Progress report: NFTA Rapid Transit Study

Posted at 7:05 PM, Apr 11, 2016

As Senator Bernie Sanders brings his presidential campaign to the University at Buffalo North Campus, it is also creating traffic and parking issues as crowds of people arrive to attend his rally.

U.B. officials advised people coming to the event to park on the U.B. South Campus and use either a Metro bus or free U.B. shuttle bus to get to the event.

The issue also raises the question about the status of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority's  (NFTA) efforts to expand the rapid transit system into Amherst.

It was thought the authority was going to have public preferred options selected by the end of December 2015.

However, a spokesperson for the NFTA says the issue is so complex that the study is ongoing with engineering, environmental and cost issues still being examined.

The NFTA hopes to finish its study of expansion into the Amherst-Buffalo Corridor by later this year, but even then, it could take six to seven years for the expansion to be completed.

Two options are being looked at.  The first expands the light rail rapid transit to the U.B. North Campus via either Niagara Falls Boulevard or Millersport Highway.  It is still undetermined which portions would be above or underground.

The other option involves adding what is called "bus rapid transit."  Those are buses that use dedicated lanes to get through traffic quicker.