ALBANY, NY (August 16, 2022) The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) has announced that the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID) has joined CDTA's Universal Access Program.


“CDTA supports the needs of our communities by delivering innovative mobility options throughout the region.” said CDTA CEO Carm Basile.We are pleased to welcome the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District to our growing network of Universal Access partners. We look forward to our partnership that will benefit both business owners and employees who will no longer have to worry about transportation issues and can focus on providing an outstanding experience to customers and the community in Downtown Albany.”


Employees of the more than 175 hospitality industry, retail, and retail-related businesses that are within the Downtown Albany BID’s boundaries will have unlimited ridership within CDTA’s service network. Employees can use any of CDTA’s transit service by swiping their CDTA Navigator card. The partnership will provide local, express, and commuter transit service throughout the Capital Region. Business interested in participating should contact the BID.


“The BID is thrilled to partner with CDTA to offer free bus pass service to our small businesses who continue to rebound from the impacts of a global pandemic.” said Georgette Steffens, Executive Director of the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District. “We hear regularly from the owners of customer-facing businesses that staffing shortages prohibit them from expanding hours to serve the community, and this Universal Access program will provide stability for both the employee and employer with free, reliable transportation to work, as well as make downtown Albany a destination of choice for employment for those in the hospitality, retail and retail related industries. This program will provide an incredible benefit to the employees in our District that keep customers fed, in style, and entertained. With unlimited access to CDTA’s growing network while employed at a Downtown business, the perk extends beyond work hours and offers the opportunity to grocery shop, bring their children to daycare, visit and care for family, and other important life responsibilities all without employees having to spend their hard-earned money. We are grateful to CDTA for implementing the Universal Access program and working with us to offer this incentive in our District.”


Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, “This expansion of CDTA’s Universal Access Program to include businesses that are a part of the Downtown BID is wonderful option for Downtown businesses to be able to offer employees, particularly during a time when employee retention and alternative forms of transportation are so important. I applaud CDTA and the Downtown BID on this collaborative effort.”


“I would like to commend the Downtown Albany BID and CDTA for bringing forth such an incredibly creative program to support not only our small businesses, but our employees,” said Frank O’Connor, IV, owner of Loch & Quay restaurant. “As inflation continues to rise and with the tight job market, incentives like this will allow us to offer truly impactful benefits that go beyond the workday.  Dependable, free transportation for all employees – existing and new – is good for everyone.”


Currently, nearly 30 Capital Region colleges and businesses are part of CDTA’s Universal Access program. Through the program, schools and businesses can provide convenient measures to reduce travel expenses, stressful commutes, and parking costs. These solutions further enhance the academic experience and work environment for those participating.