A new Amtrak station is long overdue downtown
The future of Amtrak’s Exchange Street Station is of great interest to me as a former University at Buffalo student (2000 to 2005) who frequently traveled by train to and from college. Even back then there was “big talk” of a new station, and I’m glad that after recent unfortunate events perhaps a new station may finally be fast-tracked.
Regardless of future plans for the Central Terminal, a new station in downtown within easy walking distance of the Metro Rail is a must. I used Exchange Street exclusively while in Buffalo because of its easy access from the UB South Campus. Next, based on what I learned about architecture and urban planning at UB and my knowledge of rail infrastructure, to me there are only two viable sites.
First is building directly east of the current station on empty parking lots. A new station could be built here relatively fast and inexpensively. Second is building a new station near the Aud site, which would offer the easiest connection to the Metro Rail. However, this would be much more expensive.
Building a new station is not easy, but with growing passenger rail ridership, Buffalo deserves a station that better serves passengers and is worthy of civic pride.
Benjamin J. Turon