Should The Metro Rail Be Extended To Other Parts Of Western New York?
As Western New York has started to grow again, plans to extend the rapid transit system in the region that was first conceived in the 1970s are back on the table again. For many years, the 716 has needed to update and extend the light rail public transportation system in Western New York. Plans are finally underway to make that a reality, but the proposed expansion and extension of the NFTA Metro Rail into Tonawanda and Amherst rain into a few roadblocks from some renters and homeowners in Buffalo's Northtowns.
To help get a better understanding of what the people of Western New York want to see out of their transit system, the NFTA is hosting a series of public meetings and listening sessions to understand just that better.
NFTA will be holding a series of drop-in listening sessions. Please attend or drop-in to a listening session at any time during the event. There will not be a scheduled presentation. Project staff will be available to answer questions about the Project.
The project has received relatively wide support regionally, however A group of people calling themselves Stop The Metro have raised concerns regarding the noise and sheer disruption to their daily lives along Niagara Falls Blvd during construction. Officials from the NFTA have said that Metro Rail trains don't make much more noise than everyday vehicle traffic, but that hasn't dissuaded residents from their opposition.
While construction is still a few years off, the expansion of the Metro Rail would signify a big boost for Western New York and its economy, leading to these listening sessions.
When Are The Public Meetings
To help accomplish this, three public meetings and listening sessions have been scheduled so far around Western New York.
- Meeting 1
- On Thursday, January 25, 2024, there will be two sessions, from 1-3pm & 4-7pm at US itek, located at 1016 Niagara Falls Blvd, Tonawanda, NY 14150.
- Meeting 2
- On Monday, January 29, 2024, there will be one session from 4-6pm at the Amherst Main Library Branch, 350 John James Audubon Pkwy, Amherst, NY 14228
- Meeting 3
- On Tuesday, January 30, 2024, there will be one session from 1-3pm at the Kenilworth Branch Library, 318 Montrose Ave., Tonawanda, NY 14223
If you can't make any of these meetings, you can still share your opinion with the NFTA. You can leave written comments here on the NFTA website.
Details About The Proposed Metro Rail Expansion & Extension
As it stands today, the Metro Transit Expansion Project would spend around $1 billion to extend the Metro Rail approximately 7 miles. That extension would go from the existing South Campus Station on the University at Buffalo campus and travel along Bailey Ave to Niagara Falls Blvd, then along Maple Rd until it reaches UB's North Campus.
The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority released its Local Preferred Alternative Report in 2019, breaking down the proposal expansion, including its goals and other details.
The report ultimately recommends that the train be expanded to traverse Niagara Falls Blvd and that the region will potentially see millions of dollars in related economic activity, not to mention all of the jobs that this project would create.
This route of this proposal follows a majority of the original proposed route of the Metro Rail into Amherst and Tonawanda from the mid-1970s.
Buffalo and Western New York would be a much different region had these original plans been enacted in the 1970's. We'll need to wait and see if the 716 is ready to move forward.
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