At long last, Buffalo is actually making some headway when it comes to researching connectivity between the UB North Campus and the waterfront. Congressman Brian Higgins stated the the NFTA will be receiving a $640,765 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for an Amherst-Buffalo Corridor Study.
“As Buffalo and Western New York evolves it is critical we continue to rethink our transportation needs so we are ready to benefit from opportunities for transportation funding,” said Congressman Higgins. “Through this public process the NFTA and local stakeholders are leading a community driven review of how to best serve the new demands of a growing Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, waterfront business district, downtown core, Amherst-based business centers, large University and soon-to-open University at Buffalo Medical School.”
Supported by a $1.2 million Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant awarded to the NFTA in 2011, the new grant is looking at the future connection between Canalside and UB North (CrossPointe Business Park). For years this has been a dream of any Buffalonian who realizes what a mistake it was to put the university campus in Amherst to begin with. With virtually no connectivity, there are countless students who attend UB who never venture into the city, while basically sucking it up for four years until their departure.
But don’t get too excited quite yet. The study is not solely dedicated to extending the Metro Rail. A number of connection scenarios are being examined, which are, “Light Rail (Metro Rail), Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) with a dedicated right-of-way, enhanced bus service and routes, and a preferential bus alternative.”
The study (Locally Preferred Alternative) will consider the ease of the system, along with speed, convenience, cost, etc. The end decision must also be supported by the community.
*The NFTA is leading the analysis along with several partners, including: the Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council (GBNRTC), Erie County, City of Buffalo, Town of Amherst, University at Buffalo (UB), the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) and others.