ALBANY — The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) showcased its achievements and detailed bold initiatives for better mobility in the Capital Region during its annual State of CDTA event on Thursday, March 2.
The event recognized how CDTA is entering 2023 from a position of strength, innovation, and confidence. CDTA ridership is rebounding quickly; for the past year, ridership is up 20 percent, fueled by Universal Access agreements with even more major employers, colleges and other partners. Total ridership for the first 10 months of the CDTA fiscal year is 11.4 million. This brings the CDTA ridership count to more than 90 percent of what it was before the pandemic began.
“CDTA has a progressive vision for 2023 to introduce new services and projects to make the regions more connected than ever,” CDTA Board Chairman Jayme Lahut said. “I am proud of the milestones recognized today and bold plans for the future as we work with community partners to support the region’s economic development.”
CDTA announced electric bikes will be added to the CDPHP Cycle! fleet during season seven. This year, CDTA will also complete its third BRT Line, the Purple Line, which will operate along an eight-mile corridor through the City of Albany and into Guilderland. The company is also working on adding a sixth county to the authority and hoping to merge with the Greater Glens Falls Transit system in 2023.
“It is amazing to witness the impact and growth we have had on the region during a pandemic,” said CDTA Chief Executive Officer Carm Basile. “Our Bus Rapid Transit lines, the only BRT network in upstate New York, span nearly 40 miles; we have a network of electric vehicles, which now includes carshare, and electric bikes; and we are expanding our footprint to provide even more connections to the Capital Region. We have emerged from the pandemic with forward-thinking ideas that reimagine mobility and transportation, but none of them would be possible without our community partners. I am beyond appreciative to those who have helped us get to this point and can’t wait for all that’s to come in 2023 and beyond.”
The event also included a panel featuring City of Amsterdam Mayor Michael Cinquanti, Plug Power Workforce Development Manager Matt Grattan, and CDTA Customer Johonna Uber. The panel, moderated by Melissa Mangini, Editor-in-Chief of the Albany Business Review, focused on how community leaders and customers have different needs for modern mobility solutions, public transit in the region, and their personal experiences.
Over the last 50 years, CDTA has grown into an organization with 750 employees, a budget of $115 million and served approximately 16 million customers annually, pre-pandemic. It has also grown its fleet to 330 buses and vehicles, which travel 10 million miles annually on more than 50 different routes.