busplus proposed expansion map

Expanding BusPlus on two lines

busplus proposed expansion map

CDTA released proposed maps for its planned expansion of the BusPlus bus rapid transit system. There's a map above (and a larger version).

The current BusPlus line runs along Route 5 between Albany and Schenectady (Central Ave in Albany and Colonie/State Street in Schenectady). The two proposed lines would run along two corridors:

+ Washington Ave/Western Ave in Albany and Guilderland, serving stops such as UAlbany (both downtown and uptown), Saint Rose, the Harriman state office campus, and Crossgates.

+ The "River Corridor," running from the Port of Albany north through Menands, Watervliet, over to Troy, and eventually in Cohoes and Waterford.

CDTA says Washington/Western (3.4 million annual boardings) and Albany/Menands/Troy (2 million annual boardins) are its 2nd and 3rd most-traveled corridors. The Route 5 corridor tops that chart.

The routes for the new lines are still in the proposal stage. There will be a public "open house" to get public feedback on the Washington/Western line on November 12 at UAlbany's downtown campus (5-7 pm, Milne Hall).

And, of course, there's the matter of money. The first BusPlus took about $25 million in funding to get going. CDTA is hoping to score federal money for the new expansion -- Chuck Schumer was in town to pledge help with that.

BusPlus launched in 2011, and the transit org says it helped increase the number of boardings along the Route 5 corridor by 20 percent. Earlier this year CDTA reported that its ridership in the last fiscal year was the highest level in three decades -- again, a rise the org attributed to BRT line.

The BusPlus service is kind of like an express line -- it includes fewer stops, and there's signaling tech that's aimed at moving the buses along faster. The stops (or stations) are a bit nicer, and the buses have wi-fi. It's $2 to ride, 50 cents more than a regular CDTA ride.

Bus rapid transit systems aren't really that common in the US, but they've been successful in other countries. And because of the cost and flexibility advantages, it's probably the closest the Capital Region will ever get to light rail.

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

image: CDTA

Comments

Very disappointing that the Rensselaer stop will be "future expansion." Non-automobile transportation between Albany and the train station is abysmal. Cab service is incredibly expensive and frankly, rather embarrassing. I have longed for a shuttle between the Center Square/Empire State Plaza and the train station. Even better would be a Bus Plus connection! Is it really that hard to cross the river for one of the ten busiest train stations in the country (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_busiest_Amtrak_stations)?!?

@Erin T

There is the 114 bus. Not sure of the frequency since I only travel to the train station occasionally but that is an option.

What will happen sooner, a BusPlus to 20 Mall or Medicare for Everyone?

When they do the Western Ave BusPlus, what will become of the 763? Will it be renamed "363" and only go from Schenectady to 20 Mall or Crossgates rather than all the way into Albany? The 763 and 117 are my main buses (although I wouldn't mind a 117/190 merger, it'd provide Sunday airport service) and I'd hate to have to change buses at Crossgates from the 763 to the 10...

Danika, a similar question arose when CDTA restructured suburban/rural Albany County service last year. It was thought that with the new connections at Crossgates (or something), it would only run local to Crossgates, then express on I-90 to Albany. However, ridership within Albany seems to have kept that from becoming reality. I ride the 763 myself to work, completely within Albany. My initial suspicion is that it will continue to serve the same route. (Fingers crossed!)

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