A New Rapid Transit Bus Line is Coming to Campus

The BRT route down Alumni Drive into the Science Library turnaround
A rendering of the BRT route showing enhanced green space, shaded walk paths and a roadway limited to bus and emergency vehicle traffic.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Oct. 26, 2021) — The beautification of the campus proceeds with the late September announcement that a new Garden Way will transform Alumni Drive when it opens in the spring of 2023.

“Like the Entry Plaza, the Podium Fountains and Podium Gardens, this Garden Way will become a cherished destination, an important recruitment and retention feature of our campus,” said Errol Millington, interim associate vice president for Facilities.

Three photos of the Bus Rapid Transit route through UAlbany's Uptown Campus

The project is part of a $60.9 million construction grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration to the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) for an 8.5-mile Albany Washington Western Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route not open to private vehicles. It will extend westward from the downtown Albany Bus Terminal through the Harriman State Office Campus, with a stop at ETEC, then the Uptown Campus onward to Crossgates Mall.

Millington said the one-mile section of the BRT Purple Line on the campus “will transform the current disjointed back road appearance of Alumni Drive into a very attractive and festive way that knits the campus landscape and major pedestrian pathways together east and west and north and south. It also affords the campus the opportunity to proudly display our academic excellence, offerings and opportunities to visitors and potential students and their families riding the BRT or walking through.””

The BRT will enter UAlbany's campus from the Harriman Campus at the Boor Sculpture Studio through a new connector road limited to buses and service, emergency and some delivery vehicles. It will then proceed on Alumni Drive past Indigenous Quad and the outdoor track, turn into the Science Library for a stop, loop back to Alumni Drive and continue across Dutch Quad Parking Lot and University Drive to Fuller Road..

“It will be largely a multimodal bike/pedestrian way with enhanced landscaping, lighting, ADA and safety enhancements, and will have places along its path for a variety of campus gatherings and activities, including farmers markets and recreational activities,” Millington said. "We estimate it will cut the trip from the Downtown Campus to Science Library turnaround by 20 percent."

The full length of the project, the third BRT route for the Capital Region, includes limited stops — including one at the Downtown Campus — 16 uniquely branded buses, transit signal priority, queue bypass lanes, real-time bus arrival information and an expansion of the existing Albany bus maintenance garage to accommodate the additional buses.