Government and transit officials dominate the 17-member train study committee announced by Mayor Byron Brown on Tuesday.
The members are expected to decide on a new location for a Buffalo train station six months after beginning. Two locations downtown, one at the Central Terminal and another in Larkinville have been proposed.
“I’m grateful to Gov. Cuomo for asking me to chair the process to find the right location for a new modern train station in Buffalo,” Brown said. “We’re moving full steam ahead in our search for the best location for the train station.”
The six elected officials are Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Brown, Rep. Brian Higgins, County Executive Mark Poloncarz, State Sen. Tim Kennedy and Assembly member Crystal Peoples-Stokes.
City administration figures along with the mayor are Brendan Mehaffy, executive director of Office of Strategic Planning, and Steve Stepniak, public works commissioner. State officials, along with Cuomo, are Matt Driscoll, commissioner of the state Department of Transportation; and Howard Zemsky, president and CEO of Empire State Development.
Transit officials are Tom George, transit director for Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority; Bill Hollister, senior manager of government affairs, Northeast, Amtrak; Maurice O’Connell, vice president of state government and community affairs, CSX; Eugene Berardi Jr., president and CEO of Trailways; and Douglas Funke, president of Citizens for Regional Transit.
Also on the committee are Luis Rodriguez Jr., Rodriguez Construction Group; and Dr. Constance Moss, retired assistant superintendent for Buffalo Public Schools.
Robert Shibley, dean of the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, will serve as lead facilitator. The committee will also work closely with the state Department of Transportation, which has selected WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff to do any technical work that’s needed for the site selection process.
Brown said a public hearing will be held within “the next several weeks” so residents can present their views on where the new train station should be located.
The current, aging station is downtown on Exchange Street. Cuomo, on Oct. 26, asked Brown to head the committee and determine the station in a six-month time period.