Today, Senator George Amedore and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara joined local elected officials and community leaders to call for a state investment to expand CDTA services to Montgomery County, including the City of Amsterdam, which has been without a public transit system since it was dissolved in April of 2018.
Senator George Amedore, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort and Amsterdam Mayor Mike Villa are asking for a state investment of $3.5 million to fund CDTA’s expansion into Montgomery County. The County is considering a proposal to contribute a quarter of a percent of its mortgage recording tax to fund the local share of service.
"Connectivity is critically important to a strong community, and the lack of public transit options in Montgomery County, particularly in the City of Amsterdam, puts employers, potential workers, and residents at a disadvantage,” said Senator George Amedore. “CDTA’s proposed expansion into Montgomery County will fill a large gap that currently exists within the community and ultimately, help connect residents and visitors to businesses and services.”
“From providing employers with workforce solutions that make daily commuter connections efficient and economical to providing safe, reliable transportation options for families, students and seniors, CDTA has a proven record of delivering service to those who need it the most,” said Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara. “With this proposal we have an opportunity to meet the current and future mobility needs of Montgomery County—a smart investment in our upstate region that will strengthen the local economy and support job creation.”
“Joining the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) addresses a major transportation need and will increase the connectivity between Montgomery County and the rest of the Capital Region,” Montgomery County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort said. “Montgomery County offers an attractive, affordable option for families with new exciting opportunities for employment, most notably along the Route 5S corridor.”
“Last year, the City of Amsterdam received a $10 million investment from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, and we have a strong plan in place to create jobs and opportunity. But connectivity is a vital part of that overall vision,” said Amsterdam Mayor Mike Villa. “Particularly given Amsterdam’s proximity to the City of Schenectady and the Capital Region, this solution to have CDTA expand west into Montgomery County makes perfect sense.”
Business and community leaders within Montgomery County have pointed to the lack of public transit as a challenge when it comes to attracting and retaining employers.
“Fifty-five percent of our associates drive 1.5 hours each day, and there remains no public transportation options,” said Eric Clemens, Vice President, Human Resources, Beech Nut Nutrition Company. “This has lead to an increase in turnover, as well as a challenge with continuing to attract talent.”
“I hear from students often that our public transportation system is inadequate,” said Dustin Swanger, President, Fulton-Montgomery Community College. “We need to look at how we can better provide transportation services in an economical way that meets the needs of those without a car.”
“One of the biggest crisis’ effecting employee retention in Montgomery County is the lack of affordable, reliable public transportation,” said Mark Kilmer, President, Fulton-Montgomery Chamber of Commerce. “This would address that issue and add value for employees and employers in Montgomery County.”
CDTA has met with the stakeholders and put a potential plan in place to expand their service area to include Montgomery County.
“As the region’s mobility manager, we offer a menu of programs and services that connect people to jobs, recreation and education,” said CDTA CEO Carm Basile. “It would be no different in Montgomery County. With major employers and colleges in that area, we will be able to open up new transportation options and access. We thank Senator Amedore for this leadership and his colleagues in the Legislature for putting their trust in us.
CDTA is the premier mobility provider in the Capital Region, providing local, express, commuter and bus rapid transit services across its four-county, 2300 square-mile service area. CDTA also operates the regional bike-share program, CDPHP Cycle! CDTA owns and operates the Rensselaer Rail and Saratoga Springs Train Stations. CDTA was named the 2017 Best Mid-Sized Transportation System in North America by the American Public Transportation Association.