CAPITAL REGION — In its first few weeks of operation, the Electric City Trolley has carried hundreds of people between downtown Schenectady and the city’s newest attraction, Rivers Casino & Resort.
The average of 10 to 15 riders per hour is enough to please officials at the Capital District Transportation Authority, which has now launched three free downtown shuttle bus services: one each in Schenectady, Saratoga Springs and Albany.
“The service is doing really well. We’re seeing decent ridership, especially on Friday and Saturday nights,” CDTA spokeswoman Jaime Watson said.
The Schenectady trolley — really a small bus designed to resemble a historic street trolley — launched June 22 and provides service from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The public rides for free, with the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority organizing businesses and other partners to underwrite the roughly $125,000 annual cost.
Watson said the service, which uses two shuttles that make a loop roughly every 20 minutes, is expected to see ridership grow. Unlike the Albany and Saratoga shuttles, the Schenectady service is expected to be year-round, since both the casino and downtown venues like Proctors operate throughout the year.
“As we continue to promote and talk about it, we expect the numbers to grow,” Watson said.
The trolley is running between State Street downtown and the casino, roughly a mile away at Mohawk Harbor on Erie Boulevard. It is also stopping at the soon-to-be-rebuilt Amtrak station on lower Union Street, in Little Italy, and at some of the city’s hotels.
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