If we want to get a new train station, then there’s no time like the present to get planning underway. Those are the sentiments felt by Congressman Brian Higgins. At this time, he is pointing to $25 million in funding set aside, and says that sites such as the Central Terminal and Canalside should be examined, sooner rather than later. With the Buffalo Amtrak Station being a complete joke, and now thankfully deteriorating, it only makes sense to get the process underway. Higgins recently submitted a letter to the New York State Transportation Commissioner calling for the release of some of the funds that are to be directed towards a new station ($25 million). He is asking that a full and formal review be conducted.
Higgins suggests that an early release of an amount necessary for a formal analysis of alternatives, estimated to be in the $1-$2 million range, would allow for stronger application for federal transportation funding.
The funds that Higgins is referring to are not supposed to be released until the years 2019-2020. Higgins says that that is too long. He wants funds in the $1-$2 million range to be allocated now, so that planning can get underway as soon as possible.
Higgins points out that $25 million is included for the Buffalo train station in the New York State Fiscal Year 2015-2020 Transportation Capital Program.
Higgins, along with the rest of Buffalo, understands that the current downtown train station positions Buffalo as the butt of a joke on a national level.
“It may not have been possible 15 years ago, but restoration of the Central Terminal is possible in the new Buffalo,” Higgins states in his letter to Commissioner Driscoll.
Higgins also suggests Canalside among potential viable alternatives, “…the prospect of visitors to Buffalo having their first impression be of our burgeoning downtown waterfront instead of the underside of a Thruway viaduct is very compelling.”
“If we begin to lay the groundwork today this community will be well positioned to take advantage of the next opportunity to secure federal transportation funding for Buffalo’s train station,” Higgins argues.