Many locals bitterly call it the train to nowhere and yet Buffalo’s “MetroRail” offers more bang per mile than most LRRT systems. Western New York is controlled by suburban driver. You can easily find them at supermarkets, strip malls and gigantic malls. They endless circle the lots looking for a parking space directly in front of the door they want to enter. They will drive to the nearest store to buy milk even if it is within walking distance. Then they will complain about the price of gasoline.
They are all the folks that have vociferously fought against the introduction of Light Rail service into their communities. They don’t want the “noise” and they don’t want the “city” people popping in. As a result Buffalo’s 6+ mile LRRT is a City of Buffalo system only operating between downtown and the northeast Buffalo campus of the University @ Buffalo.
Despite their opposition over the years to MetroRail expansion, these same people are the first to derogatorily call the system the train to know what. How shallow and unthinking can they be. As other similar sized communities grow their routes Western New York does not. And that is very sad. For those who live near the MetroRail is has become a welcome convenience. As the sixth shortest LRRT system in the United States, the fifth smallest city with a rapid transit system, the Buffalo MetroRail is the fourth most heavily used system of the 32 in existence. Everyday 3,109 people per mile use the “Train to Nowhere” just behind San Francisco at 3,511, Houston’s 4,987, and Boston’s 7,946.
It really is time to put the detractors and naysayers in their place and expand the route’s. The silent majority will use the train if it becomes available. I know I do. It is cheaper to park at the University and ride the train to a downtown event than it is to drive downtown and pay for parking.
|Light Rail Systems|
|Rank – Daily Boardings||City||Daily Boardings||Route Miles||Daily boardings p/mile|
|3||San Francisco||160,100||45.6 mi||3,511|
|2||Los Angeles||203,400||70.4 mi||2,889|
|9||Salt Lake City||60,600||35.3 mi||1,717|
|7||San Diego||87,700||53.5 mi||1,639|
|10||St. Louis||52,500||46 mi||1,141|
|19||Jersey City||21,426||20.6 mi||1,040|
|14||San Jose||33,800||42.2 mi||801|
|22||New Orleans||10,000||21.5 mi||465|
|31||Little Rock||340||2.5 mi||136|
|Source: American Public|