As the name implies, the airport in Rochester has arrivals to and departures from foreign countries (Canada mostly).
The airlines with service to/from Rochester are:
Air Canada, AirTrans, American, Continental, Delta, JetBlu, NorthWest, United, USAir, FedEx.
The airport has plenty of long term and short term parking spaces and an immediate pick-up/drop-off lane which is pretty lenient on curbside parking (except during holiday season).
Most of the local hotels/motels have shuttles that have the airport as one of their stops.
All of the major car rental services have desks and staff and cars right on the premises.
The Rochester Transit Service (RTS public bus) has a stop in the terminal area.
There are always taxicabs waiting at the terminal for customers or you can use one of the free cab phones to call one. Limousine services can be purchased for terminal access also.
The GreyHound Bus Line and Amtrak train service does not have direct access to the airport. You need to get those services by using a taxi or RTS to go to downtown Rochester where the bus and train stations are.
to get to the airport:
get to I-390 (NY390) and go to the Brooks Avenue exit (big signs say AIRPORT) and you can't miss seeing the planes flying low over the highway. go west on Brooks Ave. to the ramp road into the airport (follow the signs)
Rochester has an AMTRAK station in the downtown part of the city (no where near the bus station or the airport). Taxi cab is the most practical way to get from/to Amtrak and the Grey Hound bus station at Midtown or the Rochester International Airport on Brooks Avenue.
Seating on the train is first come, so get to the station about one hour before departure time to insure a secure ticket and placement on the train (there are also border guards to inspect random luggage and customers). The seats in the standard train car are comfortable but not especially roomy. On longer trips, AMTRAK offers a sleeper suite for considerably more money.
Most of the Rochester routes have a snack car and/or a dining car. Restroom facilities are scattered throughout the train.
To find a scheduled train from your starting point to Rochester, use the website below. Rochester station is identified as ROC. Lakeshore Limited and Empire Service and Mapleleaf are routes that include Rochester. The AMTRAK trains share tracks with the CSX commercial trains and the CSX trains have the right-of-way. That means that often the passenger trains are put temporarily on a side-track while the faster CSX trains get express service. Expect delays (up to 6 or 8 hours on very bad days).
Rochester's Regional Transit Service (RTS) is part of the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA). Their website (listed below) is quite comprehensive and will be able to answer any questions you have.
You can pay as you go but you must have exact change.
You can buy a day-pass either on-line or at one of the Transportation Authority offices.
You can buy a month-pass if you are going to be in Rochester for extended period.
RGRTA also provides public transportation services especially for the severely handicapped (the service is called "LiftLine") and you can find that on the website below under BUY TICKETS.
Rochester is going to a single fare for all outlying districts regardless of distance from the central facilities.
Rochester is a city of waterways: bays, lakes, canals, rivers, ponds.
And to help you get your boat to and from many of the waterways, the city and its associate agencies have provided public launch areas. Also enterprising companies have found a thriving business in marina activities in this part of Monroe County.
Some of the public launch places are:
Allen's Canal St. Marina... 416 Elmgrove Road
Cornhill Landing... Exchange Street at Plymouth Avenue
Genesee River Shumway Marina... 70 Pattonwood Drive
Genesse Valley Park... Elmwood Avenue Bridge at Genesse Street and Elmwood Street
Irondequoit Bay Newport Marina... 500 Newport Road
Irondequoit Bay State Marine Park... at intersection of route 590 and Culver Road
Riverview Yacht Basin... 18 Petten Extension
Sandy Creek... near route19 intersection with Lake Ontario State Parkway
Sandy Creek East Fork Marina... 236 Lake Road
Besides these public launch sites, there are dozens of commercial launch areas. A few examples are:
Bayside Boat... 1350 Empire Blvd
Genesee Waterways... 149 Elmwood Avenue
If you do not have a boat and would rather take a boat ride, then try these companies:
Colonial Belle... Erie Canal... 585-223-9470
Harbortown Belle... Genesee River... 585-342-1810
Mary Jemison... Genesee River... 585-262-5661
Sam Patch Tours... Genesee River and Erie Canal... 585-262-5661
Summer Wind Charters... Lake Ontario... 585-671-7173
Getting around Rochester is basically easy. Just hop on the xpressway and it will take you north or south (390) or east and west 490 or 590 and the inner loop will take you right around the inner part of downtown. To get to Rochester , take I90 (Thruway) Get off at either Exit 45 if coming from the East(Syracuse) going West or Exit 46 coming from the West (Buffalo) going East.
to see live traffic reports and real-time cameras on Rochester (and other NY cities) highways:
We decided it would be nice to get a train to Rochester from New York rather than the hour flight. The journey takes you along the banks of the Hudson River, which is quite picturesque, as far as Albany. It takes you past West Point (a US Military Academy), a number of bridges and small light houses.
It is worth doing but it does take a long time - 7 hours. Although a week before we left New York there was an ice storm upstate and wiped out the signalling so it took an extra 2 hours to get there. Luckily we had booked a flight back from Rochester to New York...
2 one way tickets cost $108. The best side to sit on is the left hand side to get the better views.
The Rochester Fast Ferry is no longer available. The grandiose idea was washed away by a pile of debt. The ship has been sold, but the Port of Rochester still remains. The port is not worth visiting. You have been warned.
NOTE: This is a very expensive example of what happens when an incompetent politician, with no practical business experience, has a "wet dream" and attempts to "Build It and They Will Come" Fast Ferry. The loss to the Rochester tax payers was in the millions of dollars. Thank you Mayor Bill for spending millions and placing the City of Rochester deeper into debt.
The Rochester Fast Ferry offers a shorter commute to and from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The ferry was recently opened last summer and is now under new operating management.
Using the ferry, you can save some time and the expense of the tolls and driving. Yet, you will have your auto available for driving around the Rochaeter or Toronto area.
The Rochester Fast Ferry is much more that transportation between Rochester and Toronto. The Rochester Fast Ferry is luxurious and can accommodate approximately 750 people, up to 220 vehicles and up to 10 buses or trucks. The Rochester Fast Ferry is just like a mini cruise ship with all the amenities that you can expect including duty-free shopping.
Well, I can say that the Greyhound terminal is clean and the staff is friendly enough. I didn't get to see much of Rochester, but from what I saw it was a pretty neat city!
They have local bus lines that stop at the Greyhound terminal and taxis, of course.
Visitors can reach Rochester by plane arriving at the Greater Rochester International Airport, easily by Amtrak train or take a free and easy drive from NYC or Boston (via Thruway I-90W) or Washington DC (via expressway I-390N). Also from Toronto, Rochester can be reached in only less than 4 hrs by car.
You just have to rent a car to move around. It's one of such cities where public transportation is not well established. Too bad.
Downtown Rochester is fairly compact and a very WALKABLE city. Barely 3mi from downtown you can see the Rochester skyline from Cobbs Hill Park where the reservoir is located. Its a popular jogging area and I spent many hundereds of hours running around that thing, sometimes in zero degree weather and 2 feet of snow.
More Info: Below this picture is Riley Pond where people picnic in summer,ice skate in winter and where I spent literally 1,000s of hours playing basketball on the ashpalt courts. My high school(Monroe) was 3 miles away and the football practiced on the same stretch of greenery bordering Monroe Avenue, Highland Avenue and Culver Road. I was a proud member of a football team that had no field...even our HOME games where at rival East High School. Despite the hardships, I managed to play on a city championship football team one year.;-) On non football sojourns to Cobbs Hill walking home always involved a stop at Doughtys corner store, where they still had 'phosphates'(sodas made from scratch) and great milkshakes up untill the middle 1980s.
Rochester's airport is relatively new and very well designed. I especially liked the stained glass and rocking chairs.