CDTA: Ridership at highest level in three decades

CDTA Bus 10

There were almost 15.7 million passenger boardings on CDTA buses during the fiscal year that ended in March -- that's up 5 percent from the year before. And the transit org says it's the highest level in three decades.

CDTA attributes the rise to the introduction of the BusPlus service between Albany and Schenectady. Ridership is up 20 percent along that corridor since the bus rapid transit system started. Another program pushing ridership: deals with colleges and businesses to provide students/employees with unlimited bus ridership.

There's a lot to like about riding the bus, especially on shorter trips within cities. We like being able to hop on the bus and not worry about finding parking wherever we're going. And it's nice to just be able to zone out or read along the way. It can actually be kind of relaxing. Or to put it another way: the opportunity cost of driving is probably higher than most people realize -- especially when you have a smartphone -- and riding the bus is way to cash in on that.

Earlier on AOA:
+ A few things about riding the bus
+ The not-so-rapid rise of bus rapid transit

Comments

Now I'm no scientist, but if BusPlus was such a resounding success, maybe CDTA should look at doing something similar with other routes?

I don't think it would kill anyone to have to walk an extra 8th of mile to their stop rather than stopping on literally every corner.

Ike, they're planning to do so with the Rt. 32 corridor between Troy and Albany, and the Western-Washington corridor between Albany and Crossgates. They don't add this type of service by just taking out most of the stops though. It's an entirely new overlapping route that's created. The stop-at-almost-every-block service is still crucial; think local and express trains in NYC.

I don't see how the stop-at-every-block service is crucial. The local trains in NYC don't stop 125 times from SoHo to Harlem. There are certain places where it seems a CDTA bus moves about three bus-lengths before the next stop. These stops should be consolidated, whether or not a new BusPlus line is created along the same route. It would at least have a impact on traffic and probably traffic safety to not have cars piling up to get around busses.

There are a lot of people who rely on public transit who aren't as lucky as the rest of us and really do have a problem walking that extra block. For us, the bus is a convenience when we don't want to drive, but the elderly and disabled don't have as many choices. For the same reason I'd like to see some more shelters on some routes, waiting for the bus in the winter can be brutal.

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