled in advance, but are available 24/7. Most taxi fares are charged by a combination of distance and time. Rates also increase slightly for additional passengers or luggage.
Apple Transportation offers chauffeured sedans, minivans, wheelchair-accessible transportation, or small group charter transportation. It offers point-to-point flat rate pricing, so you know the total cost prior to departure. There is no surcharge for additional passengers.
Reserve an Apple Transportation ride online or contact the company at +1 (585) 427-7330.
The city of Rochester is dedicated to creating a world-class bicycling community. Biking offers a healthy, alternative mode of transportation that is eco-friendly and efficient. Biking is a great mode of transportation in spring, summer, and fall, but is not recommended for the winter months.
The University offers more than 500 free bike racks on campus. Bicyclists may also buy a space in a Medical Center bike locker.
Bike-sharing through Zagster allows users (18 years or older) to rent a bike from any of the company’s racks, distributed throughout the city of Rochester. These bikes can be picked up and dropped off at any docking location and cost $1 per half hour. Docking stations are available at University of Rochester’s River Campus, Medical Center, and the Eastman School of Music.