Living in Upstate New York, it can seem as though you can’t make it around CapNY without a car, but that is no longer the case with the Capital District Transit Authority’s (CDTA) expansion of services. CDTA along with community partners have reimagined mobility that isn’t limited to traditional city buses.
Affordable & Eco-Friendly
With these new options, the region is becoming more pedestrian and eco-friendly, and this is just the beginning. Scroll down below to see some of the ways you can get around the CapNY without breaking the bank with your gas tank.
CDTA Bus Line (Purple Line, Red Line, Blue Line)
First on this list is of course the city bus. CDTA has recently streamlined the traditional routes to include faster service with Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). These routes are optimized for limited stops, faster service, more buses, and real time information at BRT stations. Depending on the location the BRT station may also include heating, which is key in these cold winter months!
For more information on routes and schedules, visit: https://www.cdta.org/brt
The Capital City, Electric City, & Saratoga Trolleys
Looking for a way to explore downtown Albany, Schenectady, and Saratoga without worrying about parking? Try the Capital City, the Electric City, or the Saratoga Trolley! The trolleys cover some of Albany, Schenectady, and Saratoga’s best restaurants, hotels, and performance spaces.
The trolley isn’t limited to nightlife, there’s also a Greenmarket Trolley in Schenectady that connects riders to the best local produce and products.
Currently due to Covid-19 restrictions the trolley service is on hiatus, but look out for service updates in Spring of 2022. The trolley is an underrated way to get around Capital Region hot spots. For more information visit: https://www.cdta.org/Trolleys.
CDTA’s Park and Ride
The CDTA Park and Ride program is a convenient way to get around CapNY and is ideal for commuters. How it works is that riders choose a nearby Park and Ride location and choose the bus line that will get them to their destination (here’s a list of locations throughout NY State: https://www.cdta.org/node/151). Parking is first come, first serve so early arrivals are key!
Most of the P&R locations are run by CDTA but others are located at malls or shopping centers. If you live in suburban areas and would like to get out to a metro area or would like to save on gas going and coming from work this is a way to cut time and expenses down. The Park and Ride program is year-round.
CDTA also has other fun green ways to zip around CapNY during the fall/spring/summer seasons. From April 1- November 30th you can ride a bike or an electric scooter for some variety in your daily schedule.
CDTA Bike Share
CDTA in collaboration with Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan (CDPHP) and Greater Glens Falls Transit (GGFT) has expanded their mobility menu to include biking! This is not only offered in Albany, Schenectady, and Troy but also in Warren County, Lake George, Queensbury, and Glens Falls.
Here’s how it works: Riders download the CDPHP Cycle! App and after registering online, they can choose whether they would like to pay as they go account or may purchase a membership. The standard plans include $5/hr, $15/month for 60 minutes of ride time per day, and $55 for the season for 60 minutes of ride time per day. (For more information visit www.cdphpcycle.com).
Biking around CapNY is an affordable alternative to traditional ride share programs and is great for exercise. Outside of reducing your carbon footprint, it’s a great way to relearn your city through new eyes. It could also be a cute date idea!
In a similar vein to the Bike Share program, CDTA also has a program for electric scooters! If you want to try a fun quick way to get from Point A to Point B the CDTA Scoot may be a perfect solution.
Here’s how it works: Riders download the SCOOT app on their cellphones and after registering online riders can choose how long they would like to reserve the scooter. Scooters are pay as you go only for $.25/per minute, with a $2 unlocking fee. (For more info head to https://scootcdta.com/)
Though the program began this past summer, it will be widely available Spring of 2022. If biking isn’t your style, or you just want to take a spin around the park try Scoot!
Written by: Arielle Steele
Arielle is a local writer who has a passion for community, film, dance, and Beyoncé. When she is not working at Ayco, she can be found working on her next film project or trying out a new hairstyle.