Given the large number of people currently using public transportation between Amherst and downtown Buffalo, a study is being done to determine what the best options are for meeting future demand.
The study's focus is the Amherst-Buffalo corridor because of the growth in and around the University at Buffalo's North Campus and downtown Buffalo. NFTA Director of Public Affairs Douglas Hartmayer says that area has the highest transit ridership and potential for future growth in the region.
"You have the emerging Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus already a force of its own, but now you add the Medical School at Main and Allen atop our rail station, ou add Children's Hospital relocating, and you're going to have upwards of 17,000 additional jobs in that area. People are going to need to get there, and the best and most efficient way to do that is by way of public transportation," Hartmayer says.
Options to be considered could include new bus service, extending Metro Rail, or rapid transit by bus.
"They have their own dedicated right-of-way. You're not commingled with trucks and cars. It is simply the bus in that lane and they're able to move much more efficiently and much quicker," Hartmayer says.
The NFTA is co-hosting two public workshops this week to gather input. Hartmayer says it will be a thoroughly inclusive and transparent process.
"There are no preconceived ideas. There's no preconceived information that we're looking for," he says.
The first workshop is Tuesday at 5 p.m. at St. Leo the Great School on Sweet Home Road. The second is Wednesday night at 5 p.m. in Allen Hall on UB's South Campus. More information about the study can be found here.