CDTA Stands Up For Transportation

April 9, 2015

The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) called on Congress to renew funding for the federal transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), which is set to expire on May 31, at an event held April 9 at Crossgates Mall.

“We are concerned about the uncertainty we face without a long-term, sustainable investment in public transportation,” said CDTA Board Chairman David M. Stackrow. “Without an appropriate federal funding bill, it is impossible for us to properly plan for the future, even as we struggle to keep our transportation services in a state of good repair.”

CDTA joined transportation and community leaders from across the country for “Stand Up for Transportation Day.” Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Stand Up for Transportation Day united more than 300 participating organizations across the country to urge federal officials to support the passage of a long-term, sustainable and reliable federal transportation funding bill.

CDTA officials were joined locally by elected officials, community and business partners as well as transportation advocates to highlight key projects that are supported by federal funding, including a pair of Bus Rapid Transit lines on the Washington/Western Corridor and the River (Routes 4 & 32) Corridor, which will move more than 10 million customers annually when completed.

“Public transportation keeps our communities connected and provides for greater economic opportunity and personal growth for its users,” said Congressman Paul Tonko. “Affordable and reliable transportation networks like CDTA provide a critical service to Capital District residents and businesses, which is why I join with so many local officials to call on my colleagues in Congress to reauthorize a long-term transportation bill that increases federal funding in public transportation programs like CDTA. Failure to act will add a level of uncertainty to important economic development and related infrastructure projects and threaten the level of service and reliability riders have come to expect from CDTA.  A 21st century economy needs 21st century investment – I am standing up for transportation today so we can support expanded and improved public transportation services in the future.”

"Investing in our nation's infrastructure, including our public transit systems, is critical to our economy. The current lack of investment has led to crumbling roads and bridges, unsafe conditions on our transit networks, and has allowed new economic development opportunities to pass us by,” said US Senator Charles Schumer.  “I have been a vocal supporter of passing a long-term transportation bill that increases spending on these programs because it help each and every corner of New York State and our country.”

“As the Legislature just approved additional funding for Upstate public transportation, I urge our congressional delegation to advocate and support for financial aid for public transportation. Each dollar spent investing in our public transit system translates to more good-paying jobs and increased environmental sustainability, while bolstering economic development throughout the region,” said Assemblymember Patricia A. Fahy (D-Albany).

"CDTA helps Albany County every day,” said County Executive Daniel P. McCoy. On average 35,000 passengers travel each weekday throughout the county on 162 buses across nearly 50 routes. CDTA needs reliable federal funding to keep us and our economy moving and continue with the expansion of Bus Rapid Transit along the Washington/Western Corridors and the River Corridor along the Hudson on Route 32."

“CDTA is helping to lead the state on innovation in transit — from the new Navigator payment system to the first bus rapid transit system in upstate New York. This innovation could not have happened without adequate financial backing from the federal government. Here in the Capital District, and across the state, we are asking our congressional partners in DC to stand up for transportation, and help transit providers like CDTA to keep the mobility innovations rolling, for all New Yorkers,” said Nadine Lemmon, NY and federal policy coordinator, Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

The nation faces a $160 billion backlog just to bring public transit and road systems into a state of good repair. The lack of a long-term federal funding bill creates local funding uncertainty which jeopardizes transportation project planning and discourages private sector investment.

“A long-term federal commitment to our public transportation and road infrastructure is needed to create jobs and boost economic development right here in the Capital Region,” said CDTA CEO and New York Public Transit Association President Carm Basile. “Our transportation system is the life blood of the community, providing a vital connection for residents and opportunity for all walks of life.”