“Development of plans and programs -To accomplish the objective stated in paragraph (1), metropolitan planning organizations designated under subsection (b), in cooperation with the State and public transit operators, shall develop transportation plans and programs for urbanized areas of the State.”
23 U.S.C. 134(a)(2)
The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) is the major transit operator for the Capital District area. Created by the New York State Legislature in 1967, CDTA’s legislative purposes are to “…the continuance, further development and improvement of transportation and other services related thereto within the Capital District Transportation District (Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, and Saratoga Counties) by rail road, omnibus, marine and air. …” The legislation gave broad powers to the Authority to fulfill its purposes in the four county area, with provision for other counties to elect to participate.
CDTA, with a $47 million annual operating budget, operates fixed route bus, demand responsive complementary paratransit, shuttle van and school transportation contract services. According to its 2003 Annual report, CDTA operates 245 regular route vehicles, 41 paratransit vehicles and 36 shuttle vehicles. All vehicles are accessible under the American with Disabilities (ADA) regulations. The annual bus mileage is approximately 6 million miles, and the annual customer boardings are 11 million. CDTC employs approximately 500 people.
There are several other bus companies that provide bus service to the Capital District and surrounding communities:
These companies are included in the process through working groups, TIP project solicitations and long range plan development.
The CDTA is an organization widely recognized for its professionalism. It is a voting member on the CDTC Policy Board and it is the host agency for the CDTC Central Staff. CDTA has been very supportive of the transit service recommendations produced in the series of New Visions plans.
CDTA has also taken a very responsible
role in enhancing regional transportation capabilities. CDTA has assumed sponsorship of Upstate
Transit vehicle projects and oversight of Upstate Transit service design; this
puts CDTA in an oversight role of major private transit operations, a position
recommended by CDTC as the preferred model.
In recent years, CDTA assumed the difficult lead role in advancing the
CDTA is commended for this effort, especially since in none of these efforts is CDTA transit service a central feature or is there a compelling reason for CDTA to take responsibility.
Bus Rapid Transit Study
A recent example of effective
collaboration between the transit operator and the MPO is the on going planning
and implementation of elements of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) along a major
regional corridor (NY5) between the cities of
The BRT concept comes out of the NY5 Corridor Land Use
& Transportation Study, which is a study of 16.5 miles of Route 5
There are various CDTA
initiatives that are already underway that will function as key components to
BRT service. Intelligent Transportation
System Signal Project is a joint effort between CDTA, NYSDOT and the cities of
The Commuter Ca$h program, funded with CMAQ monies, kicked off in October 2003. Its concept is from the New Visions plan. The effort was a joint one - the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID), CDTA and CDTC. It is a six-month pilot program providing generous subsidies for employees choosing to use public transportation while traveling to and from work. Employees working within the BID who commute to work using the CDTA bus system receives $20 coupons toward the cost of monthly Swiper passes. Employees who commute via regional coach services receive one $20 coupon per week that can be applied toward the cost of ticket books on Brown Coach, Columbia County Public Transportation, Schoharie County Public Transportation, Upstate Transit and Yankee Trails.
The Commuter Ca$h program is an
outgrowth of a highly successful pilot program with NYSDEC at downtown
A reduction of 1 million miles of commuter
travel into downtown
· 14 miles of travel have been reduced for every program dollar spent
· 0.6 gallons of fuel have been saved per program dollar spent
· Accident costs were reduced $2.60 for every program dollar spent
· Commuters saved $5.30 in vehicle ownership and operating expenses per program dollar spent.
One of the greatest hurdles in most travel demand management
programs in the
Commuter Ca$h will expand the program to all employees within the Downtown BID and will include two additional coach services, the program hopes to achieve similar numbers to the DEC in ¼ to .12 the time. A reduction of 1 million miles of commuter travel translates into savings of approx 455 tons of emissions and 45,000 gallons of gasoline.
CDTA and the City of
The queue jumper project is part
of the Troy Fulton Street Improvement project initiated in 2001 as a
cooperative venture with CDTA and the City of
Dennis J. Fitzgerald
We wish to acknowledge the significant contributions to the Capital District communities as a whole, and to the transportation community in particular, made by Mr. Dennis J. Fitzgerald, who retired from the position of Executive Director of CDTA in 2002.
Mr. Fitzgerald’s leadership is recognized in many areas: his courage in undertaking the construction of the Rensselaer Intermodal Center for the benefit of the region; the development of CDTA’s Jobs Access program, which was recognized with the APTA Welfare to Work Award in 2001; the implementation of CDTA’s Swiper pass program; the development of the STAR (Special Transit Available by Request) demand-response paratransit system for people with disabilities; the conversion of the entire CDTA fixed route bus fleet to low-floor buses; and his constant support of the CDTC process.
In 2003, Mr. Fitzgerald was selected by CDTC as the inaugural recipient of the Fred Field award. This award was established to honor the individual, organization or project that best exemplifies Mr. Field’s principles in the area of transportation and community planning and implementation.