Updated 04/04/2012 01:08 PM
As BusPlus celebrates 1st birthday, riders weigh in
It's been one year since CDTA rolled out an express bus service to bring riders between Albany and Schenectady along the Route 5 corridor. BusPlus is the first of its kind in upstate New York. We wanted to know what people thought of this service so on Wednesday, our Megan Cruz went along for the ride.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- "Oh, I think it's fantastic," said Albany resident Jackie Meyers.
"Definitely quicker this way," said Aaron Soto, also from Albany.
"Not at all!" said Schenectady resident Scott Moorehouse. "It's costing me more money plus a lot more time."
No clear consensus about CDTA's BusPlus service, which turned one year old this week. To celebrate this milestone, the Authority offered free rides Wednesday, but that didn't appease the displeased.
"There aren't enough buses for one thing," said Moorehouse. "When people have to stand because there's no seats, that's no good!"
"Look how slow this bus is going," said rider Zelda White. "The bus rides like a little turtle between stops."
Despite this, CDTA spokesperson Margo Janack says ridership on the 17 mile stretch between Albany to Schenectady is up.
"Our ridership is almost as high as it's been in 25 years, and we attribute a lot of this to our BusPlus service," said Janack.
Scotia resident Ben Paige made the switch to BusPlus. But neither time nor seating was his deciding factor - WiFi was.
"Checking my email. It's not wasted time just on the bus, so it helps a lot. That's the main reason for me, because I could just take the commuter bus," said Paige.
But for others, time is of the essence. According to Janack, "70 percent of our riders use us to go to work," she said. A
nd prior to BusPlus, riders had no choice but to ride the local bus. That had 90 stops, as compared to BusPlus' 18.
"I go from downtown Albany to New Karner Road. It used to take me 50 minutes, now it takes me about 30. So I'm almost cutting my time in half," said Albany resident Christine Whitfield.
"Probably half an hour quicker or more, like 45 minutes," said Soto. "They should do more of them. They should do them on Route 20."
That's actually the plan because despite some of the criticism, CDTA considers BusPlus a huge success, and is hoping to duplicate it on other routes like Western and Washington Avenues.
"That's a good idea," said Whitfield.
"It's quick, easy. Less stops make it a perfect trip," said Meyers.