June 11, 2010
Partnership with NYSERDA and NYSDOT Integrates Solar-Powered Lighting, Signaling, and Trash Receptacles to Improve Riders’ Experience and Enhance Nighttime Safety
(Albany, NY) - The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) today announced the opening of a series of unique solar-powered bus stops that will provide safer, cleaner and environmentally-friendly waiting areas to serve riders on one of its busiest routes along Central Avenue between downtown Albany and Colonie.
Among the new photovoltaic (PV) powered amenities are new shelters, with solar-powered lighting, nighttime bus stop passenger security and bus signaling lamps and solar powered trash-compacting receptacles that better contain and store more trash and reduce the amount of maintenance needed. Funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) the Capital District Transit Authority (CDTA), and the Central Avenue Business Improvement District (BID), these amenities are self-powered and required no external wiring to the electric distribution network.
CDTA Chairperson Denise Figueroa said: “We’re pleased to work with Congressman Paul Tonko, NYSERDA, NYSDOT, the City of Albany and the Central Business Improvement District on a program that increases comfort, safety and convenience for CDTA riders using cutting-edge technology that promotes clean and renewable sources of energy. These amenities will help draw passengers to our state-of-the-art fleet of hybrid diesel-electric buses, further reducing carbon emissions and again demonstrating CDTA’s commitment to supporting energy efficiency and environmental friendliness.”
Francis J. Murray, Jr. NYSERDA President and CEO said: “NYSERDA is pleased to partner with CDTA to help improve the public transit experience for Capital Region riders and make buses a more attractive option for more New Yorkers. Public transit is a critical component of our efforts to reduce our energy use, decrease our reliance on fossil fuels, and improve our environment. These improvements will help more riders experience the benefits of a smart, reliable and energy-efficient option for traveling in the Capital District.”
The new solar-powered rider amenities were co-funded with $86,000 in federal and state funds through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), along with $13,000 from CDTA for construction costs and $10,000 from the City of Albany's Central Avenue Business Improvement District. The federal funds are annual State Planning and Research appropriations and require a 20% state match.
Acting “New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner Gee said: “These energy-efficient improvements will enhance rider safety and encourage more people to use CDTA buses instead of driving, which will help reduce gas consumption and carbon emissions. It is important for New York State to continue to make smart investments that will reduce the transportation systems impact on the surrounding community.”
U.S. Representative Paul D.Tonko said: “These clean energy bus stops are a smart investment through state and federal grants that will make public transportation a more attractive alternative along this busy route. Congratulations to CDTA, NYSERDA and New York State Department of Transportation for thinking outside the barrel to save energy and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. This project serves as a great example of how we can integrate clean energy solutions into our everyday activities.”
Mayor Gerald D. Jennings said: "These new solar powered bus stops are a great amenity to the Central Avenue corridor bus route. They are a sustainable option for improving our public transportation infrastructure and I commend the many partners that came together to make this project a reality, including NYSERDA, NYSDOT, CDTA, and the Central Avenue Business Improvement District. I am proud of the "green" agenda that is being promulgated in the City of Albany, and this is one more addition to our program."
Assemblyman Jack McEneny said: “I applaud the cooperative effort among CDTA, NYSERDA, DOT and the City over the past two years with the purchase of hybrid diesel-electric buses, the new convenient and safe solar-powered bus shelters that are being introduced along the busy Central Avenue route. It is gratifying to see that CDTA is continuing its commitment to an environmentally responsible policy through its promotion of these public-benefit improvements and their use of “green technology.”
Albany County Executive Mike Breslin said: “I salute CDTA, NYSDOT and NYSERDA for their innovative, creative and forward-thinking approach to enhance our public transportation system while protecting the environment. The bus stop improvements will make riding CDTA safer, easier and more attractive.”
The new solar-powered amenities are located along a 2.5 mile section of Central Avenue located between Lark Street and the western Albany City Line. These include:
- Improved shelters. Four new shelters have been installed featuring high-efficiency LED lighting enhance passenger safety and access to CDTA information during nighttime hours. The PV-powered systems are installed as stand-alone light sources to improve customer comfort and safety at night.
- Driver-signaling i-Stops. These 28 free-standing posts greatly reduce the possibility of driver pass-bys during night travel. At the push of a button, the bus stop posts illuminate a circle of light around the waiting passenger and alerts the bus operator that a passenger is waiting. Additionally, a panel containing the schedule of bus arrivals is illuminated.
- Solar Powered Trash Compactors. Enclosed, solar powered-compacting trash receptacles compress waste in a closed container that requires far fewer collections than traditional trash receptacles and remain clean and environmentally secure while
doing so. The 10 BigBelly© PV-powered trash compactors were introduced to CDTA route in cooperation with Albany’s Central Avenue Business Improvement District. They run on a 12-volt battery, which is kept charged by the PV panels atop the solid enclosure that also shields against insects and pests attracted to open trash containers.
For more information regarding CDTA’s green initiatives visit www.cdta.org. See nighttime video clip featuring solar-powered amenities here: Solar Powered Amenities Video. To learn how Big Bellies work visit Bigbelly Trash Compactors page.
CDTA serves Albany, Schenectady, Troy and Saratoga counties with over 55 bus routes and an annual ridership of approximately 14 million. CDTA continues to partner with the community to “green” its system by adopting environmentally friendly, renewable and clean energy programs and products to support an energy independent future. Programs include the introduction of a hybrid-diesel electric fleet, use of alternate fuels, bus bike rack programs, vanpool, carpool and park and ride programs and the installation of solar-powered transit amenities. CDTA has 50 hybrid-diesel electric buses, comprising 20% of its fleet.
Over the past two years, NYSERDA has provided CDTA with $1.7 million in Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act funding to purchase 20 hybrid diesel-electric buses. Since 1996, NYSERDA has provided $12.2 million to put 141 hybrid-electric transit buses into service across New York State in the Clean Fuel Bus Program. An additional 14 bus contracts have been awarded $2.2 million but have not been completed.
Over the past five years, NYSDOT has partnered with NYSERDA to jointly solicit proposals and fund transportation improvement projects that seek to improve the safety, performance, mobility and energy-efficiency of New York State’s transportation systems, while protecting and enhancing the states environment and economic vitality. To date, NYSDOT has invested more than $3.7 million in twenty-four of these projects, the main focus of which is to reduce traffic congestion and fossil fuel and energy consumption through technologies, procedures and practices that utilize alternative energy sources and fuel uses. Additionally, NYSDOT granted more than $4 million over the last five years to leverage the purchase of 55 clean-fueled buses in municipalities across the state.
Jeffrey Gordon, NYSERDA
518-862-1090 ext. 3544
Last Updated: 05/14/2013