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$102 million awarded to NFTA for rapid transit line


Wed, Mar 13th 2024 08:20 pm

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority will receive a $102 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to design and construct a low- or no-emission bus rapid transit line.

Hochul’s team said, “The project … will improve safety, mobility and connectivity including walkability, bikeability, and enhance affordable transportation along Bailey Avenue in City of Buffalo.

The governor said, “From the Kensington Expressway Project to targeted investments in food security, workforce development and now Bailey Avenue’s transit corridor, the state and federal government have made a record commitment to east Buffalo. This bus rapid transit system will serve thousands of Buffalonians every day, prioritize safety and connectivity, and ensure our air is clean for generations to come.”

Bailey Avenue runs through Buffalo’s east side and is nearly the entire length of the eastern edge of the City of Buffalo, cutting through and separating the following neighborhoods: Kensington-Bailey, Kenfield, Schiller Park, Genesee-Moselle, Lovejoy, Kaisertown, Seneca Babcock, and Hopkins-Tifft.

The press release noted, “Bailey Avenue currently presents significant barriers to access for the community with high motor vehicle traffic paired with limited provisions for people walking, bicycling, or taking transit in the corridor. Vehicular traffic has come at the expense of the local experience, which suffers from cars speeding by, unmanaged turning, multipurpose lanes, and a dangerous experience when trying to cross.”

Funding will support projects that includes:

√ Roadway retrofitting (bus lanes, mobility hubs, bike rakes, curbs, sidewalks, accessible curb ramps, crosswalks, etc.);

√ Purchasing low- or no-emission vehicles and related infrastructure; and

√ Transit-oriented development planning, community outreach and engagement, and an equity and inclusion plan.

Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Executive Director Kim Minkel said, “The NFTA is extremely grateful to Gov. Kathy Hochul for this historic investment that will bring the innovative, bus rapid transit to Buffalo. This funding will enhance mobility, foster economic growth by enhancing access to jobs, and provide environmental sustainability for decades to come."

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