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Schumer & Higgins back TIGER grant application for DL&W terminal

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Fri, Oct 20th 2017 06:40 pm
Project would extend NFTA Metro Rail, rehab historic Delaware Lackawanna & Western Terminal on Buffalo's waterfront
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Congressman Brian Higgins are supporting the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority's application for a $16.3 million federal grant through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program to complete the Delaware Lackawanna & Western station project.
"The DL&W terminal will build on the success Buffalo's waterfront is experiencing," Schumer said. "The expansion of the rail line to the terminal will create space for private sector investment, bringing good jobs, expanding the regional economy, and improving connectivity for rail and bus transit riders visiting Buffalo's many attractions, including the Key Bank Center and UB South campus."
"The DL&W terminal provides a real opportunity to establish a multimodal facility that accommodates public transportation and private sector investment," Higgins said. "A new station at the DL&W fills a critical hole in a center of activity surrounded by Canalside, the Cobblestone District, downtown Buffalo and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The NFTA's project brings together people traveling by rail, automobiles, bicycle trail and boats, and transforms a neglected piece of Western New York's unique history into a destination that serves the Buffalo of today and tomorrow."
The DL&W terminal sits along the Buffalo River at the intersection of the foot of Main Street and South Park Avenue in Buffalo. Between 1917 and 1963, the terminal served both freight and passenger rail and water vessels. The terminal was later abandoned by the railroad and remained vacant for over a decade, until it was purchased by the NFTA. The ground floor is currently utilized as a maintenance facility for Metro Rail cars while a small portion of the second floor is used for NFTA office space.
The NFTA is moving forward with a project that will extend Metro Rail from the Canalside station to the DL&W, create a new platform on the first floor of the DL&W to accommodate the rail cars and passengers, and construct new stairs and elevator access to the second floor, opening up 80,000 square feet of space for private sector investment. 
"We are truly grateful for the continuing support from Sen. Schumer and Congressman Higgins. The NFTA's mission is to help those in our community connect to good jobs, quality health care and educational opportunities through efficient transportation options," said Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director. "Using federal investment to build on the governor's Buffalo Billion is a great way to add to and enhance all the exciting economic development in our region."
New York state has committed $26 million to support design and begin construction of the more than $40 million project. An additional $16.3 million is needed for construction. Both Schumer and Higgins are supporting the NFTA's application to the U.S. Department of Transportation for a TIGER grant.
Higgins and Schumer previously secured federal TIGER grants funding for the Cars Sharing Main Street project, which is returning vehicle traffic and economic vitality to Main Street in Buffalo, prompting measurable private sector investment along Buffalo's downtown spine. To date, more than $43.2 million in federal funding has been allocated for the Cars Sharing Main Street initiative.
The White House budget proposed complete elimination of the TIGER grant program. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, supported by Congress, provides $500 million, through September 2020, for TIGER grants nationwide. The deadline to submit applications in this round was Oct. 16.

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