Central Avenue bus run added; Route 9 dropped

Bus service on the Central Avenue corridor between Albany and Schenectady will start running later a

Bus service on the Central Avenue corridor between Albany and Schenectady will start running later at night to meet customer demand, the Capital District Transportation Authority has announced.

The BusPlus express service between the two cities, which now starts its last trip around 11:15 p.m., will add an 11:45 p.m. run from Albany to Schenectady starting Aug. 28, CDTA spokeswoman Margo Janack said.

CDTA also announced that due to low ridership, it will be eliminating the year-old shuttle between Clifton Park and Saratoga Springs as of Sept. 2. The authority had said previously the route was likely to be eliminated.

“We tried to promote it heavily — there was an extensive marketing campaign — and we just haven’t seen the ridership,” Janack said.

The route, which ran along Route 9, had averaged only a handful of riders an hour and needed to average 15 riders an hour to be viable. The run, launched in the spring of 2010, was supported for one year by a $1 million federal grant, but that money is now gone, Janack said.

CDTA could reconsider the decision in the future as businesses along Route 9 develop or if businesses are willing to subsidize service, Janack said. In the meantime, she noted that CDTA has a program that helps subsidize van pools for small groups of people.

Along Central Avenue, the later BusPlus runs are being added based on feedback CDTA has received since the new express service was launched in April, Janack said.

Since BusPlus launched, the Central Avenue corridor — already CDTA’s busiest — has seen ridership grow about 13 percent. For June, total ridership in the corridor was 289,000, up from 255,570 in June 2010, Janack said.

Regarding late-night service, Janack said riders who get out of work at 11 p.m. were having a hard time coordinating their bus rides home and asked for later service.

“It’s still a new service,” she said. “We’re making adjustments.”

Under the new schedule, the last run will leave Albany at 11:45 p.m. and arrive in Schenectady around 12:45 a.m. The final Schenectady-to-Albany bus will leave at 10:30 p.m.

The service changes will go into effect beginning Aug. 28.

CDTA will also stagger morning departure times from its Park-N-Ride lots at St. Luke’s and Woodlawn in Schenectady to better match them with work schedules in Albany, Janack said.

In another change, the Route 610 shuttle service on Wolf Road in Colonie will no longer perform route deviations. It will operate on a fixed route serving destinations on Wolf Road.

In addition to eliminating the Saratoga-Clifton Park route, CDTA is eliminating the Rensselaer Rural route between Troy and Hoosick Falls, also due to low ridership.

Details about the changes are available at www.cdta.org or by calling 482-8822.

Categories: Schenectady County

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