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Editorial: Upgraded Metro station offers a shining welcome to a growing Medical Campus

The transformation that has taken place at the base of the new University at Buffalo Medical School on Main Street is a mark of pride for the area.

The Allen-Medical Campus Metro Station sits as the gateway to the burgeoning Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. It will serve thousands of users in the near future – next year, in fact, when the Medical School is completed. So it is important that the station make a good first impression.

The reconstructed interior delivers. Passengers emerging from the escalator will be treated to an expansive, bright open space with large windows that beam in the sun’s light. Video screens inform passengers of the next trains’ arrivals and departures. It is easy to envision the next phase.

More than 17,000 people are expected to work at the Medical Campus in the coming years. The $4.4 million station will bustle with activity. It sits at the base of the $375 million, eight-story Medical School, the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, which is scheduled to open next fall.

The 9,500-square-foot station is scheduled to be completed early next year. It will see plenty of activity with 2,000 medical students, residents and faculty working in the state-of-the-art medical campus. The station will be well-trafficked, indeed. The “grab and go” selling snacks, beverages and newspapers will add to the big-city ambience.

The recently completed construction projects – Conventus Medical Office Building, Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s Clinical Sciences Center, Kaleida’s Gates Vascular Institute and UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center – are in addition to the ongoing construction of the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital and UB’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

The Metro Rail will play a key role in delivering people to the campus. This first major overhaul of any subway stop since the system’s opening 30 years ago this month is a good place to start along the system’s 6.4 miles. The program should continue.

Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority officials who have been hard at work getting the work done expect 2,100 users at the Allen-Medical Campus Station. It’s a good measure of the economic impact of the Medical Campus on downtown Buffalo. The Metro system carries about 24,000 daily riders, according to a News article by staff reporter Robert J. McCarthy.

Currently studies are being conducted to look at Metro Rail extensions through the “Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Terminal at the foot of Main Street, and another through Amherst to UB’s North Campus.”

An expanded system that carries passengers to where they want to go is the right goal for a city and region that are on the upswing.

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