Amherst, NY (WBEN) - Two open workshops this week will kick off the NFTA's study of transportation needs in the Amherst-Buffalo Corridor.
Workshops are set for Tuesday night at 5:00 at the St. Leo the Great School in Amherst, and Wednesday night at 5:00, at Allen Hall on The University at Buffalo's South Campus.
NFTA Director of Public Affairs Doug Hartmayer says these meetings will start a two year process that will determine what, if any, changes are made in the corridor. "We have secured an alternatives analysis grant from the Federal Transportation Administration to identify and evaluate alternatives to enhance public transportation in the corridor, which will then result in the NFTA adopting a recommended preferred analysis going forward."
Despite rumors, Hartmayer says that no decisions have been made yet, and expanding the Metro rail to UB's North Campus is far from a sure thing. "We have no pre-concieved ideas," Hartmayer said. "People are mentioning the fact that this is only to look at the extension of the light-rail rapid transit, and that is not the case."
Instead, Hartmayer says there are many different options for expanded service in Amherst. The options include "Providing new bus service, the possibility of rail extension, bus-rapid-transit, which is bus-priority running through a dedicated lane, or possibly something else all together. This is really a great chance for the community to help define public transportation in this corridor for years to come."
The NFTA will stage presentations at the two meetings at 5:30 and 7:00 pm. Participants are welcome to stay for as long as they need during the open workshops.
MetroRail should have been expanded 20 or more years ago. But, better late than never. There is increased growth in sections of the city and northern suburbs, and we need to make it easier for people to get from point A to point B quickly.