Possible expansion for Metro Rail

A study suggests two new routes for easier access to Canalside

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Along with Buffalo’s downtown and Canalside district, the city’s transit system might also be expanding.

“We wanted to look and see does it make sense to expand our system to provide better transit access for all the development that’s going on there,” said NFTA Executive Director Kim Minkel.

Two possible expansion routes for the Metro Rail system are going to be studied further. They were selected out of five original proposals in a $300,000 study, made possible through a grant.

One would run along the south side of South Park Avenue, and would include a new station behind the First Niagara Center.

Another route would would run through the area, with a station inside the train shed.

“I know a lot of people that like to take the train when they come to hockey games, they like to park farther down and go to a Friday’s or whatever farther down and come down here and not have to fight the parking traffic to go to games,” said Tim Raduloff.

And easier access to the Harbor Center will likely boost business.

“I think it’s definitely going to increase the patronage because people can get down here, they can come down before the game, they can go to 716, they can go to Canalside,” Tara Gripp from Grand Island told News 4.

Currently, Buffalo’s Metro Rail system runs around six and half miles, from UB’s campus to the Erie Canal Harbor.

Minkel says an expansion will only help the momentum of a growing city.

“Many Millenials want transit options. They want to be able to use public transportation. You know, it’s a great way to build the city,” she told News 4.

Minkel says if one of the designs were to be chosen, it could take 3-5 years before Buffalo commuters had access to the new line.

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