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WAMC New York News
Fri October 2, 2009
The State of the CDTA: Ridership Down
By Dave Lucas
Albany, NY –
The Economy has taken its toll on public transportation. With the price of gasoline down and the cost of busfare up 50 cents over what it was a year ago, ridership on Capital District Transportation Authority busses has declined. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
Thousands of area residents rely on the big blue and white CDTA busses to go to work and school every day. Cutting service and changing routes and bus stops is neccessary, but sometimes confusing. CDTA's new executive director Carm Basile says there's no truth to rumors that service thru Albany's inner city on #8 Arbor Hill is being eliminated. Leah Golby founded Capital Region Transit Advocates: she believes bus riders were better off BEFORE the fare hike. Basile says he setting his sights on "service" (which includes trimming bus stops)... A blue bag over your local bus stop sign doesn't neccesarily mean the end of the line: Basile says the Authority welcomes input from riders and some bagged stops have already been reinstated.
Leah Golby points out that a fare simplification program enacted in 2005 eliminated free transfers, in effect making it more expensive to take a bus from Arbor Hill to Albany Medical Center, than it is to take a bus from Schenectady to Albany. She'd like to see the transfer system restored. CDTA officials have no plan to even consider returning to what they call an "antiquated" transfer system.