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New grassroots effort launches to encourage alternative transportation uses in and around Western New York

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Thu, Nov 12th 2015 03:50 pm

GO Buffalo Niagara, led by Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council Effort, issues survey on transportation options to gain better understanding of public perception

Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council recently announced the launch of GO Buffalo Niagara, a joint grassroots effort to encourage Western New York commuters to use more sustainable transportation options, including Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Metro Rail and Bus, walking, biking, carpooling and carsharing. Major partners on the initiative include NFTA, GObike Buffalo, Buffalo Niagara Partnership and Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

As part of the effort's launch, GO Buffalo Niagara is asking those who work within the City of Buffalo to fill out a survey in order to gain a better understanding of the public's perception on transportation. The short survey will ask questions ranging from current modes of transportation used, current perceptions on alternative modes of transportation, as well as incentives that might entice commuters and residents to use alternative transportation when getting in and around the region. Survey respondents will be entered into a raffle for a $100 gift card to Tops Friendly Markets.

"As we see Buffalo's renaissance continuing to take shape, it's important that we examine all aspects of our region in order to see that renaissance come to full fruition, and sustainable modes of transportation are a critical component for that realization," said Kelly Dixon, AICP, senior planner, GBNRTC. 

"NFTA-Metro Bus and Rail employees have provided sustainable transportation options that enhance the quality of life in Western New York for over 40 years," said, Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director. "The last decade of urban transportation innovations in the United States has shown that thriving, attractive regions to live, work and play provide their residents and visitors with easy access to quality multimodal transportation alternatives. "

Other U.S. mid-size cities that have seen success from adapting a multimodal transportation system, include Pittsburgh, Portland, Cleveland and Albany. Such a system can help cities avoid or alleviate congestion from car traffic; advance mixed use development; grow neighborhoods that lead to economic growth and revitalization; save money on costs related to vehicle maintenance and parking; increase and enhance access to job opportunities for lower-income residents; as well as promote a livable, equitable and easily accessible region.

"At the medical campus, we see firsthand both the need and the benefits of our commuters and residents using alternative transportation modes rather than driving alone," said Bill Smith, director of campus access, BNMC. "By promoting a multimodal transportation system that includes parking, transit and other sustainable options, we will see the acceleration of job growth, development of more walkable neighborhoods, and better health and quality of life for all members of our community. Because of that, we are an enthusiastic partner to GBNRTC on this new endeavor, and look forward to having a conversation on how access to quality transportation choices can help make our community thrive."

Respondents will have until Thursday, Nov. 19, to complete the survey. Data from the survey will be used for GO Buffalo-Niagara to develop a strategic marketing plan to help increase awareness of and encourage the use of sustainable transportation modes. 

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