With Buffalo as a host for part of March Madness, transportation is in the forefront of officials' minds.
The City of Buffalo and Visit Buffalo Niagara are working with local taxicab companies and public transportation to help ensure spectators can get around easily while visiting Buffalo for the first round of the NCAA tournament.
The tournament is expected to bring thousands downtown and generate $8 million from March 16-18.
The following plan has been put in place to make sure weekend transportation goes smoothly:
- A taxi standing area will be put in place along Hanover Street between Marine Drive and Prime Street at Canalside. Signs and volunteers will direct attendees looking for cabs in this area. Other taxis will be available along Marine Drive past Lloyd Street. Visitors can also download the Curb app to order a cab.
- The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority will allow more train cars for increased capacity during peak times and increase the frequency of the trinas.
- The Metro Rail will be free on Saturday, March 18, courtesy of the Coors Light Drink Responsibly program.
These changes will be important during the 90-minute period between games on March 16 when spectators need to leave KeyBank Center and look for somewhere to eat and drink.
Specific game times will not be announced until Sunday, March 12.
"My administration worked proactively with Visit Buffalo Niagara, Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, and the NFTA to develop a plan to enhance traffic flow along the streets near the KeyBank Center during the NCAA play-offs, particularly the flow of taxis," said Mayor Byron Brown. "This is designed to prevent bottlenecks in traffic in front of the arena, while still providing game-goers with taxi services in close proximity. We are looking forward to playing host to the NCAA teams and their fans and leaving them with a fantastic impression of the City of Buffalo."