I would like to compliment The News for once again highlighting the lack of progress in regard to upgrades at Buffalo’s train stations. As a longtime advocate for the Central Terminal, I also acknowledge the need for an upgrade for downtown. Since east-west trains cannot reach downtown, the need for two stations hasn’t changed. I do not think a major investment needs to be made on Exchange Street. Restoring or modifying the current location with appropriate landscaping, along with rebuilding the covered platforms and extending those toward Main Street with an added connection to the NFTA trains, would be far less costly. The land currently proposed for a major new station should be saved for uses suited to a much larger public need.
As anyone who has seen the main concourse of the Central Terminal knows, there could be no more impressive space to welcome visitors to Buffalo. The bulk of any money obtained should go to once again connecting the Central Terminal to Amtrak and stabilizing that facility. The other stations that have received millions of dollars for construction had one advantage that Buffalo does not: Politicians working together to make upgrades and new buildings possible. The city needs to take the lead and bring on board all the groups needed to make this happen. Given the deteriorating condition of the Central Terminal, we don’t have the luxury of waiting years to make this happen.