Niagara Gazette

Columns

September 29, 2013

GLYNN: Amtrak rider count up over 5 years

Niagara Gazette — Local residents often ask why Niagara Falls is building a new train station (a complex to exceed $40 million) when so few people ride trains anymore.

While they may not be taking the train to the Cataract City, there is solid evidence that Amtrak passenger volumes continue to rise in New York state, especially in upstate communities. If indeed the numbers for Niagara Falls are as low as some argue, then perhaps the city and its official tourism agency need to expand their marketing and promotion strategies.

Bruce B. Becker, president of the Empire State Passengers Association, is optimistic that construction on the new Falls station could begin later this year now that the prolonged dispute between the state and the Seneca Nation of Indians has been resolved. That settlement released some $85 million to Niagara Falls, the city’s long-delayed share of casino slot machine money. 

It’s true that few visitors arrive or depart daily at the Amtrak Station off Hyde Park Boulevard. Those figures are in sharp contrast to the passenger volumes reported in Buffalo (Depew) and Rochester, where the contract for a new station could be awarded this fall with construction completed in 36 months. That project is destined to take longer because of extensive track removal and related work. Becker is confident the improvements will make the trains even more appealing to those traveling in and out of Rochester where the passenger count is up 90 percent in the past five years. Overall, in the same time frame, ridership is up nearly 50 percent across the state.

At this point, no one is predicting a sharp resurgence in train travel only because of a new station in the North End, but it shouldn’t hurt to have better accommodations for the passengers that they now have at a converted Leigh Valley freight house a few miles from downtown Niagara Falls. 

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA Tom T mug TOM'S CORNER: Spring tune up and summer prep for your car The Gazette has partnered with local automotive expert Tom Torbjornsen to publish his weekly national column. Tom's Corner will appear in Thursday's editions.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: New York still delays decision on hydrofracking Many people across the state remain puzzled why the decision to allow hydrofracking has been delayed for so long.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: To every thing there is a season; this is OURS I'm not sure what The Byrds had in mind way back in 1965 when they popularized Pete Seeger's 1950s rendition of Ecclesiastes 3, but I am inclined to agree with novelist Thomas Wolfe who wrote: "[O]f all I have ever seen or learned, that book seems to me the noblest, the wisest, and the most powerful expression of man's life upon this earth."

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Property rights and the Clean Water Act The United States of America was founded on the premise of natural rights, succinctly dictated as the unalienable rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: St. Peter's Episcopal Church, inside and out When I had a couple of questions I checked in with Whitney Mallam, a long-time church member who introduced me to Solon Myron Napoleon Whitney (commonly known as "The Major"), one of his relatives from the early days of this church's history. I was intrigued by some of Whit's comments and hope to learn more about him in the future.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Seneca Niagara Casino in billionaire category One of the Niagara area's biggest businesses is now part of the billionaire class.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Bridging the ideological gap Being both liberal and conservative, as currently designated, makes one perhaps sound wishy-washy; but one can't go down the line on everything.

    April 20, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Home alone on the Island Yeah, you know who I mean. Hard to start this project without you but deadline looms and you're still bein' Nana, the role you were born to play. I know, I know, if you'd known grandchildren were this much fun, you'd have had them first.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The Bills stadium and the proverbs We are what we are because of the way that we think, and we got the nothingness that have as a result of it.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page