Expanding bus service would give area a boost
Niagara Falls is spending thousands of dollars on a study to see how it can keep visitors to the area here longer than just a day. The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is looking at nothing but the dollar signs in the misguided assumption that mass transit systems are supposed to turn a profit.
In the meantime, Western New York visitors and residents are missing out on much of what the area has to offer because they can’t get there from here. And it is getting worse all the time, with the NFTA continuing to eliminate bus services under the guise of saving money. It isn’t saving anything; only losing more money.
America is a car-driven society. People who do not or cannot drive are left sometimes literally out in the cold when it comes to attending area events, concerts or tourist attractions.
Buffalo has spent a lot of time and money developing the waterfront along the Buffalo River and Lake Erie. But officials neglected one very important item – the bus system and getting people to that newly developed waterfront. Lewiston has already cut off hundreds of potential concertgoers and food buyers because it won’t work with the NFTA to run a bus to and from Artpark on concert days. Now the Buffalo Irish Festival and the new RiverWorks are alienating music and Irish fans with their new island entertainment facility in the middle of the Buffalo River.
The biggest thing Buffalo and Niagara Falls can do to keep visitors here longer, and help the economy, is to stop taking away bus service and actually add more buses to take people to the various tourist attractions and area concerts and events.