On May 3, Senator Tim Kennedy was joined by Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, NFTA Executive Director Kim Minkel, and Robin Tashjian, a Metro Rail-dependent rider, to discuss improvements to Metro Rail’s Main Street line that riders can expect to see over the next five years.
In this year’s budget process, Kennedy secured a commitment from Governor Andrew Cuomo to provide $100 million to the NFTA to fund a five year capital plan for maintenance and improvements of Metro Rail, along with $6 million to fund preliminary design work for the planned Amherst extension. The funds, which will be appropriated in a supplemental capital budget bill expected to be introduced in the coming weeks, will represent the first time Metro Rail has had a dedicated funding stream from the state for capital needs, answering a call that advocates have long pushed for.
The planned work will total roughly $20 million per year over the next five years, beginning with FY 2019-20. This funding will help the NFTA to make significant improvements to the Metro system and continue to provide the community with vital connectivity, which is important to the city's resurgence.