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For Immediate Release: September 4, 2012
Contact: SCCC - Heather Meaney, (518) 381-1250
CDTA - Margo Janack, 518) 437-6842
SCCC and CDTA Extend Successful Partnership
Offering Students Universal Access to CDTA Buses
SCCC ridership topped 200,000 during 2011-12 Academic Year
Schenectady County Community College (SCCC) and Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) are pleased to announce that they will continue their universal access partnership that offers SCCC's 7,000+ students access to the entire CDTA route network using college ID cards.
CDTA piloted its universal access transportation program with SCCC last September recording close to 230,000 rides taken by SCCC students during the 2011-2012 academic year. Based on that success, officials from SCCC and CDTA have extended the program that allows SCCC students to swipe their student ID cards to ride any CDTA trunk bus, neighborhood, shuttle routes and express services, as well as STAR paratransit service and Northway (NX) Xpress Commuter services during the academic year from September through May.
"This collaboration with Schenectady County Community College and CDTA has helped our students tremendously," said Quintin Bullock, President of SCCC. "As our College population has grown to historic numbers, both for traditional and nontraditional students, so has demand for public transportation. Working with CDTA, we are helping meet that demand, allowing students to more expeditiously realize the dream of pursuing a college degree. This is a winning proposition not only for students but the Capital Region as a whole."
The universal access program benefits students who already ride the bus and encourages others to begin taking the bus to the College, which is located directly across the street from a major BusPlus station, and on the Route 5 bus line providing direct access to several CDTA routes.
"Our partnership with SCCC has been extremely successful on several fronts," said CDTA Chief Executive Officer Carm Basile. "In just one short year of operating, the ridership numbers for SCCC students increased an astounding 40 percent; a strong indication that universal access programs featuring unlimited rides, encourage people to choose riding the bus as a convenient and affordable transportation choice."
Each SCCC student ID contains a digital chip that allows the rides to be counted in CDTA fare boxes with each swipe. CDTA provides student ridership reports to SCCC to gauge its use and benefit to their community. To be eligible for this service, students must be enrolled and maintain enrollment at SCCC and have paid the Student Activity Fee.
"The SCCC Student Government Association (SGA) represents our institution's large and diverse student population," said John Donahue, Human Services major and SGA President. "We ventured into the pilot program last year with CDTA to assess the support this ridership program can provide to our students. The results reflect a strong usage by our students and proved to serve a transportation need. We ventured into a full partnership with CDTA for 2012-2013 because we are committed to empowering students with accessible and affordable transportation. As members of the Student Government Association, we listened to the needs of the students and acted accordingly to provide a program with safe and reliable transportation."
To further expand transportation options in support of environmentally-friendly travel, SCCC has six land bike racks installed on its grounds providing 24 safe parking spaces, acquired through CDTA's discount bike rack program This program is compatible with CDTA's Bikeable Bus program in which all 250 buses are equipped with a double bike rack.
CDTA currently has universal access transportation partnerships with six educational institutions in the Capital Region; University of Albany, the College of Saint Rose, RPI, Russell Sage College, Skidmore College and SCCC. Ridership from CDTA's universal access partnerships with area universities comprises more than 15 percent of CDTA's ridership. Earlier this month, the universal access program was introduced the Capital Region business community with ShopRite Supermarkets becoming CDTA's first corporate partner.
One of the 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, the nation's largest comprehensive system of higher education, Schenectady County Community College in upstate New York enrolls more than 7,000 students. SCCC offers more than 40 career degree, transfer degree and certificate programs. The College opened its doors for classes in 1969 and continues to provide affordable comprehensive higher education and adult educational opportunities in response to local educational needs. To learn more, visit www.sunysccc.edu.
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