The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) closed the fiscal year with its highest ridership count in almost 30 years.
Nearly 15.7 million boardings were recorded, a 5% increase from last year, which was reinforced by 26 consecutive months of month-to-month ridership increases. Revenue from customers was 6% higher this year as compared to last year.
CDTA ridership growth took off with the introduction of CDTA’s BusPlus, upstate New York’s first Bus Rapid Transit line, which operates along Route 5. Since its introduction in April 2011, ridership on the Route 5 corridor has grown by 20%, reaching almost 4 million boardings.
The success of BusPlus has led CDTA to develop plans for a 40-mile network of BRT service that can be operational by 2017. New BRT lines would be added to the River Corridor between Albany, Watervliet Troy and Cohoes and long the Washington/Western corridor between Albany, the Harriman Campus, the UAlbany campus and Crossgates Mall. These fast and efficient services will connect the second and third most traveled Capital Region corridors, as well as municipalities and attractions where people work, go to school and go to shop.
This introduction of BRT service in the Capital Region has also boosted the expansion of CDTA’s universal access arrangements with schools and businesses located near the corridor. CDTA has experienced success in transitioning the universal access business model from educational institutions to businesses, said CDTA CEO Carm Basile.
“Our universal access arrangements offer businesses cost effective transportation solutions and have the potential to unlock a whole new world of untapped ridership,” he added.
Universal Access ridership has grown by 50% in the past two years, aided by the addition of ShopRite Supermarkets and several colleges. CDTA’s universal access partners account for more than 3 million annual boardings or 20% of CDTA’s annual ridership count.
CDTA offers partnership opportunities for educational institutions and businesses to provide students and employees with unlimited access to bus services for an affordable commuting option. Some of the benefits of universal access partners include decreased parking demand; enhanced employee retention; and additional cost savings from not having to build transit infrastructure or operate their own transportation system to accommodate business growth.
CDTA’s Universal Access partners include the ShopRite Supermarkets, the University of Albany, Rensselaer and Polytechnic Institute.