AFTER NEARLY SEVEN YEARS OF CONTINUED SUPPORT FOR THE CDTA, SCHUMER ANNOUNCES OVER $60 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDING TO EXPAND BUS RAPID TRANSIT LINE; SENATOR SAYS NEW “PURPLE LINE” WILL MAKE TRANSPORTATION MORE CONVENIENT & ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
In October 2013, Schumer Urged Feds To Support CDTA’s Application To Join The FTA Capital Investment Grant Program & Become Eligible For Federal Dollars; New Funding Will Go Towards New Washington/Western Line That Will Connect City Of Albany To Crossgates Mall, UAlbany, And Various Other Destinations
Senator Says FTA Funding Will Boost Local Economy And Help The Capital Region Recover From The Ongoing Pandemic
Schumer: Long-Sought Federal Funding Will Keep CDTA’s Wheels Going Round-and-Round
After securing $42.7 million for the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) as part of CARES Act funding last month, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the CDTA would be receiving an additional $60.89 million in federal funding allocated by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to implement its third bus rapid transit (BRT) line. The “Purple Line” will run along the Washington/Western corridor. The funding comes from the FTA’s Small Starts Program, part of the Capital Investment Program which Schumer began his push for, in 2013.
The project is expected to cost $81.18 million. Schumer explained that the $60.89 million the FTA is providing will fund 75% of the total cost to implement the new line. The New York State Department of Transportation would contribute $10.99 million, or 13.5% of the total cost, and the CDTA would contribute $9.3 million, or 11.5% of the total cost.
“After years of work and relentless advocacy, the Rapid Transit Bus has arrived for Capital Region commuters and it is chock full of federal cash. I have long championed the CDTA’s innovative and impactful Bus Rapid Transit vision and am very pleased that, as promised, we are delivering the federal investment to further realize this vision, which will do so much to improve transit for Capital region commuters,” said Senator Schumer. “Reliable transportation connecting key areas of the city will help to revitalize the Capital Region economy in an environmentally friendly way. I am proud to deliver this funding for the CDTA and will continue to support its long-term vision for Bus Rapid Transit as I have in the past.”
Schumer continued, “I remember standing with Carm Basile at the College of St. Rose on a beautiful fall day, back in 2013 when we launched the effort to add 40 miles of new BRT lines in the Capital Region. We worked hard for years to get CDTA into FTA’s Capital Investment Grants program which comprises the Small Starts and New Starts programs. Then we had a huge victory when we secured the $27M grant in 2019 for the River Corridor project to link downtown Albany with Troy, Cohoes and Waterford. Now this great news will allow Carm and his team to bring that vision we unveiled at St. Rose to reality.”
Furthermore, Schumer said that the CDTA’s second busiest transit services operate along the Washington/Western corridor and 30% of the surrounding population does not own an automobile. The senator explained that the new line would better connect those individuals with the rest of the Capital Region.
In addition to helping secure the $60.89 million for BRT along the Washington/Western corridor, Schumer also previously helped secure federal funding for the BRT line on Route 5, which has been a resounding success. And, in 2019 Schumer helped CDTA to secure $27M from the FTA program for the River Corridor line, which is currently under construction.
The introduction of BRT service along the Washington/Western Corridor will provide customers with better and faster transit service. The WWBRT will reduce traffic congestion along major roadways in and adjacent to the corridor. Schumer explained that by increasing the access to local businesses and shopping centers, the new service will stimulate economic development and, specifically, act as a catalyst for revitalization of the urban neighborhoods that surround its stations.
The new line will also provide an ideal transportation option to travel from local college campuses, where students are less likely to own a car, to popular attractions like the Crossgates Mall, the University at Albany, the Harriman State Office Campus, the College of St. Rose and downtown Albany. Schumer also pointed out that along the proposed WWBRT route, parking is limited, the cost of building parking garages is high, and land for surface lots is nonexistent - so an extension of public transportation is in high demand. With larger stations, more frequent and expanded hours of operation, and the potential to relieve congestion along highly-traveled roadways, the Washington/Western Corridor line will return on investment in a variety of ways.