AMSTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A big boost is coming to Amsterdam and Montgomery County later this year after the recently passed state budget included funding to allow CDTA to further expand west. Buses have already been on the streets of Amsterdam this week as drivers begin to get a lay of the land.

“It’s going to be a game changer for us,” says Amsterdam Mayor Mike Cinquanti, “It’s going to make our town much more mobile, and that’s a good thing, that’s a great thing.”

Since 2018, the only way to get from the city to Albany, Schenectady and other Capital Region locations has been on Amtrak, which operates a limited schedule out of Amsterdam Station.

But that could change by late summer, “We’re shooting for on or around Labor Day. We could get a curveball or two in there, but that’s the target date that we’re shooting at and it’s not that far away,” said CDTA CEO Carm Basile.

Preliminary models of what the bus routes could look like show service in large areas of the city and connections to points east.

“In a way, from a transportation perspective, they’ve been somewhat isolated. So not only will we connect them with their own community, but as you say, move them into Schenectady, and then from Schenectady you can make connections to Saratoga Springs and continue on into Albany,” Basile explained.

It’s that connectivity that Cinquanti says will be huge for residents and businesses.

“Local employers are going to love the fact that they’ll be able to recruit from a larger area to get workers. Workers are in shortage all over the place, so having CDTA be able to come to those jobs sites and bring people there is going to be a huge advantage for our city,” the mayor said.

As part of a phased approach, CDTA will also expand beyond Amsterdam deeper into Montgomery County. The further expansion will be determined by the need for ridership in certain areas.

CDTA is also in talks with the Amsterdam City School District on providing service to students, something that’s offered in other cities that have CDTA buses.