February 23, 2018

Buffalo - Amherst light rail extension moves forward

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THE board of New York state’s Niagra Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) voted on February 22 to authorise the awarding of a $US 4.8m contract to WSP USA for environmental review and engineering design services on the first phase of the 11km extension of the Buffalo light rail network to Amherst.

Following the completion on an analysis of transit options for the Amherst corridor last year, a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) was selected for an extension of the existing 10.3km Buffalo Metro Rail line from its current northern terminus at University South Campus.

The extension would follow an underground alignment from University station to a portal near Eggert Road, continuing at-grade along Niagara Falls Boulevard to Maple Road and Sweet Home Road before reaching University North Campus.

The extension will reduce the journey time between the north and south campuses of the University to around 17 minutes.

Phase 2 would extend the line to a terminus near Interstate Highway 990 at Audubon Parkway.

In January 2017 New York state governor Mr Andrew Cuomo approved the allocation of $US 5m in state funding through the Buffalo Billion II programme to complete the environmental review for the Amherst extension, which is expected to boost Buffalo Metro Rail ridership from 20,000 passengers per day to more than 40,000 per day by 2035.

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