AMSTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Next stop: Montgomery County. Come Sunday, CDTA will begin its long-awaited service there; connecting Amsterdam with parts of the Capital Region.

For nearly five years, Montgomery County has been without public transportation. “Now we’ve created that connection to Schenectady and Albany, really not only can people move around locally in Amsterdam but they can be connected to the rest of the Capital Region,” said CDTA’s Director of Corporate Communications Jaime Kazlo. “So that opens a whole new opportunity for jobs and recreational activities. If you want to see a show in Albany this now gives them that connection to be able to do that.” 

The service extension will create four routes. Three local and one express. The express, which will run along the New York State Thruway, will makes stops in Amsterdam as well as a park-and-ride before the highway and then on into Schenectady and Albany.

CDTA is replacing the municipally operated bus service in the county which was cut in 2018. In April, when the plan was first announced, Amsterdam Mayor Michael Cinquanti told NEWS10’s Harrison Grubb the new service is a massive investment for the area. “It’s going to make our town much more mobile and that’s a good thing,” the mayor explained.

The service will cost CDTA around $6.5 million a year to operate. Around $4 million was allocated in this year’s state budget to get the service up and running. Kazlo says this is just one step in a phased approach to bring public transportation back to Montgomery County.

“We’ll start with these four inaugural routes; get our ridership data and see what works and what doesn’t work. It’s really a process,” says Kazlo. “After this happens, we’ll take a look at service in 6 months and in a year and see if tweaks need to be made to make sure we are providing the best service we can to this community.” 

From Sunday, Aug. 28, until Sept. 18, the new service will offer free fares to all riders. The fare after September 18 will be $1.50 for riders.