Mass transit in Rochester began in 1825 when the Rochester and Canal Railroad Company was established to provide passenger and freight service along the Genesee River. Large horse-drawn vehicles were in operation by the 1850's. In 1889 electric streetcars began service. The first buses operated as early as 1905. Rochester City Lines started service in 1923 but soon went bankrupt. A mass transportation system was re-established in 1938 by Rochester Transit Corporation. Ridership had increased to 10 million before financial difficulties led the City of Rochester to take over the company, renaming it Rochester Transit Service or RTS, which would later be known as Regional Transit Service.
In 1969, sweeping state-wide legislation created 4 regional transportation authorities. These were the Capital District Transportation Authority in Albany, Central New York Regional Transportation Authority in Syracuse, The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority in Buffalo, and the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA) in Rochester
Headquartered on East Main Street in Rochester and governed by twelve commissioners, RGRTA oversees public transportation in Monroe, Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, Wayne, Wyoming and Seneca counties. RGRTA also serves as the host agency to a planning organization known as the Genesee Transportation Council.