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LANCASTER WANTS PRIORITY FOR RAIL LINE

Village of Lancaster officials Monday said they hoped a Cheektowaga corridor of the Metro Rail system could be moved up on the list of priorities of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.

Gordon J. Thompson, manager of planning for the NFTA, and James Morrell, the planner in charge of the southeast extension, met with village officials to discuss a possible route from behind Buffalo's City Hall to to the village in the year 2010.

Thompson said no funds have been identified for the aboveground project, which would use existing railroad rights of way.

Plans, he said, call for stations throughout Buffalo's near East Side, at the old Central Terminal and at the Thruway and Walden Galleria malls.

"It's fascinating to be sure," Mayor Arthur Posluszny said after the presentation. "It represents some very interesting potential."

"This is in the realm of the distant potential future at best," Posluszny said. "I'm concerned that the project has been treated with that type of priority."

"There's a real need for mass transit. . . . I'm disappointed it's so far down the priority list. but I'd like to see it," said Darlene Humphrey, a village trustee.

Thompson said planning for the extension is in the very early stages and last on a list that includes an extension to Amherst, the Tonawandas, South Towns and Lackawanna.

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