Bus riders can benefit from Price Chopper’s fuel discount program

Now, those riding the bus can take advantage of Price Chopper’s Fuel AdvantEdge program.


Albany resident Chris Walsh plans to save almost $100 on the annual cost of his daily bus commute to Troy as part of a new partnership between Price Chopper and the Capital District Transportation Authority that expands the supermarket chain’s Fuel AdvantEdge program to include discounts on bus pass purchases.

The three-month pilot program, called CDTA iRide AdvantEdge, began Tuesday and will run through May. There are 12 Price Chopper locations designated as redemption centers, where shoppers can redeem their points toward the 31 Day Rolling Swiper Pass, 10 Trip Pass and the STAR ticket coupon books.

Participating Price Chopper locations, CDTA bus routes


Westgate, 911 Central Avenue, #1, #55

Madison Avenue, 1060 Madison Avenue, #4, #63, #10, #11, #30

Delaware Avenue, 40 Delaware Avenue, #13, #18, #3, #30, #4, #63

Colonie, 1862 Central Avenue, #55, 55X, 56X, Shuttlebug

Menands, 444 Broadway, #22

Watervliet, 1804 Second Avenue, #22, #82, #70, #90, #91, #35

Glenmont, 329 Glenmont Road, Town Squire Pl., #7

Bethlehem, 1395 New Scotland Road, #13, #19


Eastern Parkway, 1640 Eastern Parkway, #62, #77, #70


North Troy, 865 Second Avenue, #85, #80

Brunswick, 716 Hoosick Road, #87


Saratoga, 115 Ballston Avenue, Route 50, #50

For every $50 spent on groceries at Price Chopper, the iRide program converts the fuel discount of 10 cents per gallon on up to 20 gallons to a $2 cash savings toward the purchase of a bus pass.

Legally blind and unable to drive, Walsh takes two buses during his 40-minute commute to Troy during the week. He said he spends $50 to $75 a week on groceries from Price Chopper.

“I certainly know I am going to use it. I have a 31-Day Swiper and I shop at Price Chopper and have an AdvantEdge card,” Walsh said. “I plan to save at least $8 a month. Eight dollars is eight dollars.”

The timing of the program, given the state of the economy, will likely lead to the program’s success among budget-conscious consumers, Walsh said.

“I think it’s going to have an impact. I know there is a lot of people looking at the bus as an alternative, who can drive who are looking at the bus as a convenience and a way to save on gas, so I think that’s a mindset that’s going to stick around, especially since I don’t think there’s going to be a quick recovery out of the recession,” he said.

Mark Chandler, Price Chopper’s vice president of supply chain integration, said the program has provided discounts on 50 million gallons of gasoline in the eight months the Fuel AdvantEdge program has been in effect locally. Now customers can choose between the fuel discount and buying bus passes at a lower rate.

“We have embraced it as a way to reduce carbon emissions and entice customers to try mass transit,” Chandler said.

CDTA Executive Director Carm Basile said the program dangles a major incentive for people who were on the fence about bus commuting to make the leap and try it. “This puts riding buses on the same level playing field with using your car,” Basile said about the program, which he believes is the first such arrangement in the nation between a regional supermarket chain and a regional transportation authority.

CDTA Chairman David Stackrow called the partnership part of “a comprehensive strategy to make public transit in the Capital Region more accessible, convenient and reliable.”

Jason Kennedy, manager of continuous improvement and supply chain initiatives for Price Chopper, said the number of Price Chopper shoppers who also take the bus varies by store, but the company tried to focus on locations that corresponded with CDTA’s marketing area and also had a high percentage of bus riders.

“We see the traffic coming in when the bus drops off at our plazas so it gives us a pretty good idea that these are the areas that work out well,” Kennedy said.

It is unknown what impact the promotion will have on CDTA ridership or Price Chopper’s market share — which has risen to an all-time high since the Fuel AdvantEdge program debuted locally in June 2009. But the opportunity to make a difference on sustainability issues and reducing emissions from vehicles was something Price Chopper did not want to pass up, according to Kennedy.

The supermarket’s AdvantEdge program is undergoing test expansion in other ways in other areas.

Kennedy said earlier this month that Price Chopper is testing a pharmacy benefit for consumers in Connecticut who get Fuel AdvantEdge points for transferring prescriptions. In November, the chain began letting sales of gift cards for certain retailers, airlines and restaurants sold at its stores earn fuel rewards.

Categories: Business

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