Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority

Capital Planning Practices: Rochester Central Station (Follow-Up Report)

The Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority provides public transit services within the City of Rochester and seven counties. In 1999, the Authorityís Board of Commissioners approved the construction of a Rochester Central Station. In audit report 2003-S-34, we evaluated the Authorityís capital planning practices for the Station and found that improvements were needed. In particular, we found the Authority undertook the Station project without adequately documenting the need for a Station or analyzing the projectís economic benefits. For example, the Authority conducted only a limited study to assess customer demand, and decided on an underground bus staging area without the approval of its Board of Commissioners, and without analyzing this featureís feasibility or cost. The Authority also decided to try to defray the Stationís future operating costs by planning for a public/private economic development project rather than a stand-alone Station. However, we found that this decision was based on unreliable operating revenue factors and incomplete documentation of estimated operating costs.

Subsequent to our audit, the Authority made significant changes in its plans for the Station, as it entered into an agreement with Monroe County, the City of Rochester and Monroe Community College to construct a multi-use complex that will include a transit center like the previously planned Rochester Central Station. The Authority had spent about $6.4 million on the previously planned Station, and as a result of the changes in the project, wrote off about $1.5 million in capital assets. We had recommended that the Authority improve its capital planning practices for the Station and future capital projects, and when we followed up on our recommendations, we found that action had been taken to implement some, but not all, of the recommendations.

For a complete copy of Report 2005-F-9 click here.