The Capital District Transit Authority announced in December that it will proceed with the construction of a brand new transit hub in downtown Troy. The hub, which is planned to be built at the intersection of Fourth Street and Fulton Street as an addition to the Uncle Sam Parking Garage, is expected to drive additional visitors to the downtown Troy area from throughout the Capital District.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state is providing $650,000 to the project, which is a significant portion of the $3.5 million total cost estimate from a Times Union article published in September on the venture.
Upon completion, 4,000 passengers are expected to pass through the hub each day, with 11 bus routes serving the hub. CDTA intends to introduce the Bus Rapid Transit system to downtown Troy simultaneously, which will improve the speed and efficiency of multiple routes by cutting down on the need for certain stops.
The plans also discuss substantial changes to the surrounding roads, including reversed-direction, dedicated bus lanes. These lanes are expected to help alleviate traffic congestion and improve the safety of the area.
The indoor structure is planned to be climate controlled and contain spaces for passengers to wait, relax, and, potentially, shop. In an interview with The Troy Record, CDTA Executive Director Carm Basile explained that the structure would be “not much, basically a comfortable place for people to sit and wait for buses on a [cold] day like today.”
In a press release from the CDTA website, the Mayor-Elect of Troy, Patrick Madden weighed in on the plan, saying, “The Uncle Sam Transit Center is a vital component of the revitalization of Downtown Troy. I want to thank the Governor, state, and local officials for their continuous efforts to revitalize Upstate New York.”
Bryce Properties, which owns the Uncle Sam Parking Garage, will partner with the City of Troy and CDTA on the project. “This project will be a major step forward for Fourth Street and the city of Troy,” said David Bryce, owner of Bryce Properties. “It fixes a lot of things and will make the CDTA experience that much better. I’m delighted to play my part in Troy’s continuing resurgence.”
The Polytechnic reached out to the Department of Auxiliary, Parking, and Transportation Services at RPI for their thoughts on the development plan. “We are extremely pleased to hear that the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) has plans to improve the Uncle Sam Mass Transit Hub stop in Troy, NY,” said Director Alexandre da Silva. “[The] Rensselaer shuttle system expanded its Saturday west route two years ago (with much success) to accommodate stops at the Uncle Sam Hub so that students/faculty/staff could take advantage of convenient and complimentary transportation from campus to downtown Troy as to support attendance to the Troy’s farmers market.”
Da Silva also discussed RPI’s existing relationship with the CDTA, allowing members of the Rensselaer community to “ride any CDTA route by the showing of their ID card, to include rides from campus to downtown Troy during regular service hours.”
On the future possibility of changes to the bus route to accommodate the new development, da Silva explained that his department “continually monitor[s] requests to update our routes and match resources to support future programmatic improvements. Parking and Transportation will carefully monitor competing requests, i.e.: Summer Arch and increased enrollment, and strategically mold our shuttle routes through the next few years.”
Currently, no timelines exist for the hub’s expected completion date, but CDTA has expressed the intent of breaking ground on the construction in 2016.