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Citizens Regional Transit Corporation

Buffalo might be a ways away from seeing a Metro Rail expansion to UB and the airport… and that’s a shame. While many people keep their hopes high that those expansions will take place sooner rather than later, there is a group of supporters who are beating the drum to move the plans forward at a quicker speed. Gladys Gifford is president of the Citizens Regional Transit Corporation (CRTC), a group that is dedicating themselves to everything and anything having to do with expanded service. Gladys stopped by yesterday to see if there might be an interest from BRO readers regarding the possibility of an extended 1.2 mile loop starting at the South Park bend (from Main Street). The loop would travel down South Park, curve up Louisiana, then back up Perry, before heading onto Main Street again. I asked Gladys why there was a push for this loop instead of a push for the airport or UB and she explained, “If we can show that this loop is doable, then we can take what we learn from it and apply it to a bigger project. Part of the study is to weigh the financial burden of operation and maintenance as the lines grow. We want to demonstrate that these expansions can be done, and with the support of more people we can push to see that they are. The 1.2 mile loop that we envision would be the start of the push for a South Town connector.”
In other words, it’s been so long since there has been any sort of Metro Rail advancement that this loop could trigger enthusiasm for the big expansions. This loop would come at the same time that the Buffalo Casino would be built. That means that people coming into Buffalo to visit the casino would have the ability to hop on the Metro Rail and head down Main Street into the rest of the city. This would help bridge the gaming facility to other points of interest throughout Buffalo. The track would also pass by the Elk Street Terminal. Then there are the mass HSBC parking lots that could be used for park and rides into the city. At one point Buffalo Place ran a successful shuttle that was used to transport people from lots to other destinations – that program eventually ran out of funding.
At this point the CRTC is in the stages of raising money for a feasibility study. The group has raised a third of the $10,000 needed to complete the study, and is interested in additional support to see the study through. The CRTC is also looking for members who want to help in supporting expanded Metro Rail destinations. If you’re interested in learning more, or would like to attend a CRTC meeting (or donate), visit the group’s site.

Written by Bill Zimmermann

Bill Zimmermann

Bill runs Seven Seas Sailing school, and is a staunch waterfront activist. He is also heavily involved with preserving, maintaining, and promoting the South Buffalo Lighthouse. When Bill first started writing for Buffalo Rising, he wrote an article a day for 365 days - each article coincided with a significant historic event that happened in Buffalo on that same day.

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