A few more bits about the proposed BusPlus Washington-Western line

proposed cdta busplus busway harriman campus

On Wednesday CDTA announced that its board had voted to take another step toward the proposed expansion of the BusPlus bus rapid transit system to the Western-Washington corridor -- AKA, The Purple Line. This bit from the announcement caught our eye (emphasis added):

The [official designation of the preference for this plan] includes construction of a dedicated busway through the Harriman Office Campus and the University at Albany, a transit center at Crossgates Mall, and high-volume stop locations.

The "dedicated busway" was news to us -- and we were curious about what it meant. CDTA's Jonathan Scherzer explained:

We are working with both the University and [state Office of General Services] on the inclusion of a dedicated roadway that would be used exclusively for transit, maintenance and shuttle vehicles. The current design would face the soon to be completed Campus Center on the UAlbany campus while also providing good proximity to the new football stadium to ease traffic.

That rendering above projects what the lane might look like on the office campus (it appears to be the Western Ave side of the campus, near the campus access road).

As we've said before, bus rapid transit is probably the closest this region will come to any sort of light rail-type system in the not-way-distant future. Building this sort of infrastructure -- the busway, the transit center -- looks like a good step toward making BusPlus a real system, something more than just an express bus, which could be key to its longterm success. Because there's a line of thought that making BRT more than "just the bus" is key to it gaining a broader crowd of users.

See also: CDTA chief renews call for downtown Albany transit hub [Biz Review]

After the jump: A bonus rendering of the proposed transit center at Crossgates, and a pdf info sheet about the proposed Purple Line.

proposed cdta busplus crossgates transit center


BusPlus Washington Western Corridor Fact Sheet October 2013

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

images: CDTA

Comments

There were more details on the routing of the proposed busway available at the 11/12 open house. I still have the handout with a map somewhere, I can scan it and send it to you guys if it would be helpful.

Excellent news. But I propose that it be named the "Albany Transmilenio"! Much sexier than "BusPlus".

Thanks AOA for posting this -- I had a bunch of stuff going on the night of the CDTA "Purple Line" open house... got there late and didn't absorb all the info.

Dedicated lanes would be terrific -- they are one key feature of true BRT. Additionally, pre-paid boarding (passengers paying or using bus passes one-by-one as they board is almost never "rapid" process) combined with boarding via a platform at the same level as the bus doors so that passengers don't have to climb stairs (climbing slows things down) and letting passengers enter from more than one door also helps to make BRT more rapid & rail-like.

Here's a video demonstrating real BRT -- http://www.streetfilms.org/mba-bus-rapid-transit/

I love riding the BusPlus, but it is really just an express bus. The Purple Line plan brings me hope that true BRT elements are on their way here!

I look forward to possible progress on this front! :) I find that usually the cost increase for the BusPlus lines just aren't justifiable due to the minimal decrease in time on the bus.

This does sound much better though, dedicated bus lanes/paths would do much to make things more... rapid. :)

It's disappointing that the line completely bypasses the Eagle Hill neighborhood but hopefully it will reduce the loads of students and shoppers on the 10.

With 870,000+ people, the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro area probably has enough population to support light rail.

I think the real obstacle is the Balkanization of the state into 1600 individual little fiefdoms. Think about it: a line from Delmar to Troy would go through four cities, two villages, and two towns in two counties. That would require the approval of six mayors, two county exectuives, two town supervisors, and ten legislatures.

This is great! I would add that it would be great if a bikeway were added to the "dedicated roadway" since riding on either Western or Washington is dangerous and unpleasant.

I also echo what Z. Fechten says about the excess municipalities and local government bodies in New York.

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