Our City Builds outlines new vision for Buffalo

Nov 11, 2020

A coalition of community-based organizers has a policy plan they want to see Buffalo implement to ensure the renaissance in the reaches all citizens.

Buffalo Transit Riders United member Dennice Barr
Credit Thomas O'Neil-White

Organizers with Our City Builds coalition said they have used the input of thousands of city residents to craft their new vision for Buffalo. The group recalibrated its mission to focus on solutions to problems they say the city is either ignoring or is a part of.

Among the six key points in their plan is public transportation. Buffalo Transit Riders United member Dennice Barr uses the NFTA’s Metro busses to get around and is discouraged with the transportation authority’s decision to eliminate bus routes in largely Black and Brown neighborhoods.

“I have a bus card. $75 a month,” she said. “Where does this bus card take me if I have to walk between two and seven miles a day just to get to where I need to go in a timely fashion.”

Barr said cutting bus routes has an even greater impact on young people who cannot find jobs in the city.

“When you’re telling us that the busses that run out to Tonawanda,” she said. “Where the jobs are by the way, outside of the city limits. When you disconnect that bus route, but you want our young people to thrive, what are you really saying to them? You’re not investing in them.”

The NFTA says it has cut or made alternative routes to several of its regular routes since May, owing to the pandemic and low ridership.

Our City Builds has policies regarding immigration, affordable housing, education, policing and climate. More information about our City Builds and their policiesgo can be found on their website.