October 03, 2023
Joseph L. Bruno Rail Station Honors Late Senator’s Contributions to the Region
ALBANY, NY (October 3, 2023) The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) dedicated the Rensselaer Rail Station to former State Senator Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno by unveiling its new name—Joseph L. Bruno Rail Station. The move recognizes Senator Bruno’s dedication to transportation and pivotal role in securing critical funding to build the 80,000-square-foot facility more than 20 years ago. The decision to honor the former majority leader was made earlier this year by the CDTA board of directors after community leaders brought the idea forward.
“Senator Bruno was a staunch supporter and spearheaded the transformation of the Rensselaer Rail Station,” said CDTA Chief Executive Officer Carm Basile. “Because of his determination and passion for the Capital Region, the rail station put the region on the map and continues evolving to better serve residents and visitors. I am proud to stand with our community partners in recognizing the late senator’s legacy by naming the rail station in his honor.”
“As a Troy native, I witnessed the innovation and transformation in Rensselaer County led by Senator Bruno. Senator Bruno did an incredible amount of work for the region, and the rail station was among his biggest accomplishments. CDTA and the community have been the beneficiaries of a gift that will outlive all of us,” said Jayme Lahut, CDTA Board Chairman.
“The Rensselaer Rail Station has been a boon for the local economy, the state economy, and the tourism industry. None of this success would have been realized without Joe Bruno’s efforts. It is only fitting that this building be named in his honor,” said Mark Eagan, CEO and President of Center for Economic Growth and the Capital Region Chamber.
“This station is at the heart of our community. This renaming serves as a symbol of progress, connectivity, and pride. As we move forward with this new journey, let this station be a testament to our shared vision of honoring a man who has done so much for this region,” said Senator Jacob Ashby.
“Senator Bruno did a tremendous amount of work for the region, and the rail station was among his biggest accomplishments. The Capital District greatly benefited from his help. He is more than deserving of this recognition,” said State Assemblymember John McDonald.
“The decision to rename this cherished transportation landmark is a testament to our dedication to providing the best services and experiences for our residents, commuters, and visitors. The Joseph L. Bruno Rail Station will continue to be a gateway to our vibrant county, connecting people, cultures, and opportunities,” said Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin.
“The Rensselaer Rail Station is a crown jewel for our city and a major driver of economic activity. Knowing the depth of Senator Bruno’s tenacity and strength, there is no one more fitting to name this station after. I am proud to stand with my partners in government to mark this momentous occasion,” said Mayor Michael Stammel, City of Rensselaer.
“The entire Bruno family is profoundly grateful for this incredibly fitting tribute. While the Senator had an impact far beyond his knowing, he knew who he was and where he came from, and who he was is far more meaningful than what he did. He was a leader respected by friends and foes because he was a leader willing to buck the tide in order to forge coalitions, achieve compromises, and bring all sides together, even feuding legislative factions, for the common good," said Marcia White, former Press Secretary to the Majority. "He was one of the three men in a room who always told the others what he was going to do. His word was his bond, and no one ever doubted it. He was able to give to the Capital Region and to the entire state of New York because his family selflessly gave him to us.”
"Joe Bruno not only delivered for the Capital Region, but also worked on behalf of all New Yorkers," said former Governor David Paterson." I am proud to have called him a friend and partner not only in governing but also in life."
Joseph Bruno, a resident of Troy and elected representative of Rensselaer County, was an advocate of transportation infrastructure and investments in passenger rail. During his tenure in the state legislature, the former State Senate Majority Leader created the New York State Senate Task Force on High-Speed Rail and secured a $22-million rail appropriation in the state budget. Senator Bruno passed away on October 6, 2020, after a battle with cancer. He was 91 years old.
Since 2002, the rail station has served as the transportation gateway for people traveling to and from the Capital Region. Serving 1 million people each year, it is the ninth busiest station in the Amtrak network that runs across the United States. This is the third station to sit on this site. The first was constructed in 1968, and the second in 1980.
The rail station was built over three years and doubled the size of its predecessor. The project included the new station building with ticketing, baggage handling and dozens of customer features and amenities; an expanded parking facility; a 4th track and covered high-level boarding platforms that are accessible by stairs, escalators and elevators; and, a new Herrick Street bridge, providing direct access to the station facility, reconnecting the City of Rensselaer.
For more information on the Joseph L. Bruno Rail Station, please visit https://www.cdta.org/rail-stations.