Monday, November 17, 2008

Albany transit: present, past, future...

The fall conference of the New York Public Transportation Association (NYPTA) doesn't usually get mentioned in a New York Times op-ed. While reporters at the conference were hoping for info about Hillary's place on the Obama short list for Secretary of State, I'm more interested in the following:
  • Where was my invitation to the affair? Lost in the mail, I assume. Actually, transit riders, including so-called superheroes, are not standard NYPTA members.

  • CDTA's Executive Director, Ray Melleady's rise to the President of this organization. I hear before he came to our neck of the woods, Melleady started out as a mechanic for a Pennsylvania transit authority.

  • Whether anyone from Rochester Transit shared their strategies for reducing bus fares to $1 per ride...looking at the program, the answer to that question would be, "Not this time around."

Can anyone tell me if the wonders of modern day trolleys were discussed at the meeting? I know trolley, train or other transit service that moves us along faster than our current system, is part of my hope for the future of public transportation for our region.

Speaking of trolleys, I learned some Albany history from my good friends Gregg and Nancy on a recent night out. They told me my favorite CDTA bus line, the Number 3, follows the route of one of Albany's original trolley lines - and I was totally unaware that I walk by one of the old electrical posts every day on Quail Street. [UPDATE: Greg's comment below reminded me that I neglected to mention the location on Quail Street where you can find the old trolley post - it's near the corner of Western Avenue - on the south west side of Quail Street. I also learned from the historically astute Nancy and Gregg that there's one other old trolley post still hanging around on Hamilton Street just off Lark, thanks to some vociferous neighborhood preservation folk.]

Meanwhile, in current local transit news, Roger Green tells us that Citizens for Public Transportation will hold their monthly meeting this Wednesday, November 19, at 7 p.m. at the Albany Public Library. Topic: Fare Hike.
Consider this your invitation to the meeting. I'll be there to put in my two cents about CDTA's proposed 50% fare hike -I hope you will too.


Greg said...

A few years ago there were what looked like exposed trolley tracks on Western up by where it merges with Madison. (I think they've since been paved over.) I always thought about how fun it must have been to hop the trolley downtown and ride uptown after work.

Bob said...

Ah, way back when, you could take the trolley all the way out to Kinderhook Lake.