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Letter: Addressing 3 key issues will help boost tourism

Addressing 3 key issues will help boost tourism

I wholeheartedly agree with a recent News editorial that a high-speed toll system in place downstate must be extended, thus eliminating the antiquated and traffic jam-forming booths at the Grand Island, Williamsville and Lackawanna toll plazas.

The Thruway Authority must be directed immediately by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and our state legislators to extend the cashless, high-speed toll system upstate!

I applaud Cuomo for all he has done for Western New York, including the Buffalo Billion and, hopefully this year, its second phase. There are so many positive changes happening throughout our region that is quickly making Buffalo Niagara a popular year-round tourist destination for regional, national and international guests.

As I see it, there are three deficits for us to become a great tourist experience:

We do not offer a ride-hailing service like other areas of the state and country.

Antiquated toll booths cause long waits to enter our region from the Thruway and going to Grand Island or Niagara Falls.

A new train terminal is being discussed for Buffalo, while Amtrak’s on-time performance is not, because it shares the rails with freight trains.

Our state legislators always have a lot of work to do, but it would be great if they could accomplish these three items soon so the amazing momentum in this region continues at an amazingly fast pace.

Michael J. Billoni

Grand Island

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