CDTA seeks funding for Albany rapid-transit route – New York News

The Capital District Transportation Authority is applying for the federal funding needed to get a new rapid-transit route between downtown Albany, the University at Albany and Crossgates Mall off the ground.


The CDTA board voted Wednesday to apply for funding under the Federal Transit Administration’s Small Starts program, and to develop a package of information that will let the FTA give the application a rating.

“This is actually very important, because until a project is rated, and rated successfully, there is nothing for our congressional representatives to latch onto,” CDTA CEO Carm Basile said.

The bus rapid transit line, known as the Washington/Western BRT or sometimes the “Purple Line,” would establish an 8-mile route with limited stops between downtown Albany, the university and Crossgates, following Washington and Western avenues. The university and Crossgates stops are among the busiest in CDTA’s system.

Improvements would include construction of a new transit center at Crossgates, construction of a section of exclusive busway between the Harriman State Office Campus and the university campus, and signal changes that will give buses priority over other traffic at times. The cost was estimated in 2014 at $48 million.

The Washington/Western project is one of two rapid-transit routes CDTA is working to develop following the success of the BRT line between Albany and Schenectady in 2011 — a line that is now CDTA’s busiest. The other BRT line, for which federal funding is also being sought, would run from Cohoes and Troy to downtown Albany.

In a development reported to the Troy route, the board…

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