March 13, 2024
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces $102 Million Awarded to Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority for Rapid Transit Line

Governor Hochul Announces $102 Million Awarded to Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority for Rapid Transit Line

Funding Supports Governor’s Historic Commitment to Investing in East Buffalo

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority will receive a $102 million grant from the United States Department of Transportation to design and construct a low or no emission Bus Rapid Transit line. The project, which will improve safety, mobility, and connectivity including walkability, bikeability, and enhance affordable transportation along Bailey Avenue in City of Buffalo.

“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,” Governor Hochul said. “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.

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, multi-purpose 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.

This funding comes as the Governor reaffirms her commitment of reconnecting communities in East Buffalo. Alongside this project, East Buffalo has been a focus with a $1 billion transportation investment on the Kensington Expressway – a project that envisions reconnecting the east-west neighborhoods across the depressed section of the Kensington Expressway corridor in East Buffalo, while re-establishing the green space originally provided by Humboldt Parkway, without compromising an important regional transportation link that the Expressway provides.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “Bailey Avenue is the spine of the East Side and one of Buffalo’s busiest corridors, but ask anyone who has been stuck behind an NFTA bus while trying to get to work, it can also be one of its most frustrating for traffic and dangerous with dozens of collisions every year. This $100+ million to create the new Bailey Avenue bus rapid transit line is how we can turn congestion and collisions into a smoother commute for Buffalonians. I created this program because reconnecting communities with affordable transportation; making long overdue safety and infrastructure upgrades that for years have been beleaguered in Buffalo is how you lay the foundation for a better future. From the students on UB’s south campus to the veterans who us this bus route to travel to the VA on Bailey Avenue, this funding will cut down on commutes and make connections more seamless to improve quality of life for Bufalonians. Whether its traveling for fresh affordable food from the Clinton-Bailey farmers market, or riding the bus to the community center or local pharmacy, these improvements will help put the East Side and its residents on the road to a brighter future.”

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, “This is a long overdue investment in Buffalo’s East Side, and I’m proud to have advocated hard to deliver it. I helped lead the creation of the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program that funded this project. Soon, it will help thousands of East Buffalo residents get where they need to go quickly, cheaply, and safely, and make Buffalo more equitable and more livable. I’m a proud supporter of this project and I will keep fighting in Congress to deliver for Buffalo.”

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "Under Governor Kathy Hochul’s leadership, New York State is taking historic steps toward creating a transportation network that reconnects neighborhoods and improves access for all users, of all abilities. NFTA’s Bus Rapid Transit and related investments align with a reimagined Kensington Expressway, which we are advancing this year - helping the residents of East Buffalo get to where they need to go more efficiently, utilizing cleaner, low and no emission vehicles. This is another big win for the residents of East Buffalo.”

Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Executive Director Kim Minkel said, “The NFTA is extremely grateful to Governor 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."

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474-8418
New York City: (212) 681-4640

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