A new study has ranked Buffalo as having the ninth most effective public transportation system in the nation among mid-sized cities.
The ranking is based on data compiled by Walk Score, a Redfin real estate company. The study uses a “transit score” that ranks communities based on the effectiveness of their public transportation. Factors included in the score were convenience, timeliness and accessibility. The study rated cities with populations of 100,000 to 300,000.
Metro Bus and Metro Rail scored 50.4 which designates Buffalo as having “good” system. NFTA Public Affairs Director Doug Hartmayer told WBFO the authority is proud of the ranking.
“The study validates the dedication of each and every one of our metro employees,” he said. “They work hard, they’re dedicated. And when you receive information that says your product is being appreciated and is as valuable as it is by your customers, that validates the effort of our men and women each and every day.”
The ranking was released not long after there were growing concerns this summer about a shortage of bus drivers that some complained was undermining transit service on some routes in the City of Buffalo.
“Well we actually are still in need of operators,” Hartmayer responded, “But since that point in time, we have put out a rather robust effort into attracting men and women who like to be or want to be a metro operator, and the response has been very, very good.”
The NFTA is in the process of gauging public interest for expanding the Metro Rail to the University at Buffalo North Campus in Amherst and the old DL&W Terminal at the Inner Harbor.
“Both of those projects are being looked at and studied as we speak because as we know, as history has shown us, things are changing, things are going to continue to evolve and we want to be in a position to be able to service the highest amount of customers possible,” Hartmayer said.
Metro Bus and Rail provided 25.6 million rides last year. Other cities ranked in the top ten included Jersey City, Yonkers and Newark. Cambridge, Massachusetts was ranked first in the study.