ALBANY — The Capital District Transportation Authority this week adopted a $126 million spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year that includes millions in federal funding towards the creation a new mobility hub in downtown Schenectady.
The operating budget, approved just days before the start of the April 1 fiscal year, includes $30 million in capital plan funding, which is made up of mostly federal and state grants. A total of $10 million will be used to purchase new buses, with the remainder of funding going towards ongoing efforts to electrify the transit systems bus fleet and make upgrades to the Red Line BRT that runs along route 5 between Albany and Schenectady, according to a news release.
Funding has also been set aside to construct the Gateway Mobility Hub at 22 State St. that was unveiled last year. The site was the former home of the Trailways Bus station, which was razed in 2021 after the building fell into disrepair.
Officials at the time touted the $5 million project as a one-stop shop for all the transit systems services, including bus lines, e-scooters, the CDPHP Cycle! Bike-share program and the recently released car-share program. Plans call for the construction of three bus bays and the installation of four electric vehicle charging stations.
Jayme Lahut, chairman of the CDTA board, said the transit system rebounded from the pandemic, when ridership plummeted, and now has a “solid financial foundation,” with ridership reading more than 90% of levels seen prior to the pandemic.
“Thanks to our solid financial foundation, we were able to craft a spending plan that will allow us to continue to expand mobility options for the community,” he said in a statement.
The transportations authority’s spending plan comes less than a year after the CDTA expanded service into Montgomery County and as officials eye another expansion into the Glen Falls area in Warren County.
CDTA has seen in infusion in federal funding in recent years, including $121 million in coronavirus-relief funding; a $61 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to expand rapid transit service in Albany; and a $113.9 million increase in federal funding over the next five as part of infrastructure bill approved by Congress in 2021.
Carm Basile, CEO of CDTA, said the approved budget allows the transportation authority to continue to focus on serving the community in new ways.
“The operation plan is solid, and it is flexible to allow for unforeseen issues that may arise throughout the year,” he said.
Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: [email protected] or by calling 518-395-3120.
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