CDTA wins $2.5M federal grant

— The Clean Fuels Program grant was competitive and Janack said the CDTA was “pleased” to have secured it, especially given tight budgets.

Implementing green initiatives and promoting sustainability across its services has become an important cornerstone of CDTA’s mission.

“We’ve made it a point to secure hybrid diesel electric buses in our fleet because they’re cleaner and quieter and have 90 percent less emissions,” said Janack.

Janack said the CDTA keeps the environment in mind when making changes beyond actual buses.

“That extends to our solar powered shelters and istop signs we have on the BusPlus route,” said Janack, adding the BusPlus route is an environmentally friendly project in itself because it makes limited stops. “We also have plans to install a solar panel roof on one of our facilities so we always look to head in that direction to help our environment.”

Even without the sustainability measures, CDTA’s growing ridership (about 14.5 million riders annually) was already doing its part for the environment.

“Public transportation itself helps reduce the carbon footprint in the region,” said Janack. “There are 42 seats on a bus so that’s 42 cars taken off the road.”

CDTA had more announcements on Tuesday, Nov. 15, introducing new amenities on the BusPlus service to “expedite travel time, improve customer communications and ease congestion on Route 5.”

Besides customer convenience services like complimentary WiFi, real time passenger information (RTPI) at select stations that will provide riders with “up-to-the-minute arrival information” using GPS satellites to determine bus location. Riders can then access that information through a smartphone app, email and text message alerts. There’s also a new measure to prevent road clogging.

Queue jumper and traffic signal priority systems allow buses to essentially “jump the line” of waiting cars at congested intersections using “bus only” lanes. The queue jumpers have been installed along Route 5 at Wolf Road Westbound, New Karner Road westbound and Nott Terrace eastbound.

“Route 5 is the Capital Region’s busiest travel corridor and BusPlus is helping ensure it remains a vital connector,” said Town of Colonie Supervisor Paula Mahan in a statement.

CDTA will also use $5.5 million in federal funds it was awarded in October to install 22 real time arrival signs, new shelters, security cameras and 911 blue light phones along Route 5 in 2012.

For more information about CDTA services visit www.cdta.org.

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