October 17, 2011

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce $400,000 in Federal Investments for Capital District Transportation Authority; Funding Will Help Improve Efficiency Along Washington and Western Ave Corridors

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce DOT Federal Transit Administration Funding for Capital District Transportation Authority; Investment Will Support Washington Western Bus Rapid Transit Study, Improve Efficiency for Commuters and Students Alike

Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded a total of $400,000 to the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) through its Alternatives Analysis program. Specifically, the investment will fund the Washington Western Bus Rapid Transit Study, in order to evaluate and develop the most efficient route from downtown Albany at Broadway northwest to the Crossgates Mall. This corridor is home to some of the Capital Region’s most significant employment and retail activity, and Schumer and Gillibrand applaud DOT for their efforts to improve quality and efficiency in New York’s transit systems.

“This is great news for the Capital Region, as it will help make the bus route between downtown Albany and some of the region’s biggest employment and retail spots easier and more efficient,” said Schumer. “Whether it means more individuals making it to work on time each day, or an uptick in foot traffic in the Crossgates Mall, this is a great investment in the local economy, and I applaud the DOT for investing in New York’s transit system.”

“This is an important investment for the Capital Region,” Senator Gillibrand said. “These federal funds will help improve the region’s bus transportation system, providing better service and easier access to local businesses for commuters and local residents.”

The CDTA will use this DOT Federal Transit Administration investment to fund the Washington Western Bus Rapid Transit Study. The CDTA will explore the Washington and Western Avenue corridors in Albany County from downtown Albany at Broadway, northwest to the Crossgates Mall. The Washington and Western Avenue corridors are home to many of the Capital Region’s most significant employment, retail, and educational activity centers, and the study will work to support the development plans of these major institutions. The CDTA plans to coordinate with the City of Albany on land use, and in its consideration of route lengths for the travel corridor. Schumer and Gillibrand applaud this investment in making Washington and Western Avenue efficient bus routes.

The Department of Transportation’s Alternatives Analysis program is administered through the Federal Transit Administration. The objective of the program is to assist in financing the evaluation of all reasonable modal and multimodal alternatives and general alignment options for identified transportation needs in a particular, broadly defined travel corridor.  The transportation planning process of Alternatives Analysis includes an assessment of a wide range of public transportation or multimodal alternatives, which will address transportation problems within a corridor or subarea. The investment also provides ample information to make the findings of project justification and local financial commitment, and supports the selection of a locally preferred alternative. Finally, this programs enables the local Metropolitan Planning Organization to adopt the locally preferred alternative as part of the long-range transportation plan.