Purpose & Need
The purpose of the proposed project is to provide a fast, reliable, safe, and convenient transit ride in the Metro Rail Expansion Corridor. This will link established and emerging activity centers along the existing Metro Rail Line in the City of Buffalo with existing and emerging activity centers in the Towns of Amherst and Tonawanda. The project will better serve existing rail and bus riders, attract new transit patrons, improve connections to/from Buffalo, Amherst, and Tonawanda and support redevelopment and other economic development opportunities. Importantly, it will serve to improve livability by increasing mobility and accessibility in communities throughout the project corridor. The project will:
- Serve increased travel demand generated by new development in downtown Buffalo and in Amherst and Tonawanda.
- Provide high-quality transit service to and from key activity centers in the Metro Rail Expansion Corridor by providing a time-efficient transit option connecting and serving key destinations in the corridor (University at Buffalo (UB) campuses, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC), the Buffalo central business district (CBD), business parks, the Buffalo waterfront, among others).
- Better serve transit-dependent population segments and improve opportunities for participation of the workforce in the overall regional economy.
- Improve the system operating efficiency of the transit network.
- Support local and regional land use planning and transit-oriented design.
- Provide social benefits from transit investment that supports an array of economic and affordable housing development.
- Help meet the sustainability goals and measures as contained in state, regional, and local plans (One Region Forward-The Regional Plan for Sustainable Development, Buffalo Niagara 2050 - the Metropolitan Transportation Plan of the Greater Buffalo-Niagara Regional Transportation Council, Erie and Niagara Counties Framework for Regional Growth, the University at Buffalo 2020 Plan, the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council’s (WNYREDC) Economic Development Strategic Plan , the City of Buffalo Comprehensive Plan, and the Town of Amherst Comprehensive Plan, among others).
- Help relieve parking constraints and capacity issues on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and surrounding downtown area to minimize traffic and parking-related impacts on neighborhoods.
The need for improved transit service has three main components: (1) the need to serve increased travel demand generated by recent, pending, and future development; (2) the need for high-quality service to key activity centers in the study area; and (3) the need to serve better transit-dependent population segments.