A Rail of Two Cities: Express Train Proposal to Connect Buffalo/Falls

Sam Hoyt, (D-Buffalo) has teamed up with Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster in promoting express commuter train service
between Niagara Falls and Buffalo.  Included in the State’s 20 Year Rail Plan, which Governor Paterson made public in Albany, Hoyt’s plan has also been embraced by Senator Schumer and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter.  

said, “I applaud Governor Paterson for recognizing the importance of
connecting the economies of these two great cities. Historically, one
of the great failures of our region has been our inability to extend the stay
of the estimated 14 million tourists who visit Niagara Falls annually. This
express train will give those visitors quick and easy access to the huge
variety of world class arts, cultural and entertainment amenities as well as
professional sports in the City of Buffalo.”

Hoyt and Dyster traveled to Washington nearly one year ago to present the plan
to members of the congressional delegation where it was well-received.

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said
“As Governor Paterson pointed out during his recent visit, Niagara Falls
tourism is an economic engine that can help life the regional economy even
during hard times.  Economic development and increased investment follow
wherever investments are made in transit infrastructure.  It is part of
our vision for Niagara Falls’s future and we thank the Governor for helping to
make it a reality.”

The idea of connecting the two cities for the benefit of the region stems from the fact that, while drawn to the Falls, tourists have little else to do in Niagara Falls, NY.  Buffalo, on the other hand is teaming with amenities, but lacks that one central venue to draw large crowds who will linger, drawing just over 1 million visitors per year to its various attractions. The transportation and marketing link is seen as a panacea for bringing volumes of visitors to both Erie and Niagara Counties.  

The fact that the proposed express trains would make it easier for a portion of the 14 million annual visitors to the Falls to spill over into Buffalo is not lost on the governor.

Hoyt says, “The success
of this project will be a huge economic shot in the arm for both cities and
will have a huge impact for the Buffalo-Niagara Region.  I am
thankful it is included in our 20 year rail plan.”  

Inclusion of the
proposal does not guarantee that the project will be funded, but the Governor has noted that it is an important project worthy of
State support.  

About the author  ⁄ Elena Cala Buscarino

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