BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senator Tim Kennedy, Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, announced a $100 million commitment to the upkeep and repair of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority's (NFTA) Metro Rail.
The commitment is a five-year capital plan that calls for $20 million a year for the Metro Rail's Main Street line, the agreement also includes $6 million for engineering work on the Metro Rail extension to Amherst.
According to a release, the Metro Rail has not undergone extensive renovations, capital improvements or repairs since it first opened in 1984.
“Modern transportation infrastructure is critical to growing local economies across the state, and for too long the neglected Metro Rail has kept pace with the needs of Western New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “This critical funding will upgrade this system into a 21st century railway that New Yorkers deserve, helping to grow the local economy and helping to ensure this remains a region on the move.”
The renovations this commitment calls for are:
- Track bed replacement
- Fare collection system implementation
- Video surveillance upgrades
- Light rail vehicle upgrades
- Escalator rebuilds
- Power supply upgrades
- Other safety features
"I am deeply grateful for Governor Cuomo’s strong commitment to Western New York, which has once again been demonstrated," Senator Kennedy said. "I was proud to fight alongside Governor Cuomo and Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes for this funding, which will increase safety, performance, and rider experience.”
The funding is expected to come from future capital funds, which are expected to be appropriated later in the year.
“Senator Kennedy’s advocacy was essential to securing this critical, historic funding agreement for Metro bus and rail, which will allow us to make significant and much needed improvements to our Metro Rail system," said NFTA Executive Director Kim Minkel.