COLONIE Siena College students can now ride free and environmentally-friendly busses since the school has formed a partnership with the Capital District Transportation Authority.
Students can travel on any of the over 50 CDTA routes by swiping their identification cards. The cost-effective transportation is a reliable, convenient and “green” service according to Margo Janack, a CDTA spokeswoman.
Janack said the partnership reduces the number of cars on campus and is more economical than building a new parking lot. Freshman cannot have cars on the Siena campus.
“As a society I think we are becoming more conscientious about our carbon footprint. I know Siena College is very strong in their support of the green way and this is just another way of doing that,” Janack said.
This fall, CDTA will also be adding improvements to Route 9 by creating Route No. 129. This new bus route will provide services on Saturdays, as well as longer weekday services, including direct connections to Albany Memorial Hospital and Latham Farms.
“Providing our students with free access to public transportation will allow them to safely travel throughout the Capital Region, taking advantage of the area’s countless opportunities for learning, enrichment and entertainment,” sadi Siena College President Fr. Kevin Muller in a statement.
Siena is the seventh school in the area to join a partnership with CDTA. Other schools include Skidmore College, The College of Saint Rose and RPI. The programs are customized for each school, and the institution pays a flat-fee, Janack said.
“What we have found when we start these partnerships is that people ride more,” Janack said. “They may start riding just going to and from school or to and from work, but when you have unlimited ridership, people start to use it for all parts of their lives.”
Janack also said with gas prices rising, CDTA generally sees a spike in ridership. Riding on a bus can save up to $10,000 a year from car maintenance and gas, Janack said.
“This is a win-win relationship for both sides. We want to make sure we are relevant to the community and serve the community as best as we can with the resources we have. CDTA is a solution to all sorts of businesses in the Capital Region … when it comes to traffic congestions and making it affordable,” Janack said.