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Transit authorities in the area are preparing for eclipse tourists, citing astronomical traffic



Rochester, New York – On Monday, April 8, there will likely be a lot of traffic in the city as thousands of tourists visit the area to witness the once-in-a-lifetime complete solar eclipse.

Leaders in the local transportation industry think it will be a trip worth doing, and they are making plans to accommodate the rush of tourists. In an effort to forecast and get ready for what lies ahead, Jim Stack and his colleagues at the Genesee Transportation Council have been crunching the numbers.

“We do a travel demand model, that says ‘Here is our everyday traffic. Where do we see issues?'” he said. “Then, we layer in the anticipated eclipse traffic, particular (for) Monday afternoon.”

On the day of the eclipse, Stack anticipates that there will be an extra 130,000 cars on Monroe County’s roadways. He believes that following the event will see the worst of the traffic.

“Starting around 3:45 (p.m.) for several hours, we are going to have high traffic that folks in Rochester are just not used to,” he explained.

The Regional Transit Service’s (RTS) CEO, Miguel Velazquez, said passengers may expect their regular bus schedule on April 8. However, he would want to remind everyone that the best way to witness the eclipse is to take the RTS buses to Highland Park, Genesee Valley Park, and Ontario Beach Park.

“We think our service again provides a lot of access for our community. We have a lot of services, a lot of routes, and I think a lot of people can take advantage of that service to watch the eclipse,” Velazquez said. “It’s hard to predict how late buses are going to run that day. Based on the traffic, it’s expected it’s going to be heavy, so we ask customers to plan ahead.”

The Rochester Museum and Science Center and Visit Rochester are both providing a complimentary shuttle service for the day to assist ease some of the traffic.

Guests can park in the garages on East End or South Avenue and take the first student bus to numerous tourist destinations in the city.

It is advised that people make advance plans and allow extra time for travel to areas where eclipses can be seen.