CARS HOMES JOBS

BusPlus to up evening runs

Saturday, August 3, 2013
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SCCC students exit a CDTA BusPlus bus at Liberty Park in downtown Schenectady.
Photographer: Marc Schultz
SCCC students exit a CDTA BusPlus bus at Liberty Park in downtown Schenectady.

— The Capital District Transportation Authority’s BusPlus service between Schenectady and Albany will be running more often in the late afternoons, starting later this month.

The Route 905, better-known as BusPlus, will have its frequency increased from every 30 minutes to 15 minutes on weekday evenings between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. The change will take effect Aug. 25, CDTA officials said.

The service, which runs along Central Avenue, has run every 15 minutes from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. The expansion during evening commute hours is in response to demand.

“Basically, it’s to help alleviate the workday commuter crowd,” said CDTA spokeswoman Margo Janack.

BusPlus was established in 2011 as a premium express-bus service between the two cities, and has consistently gained ridership over time, even though it costs $2 — 50-cents more than basic bus fare.

Ridership up

Total ridership on the Central Avenue corridor has topped 3.6 million in 2012-2013, up 20 percent since the year before the start of BusPlus. Crowding has become noticeable in the evenings.

“Really, it’s in response to crowding and overcrowding on that line,” said CDTA CEO Carm Basile. “BusPlus continues to grow.”

The BusPlus route will also be extended farther into downtown Albany to serve a new station at the Albany Bus Terminal on Broadway.

The CDTA is also expanding some Troy-area routes in response to anticipated demand from Hudson Valley Community College students.

The transportation authority recently entered a “universal access” agreement with the college. The agreement allows students with a college ID to ride CDTA buses for free.

“We expect to see a significant spike in ridership because of this,” Basile said.

To meet the expected demand, the Route 224 through Albany-Troy-Rensselaer will be increased in frequency during mid-day hours from every 45 minutes to every 30 minutes. The change will be in effect during mid-day hours, in keeping with student schedules.

That change also will take effect Aug. 25; HVCC resumes classes on Aug. 26.

“Typically students ride between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., so it’s a different scenario than on other routes,” Janack said.

The authority now has universal access agreements with about a dozen educational institutions. It expects to provide about three million student rides this year, Basile said. Schenectady County Community College, which had a one-year agreement for 2012-2013, recently signed a three-year access agreement.

For more information on the changes taking effect this month, people can contact CDTA’s Customer Information Center at 482-8822 or visit www.cdta.org.

 
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