Will Metro Rail extend to airport in Cheektowaga

Posted at 10:57 AM, Sep 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-30 10:57:41-04

Cheektowaga officials have now sent a unanimous resolution to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) asking that consideration be given to expanding metro rail service to the Walden Galleria and the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

Councilman James Rogowski said the "transit ready" plan calls for using old train beds to extend the rail service.

Rogowski adds that future expansion could also use area rail beds to expand transit rail service into other suburbs including Orchard Park by Ralph Wilson Stadium.

However, the NFTA says the idea was already considered as one of 36 that was part of a comprehensive study undertaken in 2010. That study identified the Amherst-Buffalo Corridor between both North and South UB campuses as the busiest area with the most development and the most need of enhanced public transportation, added C. Douglas Hartmayer, director of NFTA public affairs.

Now in the last phase of its study, the NFTA hopes to decide by the end of the year whether public input favors expanding metro rail, or adding what's called Bus Rapid Transit in the Amherst-Buffalo Corridor.

So far, 80 percent of input has favored expanding the metro rail.

It will still take approximately seven years before the service is funded, constructed, and started.

The transit authority is also seeking public input as it looks to expand service south from the Cobblestone District in downtown Buffalo.

An open house on the issue is scheduled for October 15th from 5-7p.m. in the atrium of the First Niagara Center.

Stay in Touch Anywhere, Anytime with News, Weather and Video -- Download the WKBW app:

Android App

iPhone/iPad App

Or Sign Up for Our Newsletters -- Delivered to Your E-mail:

E-News, Forecast and Bills Beat Newsletters