Connective Corridor sets sights on expansion

A $45 million phase of the initiative to connect SU's campus with downtown Syracuse starts this summer with a target Fall 2015 completion date.

Summer is here and that means construction season has kicked off once again at the seemingly desolate Syracuse University campus.

Graduation has sent the Class of 2013 into new jobs and opportunities, while many undergraduates have returned home.

The SU Office of Community Engagement and Economic Development is looking to take advantage of this quiet period to launch the recently announced phases two and three of the Connective Corridor.

“[SU] is a big institution.Trying to come up with an effective way to communicate the message across an institution that’s that wide is a real challenge.”
- Linda Dickerson Hartsock

The Corridor’s first phase consisted of three buses regularly traveling from campus to the Downtown Syracuse area, 40 façade renovations around the Downtown area and the implementation of green bike lanes going from East Genesee Street to University Avenue, Corridor director Linda Dickerson Hartsock said.

“Phases two and three will continue the Corridor through the Downtown area, starting at Forman Park,” Hartsock said. She added that the project will conclude at the SU's downtown Warehouse.

The $46.16 million project is funded through a number of donations, state grants, and federal grants rather than school dollars, said university spokesman Kevin Quinn.

“No tuition dollars or university dollars are being spent on the Corridor,” Quinn said.


Forging ahead with expansion comes at a time when ridership of the Corridor’s buses is slightly down. During the 2011-2012 school year, an average of about 6,000 people per week rode the Corridor buses, said Steven Koegel, marketing and communications director at Centro. That average weekly number dipped to 5,700 people per week as of this past December.

“This could be a number of factors: weather, class schedule, student population, etc. But overall it's pretty consistent from a transit perspective,” Koegel said via email.

“Comparing ridership numbers from year to year is difficult,” Koegel said. “Because the Connective Corridor began with a very limited schedule and did not operate daily, as it currently does. Ridership is also much different during weeks when school is in session, compared to breaks.”


Reaching more students and helping share the Corridor's purpose and benefits is something Linda Hartsock said she is looking for.

“[SU] is a big institution,” Hartsock said. “Trying to come up with an effective way to communicate the message across an institution that’s that wide is a real challenge.”

About the Corridor

The Corridor was created in 2006 as a part of SU Chancellor Nancy Cantor’s plans of integrating the University Hill area with the rest of the city.

“When [Cantor] arrived in 2004, she took about a year to do, what she called, to find the soul of Syracuse,” Quinn said. “She met with people on campus and in the community in order to get a sense of what Syracuse was about. One of the things she saw was an opportunity to better connect University Hill and East Genesee with the Downtown area.”

The Corridor bus initially ran three times per week, connecting College Place and the Warehouse, Koegel said. “In 2008-2009 the route was extended to the Near West Side on one end and to South Campus on the other end to reach more riders. The service also began running daily over consistent hours.”

The Corridor will be completed by September 2015, Hartsock said.

View Connective Corridor in a larger map

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