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On the Move: Albany’s BRT Purple Line’s Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Launch

By Fanny Belaud | November 20, 2023

UAlbany Uptown Campus Station (Located Adjacent to Dutch Quad, and the Campus Center West Entrance).

Photo Credit: Fanny Belaud / The ASP

Last Friday, Nov. 17, University at Albany President Dr. Havidán Rodríguez was joined by Todd Forman, the Vice President of the Division of Finance and Administration, as well as the Student Association’s (SA) President Jalen Rose, and Vice President Amelia Crawford in celebrating Albany’s newest bus line known as the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Purple Line, with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The purple line – which started running on Nov. 5 – connects Downtown Albany running along Washington and Western Avenue in the city of Albany. It stretches between a variety of locations, including Crossgates Mall and Plaza, and UAlbany’s Uptown and Downtown Campuses. For this new development, massive roadway improvements took place, not only on UAlbany’s campus but throughout Albany as well.

The Brevator & Belvidere Busway and Roadway improvements introduced dedicated bus lanes, new traffic signals, pedestrian enhancements, and a multi-use path of NY-85. Commuters can look forward to the enhanced connectivity with the construction of new BRT Stations at Allen Street, Partridge Street, and Quail Street. These stations feature heaters, benches, and solar-powered LED lights.

“It’s an amazing service that should help students commute from the uptown and downtown campuses. And I can say that from personal experience,” Rose said.

The UAlbany uptown campus also saw a significant renovation called the Gardenway – a dedicated busway for the Purple Line, complete with a new BRT station, traffic signal upgrades, and pedestrian improvements including new sidewalks and signage.

Crossgates Mall also got an update with a new roundabout, traffic signal upgrades, and a roadway repaving.

President Jalen Rose (middle), Vice President Amelia Crawford (right of Rose), President Havidán Rodríguez (left of Rose), Todd Forman (left of Rodríguez)

Photo Credit: Fanny Belaud / The ASP

Additionally, the recently constructed Albany Bus Garage on Watervliet Ave is poised to support the rollout of the Purple Line with upgraded facilities, including a bus wash and hydraulic lifts for articulated buses.

“This line is absolutely amazing, I commute a lot and it really has made my life a lot easier. The first bus comes earlier than both the 144 and 12 lines so it’s much more practical for me, being someone who works until very early hours in the morning. Its location also saves me a massive amount of time as Collins Circle is about a 10-15 minute walk from Dutch Quad which used to increase my commute time,” Allison Lettman, a current sophomore living on Dutch Quad said.

Another Great Dane, Anyssa Taylor also commented on the BRT by saying: “It’s gas. As a person living on Dutch Quad, it makes it so much easier. Instead of walking all the way to Colonial and back with bags full of groceries, or even while fighting this winter cold, I can just go downstairs and it’s right there.”


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