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UB architecture dean selected to lead train station location talks

Robert G. Shibley, dean of the University at Buffalo school of architecture, will facilitate discussions on where a new Amtrak train station should be located in Buffalo.

Mayor Byron W. Brown announced Shibley's role a day after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo named the mayor to head the committee that will make a final recommendation  on a location.

Shibley is the perfect person to bring community opinion and technical analysis together in the discussion, Brown said.

Shibley said that, as of now, all options will be discussed.

"This is an important decision for Buffalo and the region," Shibley said. "We need to consider not only what location will best support Amtrak ridership, but how it will promote greater transportation connectivity overall, and how any given site will advance our goals in the city-building process."

[Related: Momentum builds for new Buffalo train station]

"Given all that," he added, "I don't think we should jump to any conclusions, but conduct the due diligence required to make the right decision."

In addition to bringing Shibley on board, Brown will  assemble a committee to work on the project.

One of Shibley's first steps will be to issue a Request for Proposals for a study to analyze all options, and identify potential sites. A public engagement process will then begin as the city looks to identify the best location for a new train station.

Brown and Shibley are expected to released a draft schedule next week of the process being followed so that all stakeholders and the public can voice their opinions, city officials said.

Cuomo gave Brown six months to complete the task. In return, Cuomo said he will provide $1 million in initial funding to study the concept once a location is announced.

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