The Capital District Transportation Authority, which operates bus lines in Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, and Saratoga counties, is exploring the possibility of extending service to Montgomery County.
“A lot of details” still need to be “reviewed and understood, like funding sources” and the state’s prospective commitment, newly elected board chair Georgeanna Nugent said at the authority’s regular June meeting, according to a video posted online.
CDTA’s half century-old enabling law allows Montgomery, Fulton, Greene, and Columbia counties to join its service area through local legislative action.
The state Department of Transportation “has been facilitating conversations between CDTA and Montgomery County pertaining to the resumption of services previously provided by the City of Amsterdam,” which recently dissolved its transportation department, DOT assistant communications director Curtis Jetter said in an email. “Those discussions are in their formative stages.”
CDTA communications director Jaime Watson likewise characterized the discussions as “preliminary.”
“As you can imagine there is a lot of behind the scenes work that has to happen before any decision is made,” Watson said in an email on Tuesday.
Amsterdam Mayor Michael Villa and Montgomery County Executive Matthew Ossenfort did not immediately return requests for comment.
The Amsterdam mayor previously addressed the possibility of CDTA handling the city’s bus service in an interview last year with the Mohawk Valley Compass.
Mayor Villa “said that Montgomery County would have to take the lead with that idea as the authority would require raising the mortgage recording tax as a source of revenue,” the website reported.
About 13 percent of CDTA’s annual revenue, or $11 million, comes from mortgage recording taxes from the four counties it currently serves.