The Capital District Transportation Authority will begin a series of public meetings next week to explain a proposed rapid transit route that would extend from downtown Albany north to the village of Waterford.
The River Corridor Bus Rapid Transit route would link Waterford, Cohoes, Troy and Albany with service that makes many fewer stops that current CDTA buses do. The idea sounds good to Waterford Mayor J. Bert Mahoney.
“Maybe it would encourage more people to ride the bus,” he said. “That would be a good thing.”
A number of people in the village at the southern tip of Saratoga County already take the bus or even bicycle to work in Albany, Mahoney said. The village and downtown Albany are about 12 miles apart.
The plan, the capital cost of which is estimated at $10 million to $20 million, would include a new and upgraded bus shelter in Waterford, Mahoney said.
CDTA officials said the route would cover about 15 miles following the Hudson River, incorporating the Port of Albany, the South End, downtown and North Albany. It would then travel through Menands and Watervliet, cross into Troy and travel north to Lansingburgh, where the line would split, with one portion crossing into Waterford and Cohoes and the other returning to Troy.
CDTA is developing the BRT route after having success with its first BRT effort, the BusPlus route started in 2011 between Schenectady and Albany. Planning is also underway for a new BRT route between Albany and Guilderland, linking downtown Albany with the University at Albany, uptown state offices and Crossgates Mall.
CDTA CEO Carm Basile has said he hopes the lines can both be operating by 2016, though much depends on obtaining federal funding.
The upcoming public meetings on the River Corridor BRT will be June 24 at the Albany Housing Authority headquarters on South Pearl Street; July 1 at the Lansingburgh Boys & Girls Club; July 8 at the Troy Atrium; and July 10 at North Albany Academy. All meetings will run from 6 to 8 p.m. and be held open-house style.