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In Schenectady, Sen. Schumer celebrates groundbreaking of new CDTA transportation facility

Former Trailways bus station.
Dave Lucas
Officials gather at the site of the former Trailways Bus station in Schenectady.

New York Senator Charles Schumer was in Schenectady Monday to announce the region's first "gateway mobility hub" will be built downtown.

The former site of the Trailways bus station is poised to become a transportation hub linking downtown Schenectady with Albany, Troy and Montgomery County. Schumer, the Democratic Senate Majority Leader, says the hub will provide access to 10 transit routes, host CDTA's new DRIVE car share initiative, CDPHP Cycle! bike-sharing program and CDTA's SCOOT scooter service.

"It's a one-stop shop for riders and all residents’ transportation needs, it's going to revolutionize how people move in the region," said Schumer. "It's going to accelerate our economic recovery, it's going to pave the way for a brighter future here in the Capital Region. It means better transportation access, improving access to other transit programs, like bikes, scooters, and more. And I'm gonna say it out loud so they can hear it. It's going to move CDTA service to Montgomery County, you hear that in Amsterdam?"

Schenectady County Legislator Gary Hughes says after setbacks experienced during the pandemic, it's time to move forward.

"Well, we made it through those trying times, and we're on a path to build back better," Hughes said. "And when Democrats talk about building back better, I can't think of a single better example of that, than the partnership that got us here today. Our team from Metroplex, our unified economic development team, demolished what was arguably one of the worst looking bus stations anywhere in upstate New York, possibly in the nation. Our partners at CDTA, conceptualized conceived developed a real cutting edge, multimodal transit hub."

Schumer says federal funding will cover 80% of the $5 million dollar project, which will include bus bays, heated sidewalks, charging spaces for four electric vehicles and bike and scooter racks.

The rest of the funding is coming from CDTA. CEO Carm Basile says the hub plan is on a fast track.

"It's actually going out to bid within a couple of weeks and we'll see what the construction season looks like. But we're anticipating early '23 to have it open," said Basile.

"Wow, that's fast," said Schumer.

"Keep your fingers crossed," said Basile.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.