Buffalo’s “MetroRail” offers more bang per mile than most LRRT systems.

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
1 Boston 222,500 28 mi 7,946
13 Houston 37,400 7.5 mi 4,987
3 San Francisco 160,100 45.6 mi 3,511
20 Buffalo 19,900 6.4 mi 3,109
2 Los Angeles 203,400 70.4 mi 2,889
15 Minneapolis 31,500 12 mi 2,625
12 Phoenix 46,000 20 mi 2,300
29 Tacoma 3,168 1.6 mi 1,980
4 Portland 115,400 59.4 mi 1,943
5 Philadelphia 113,900 60 mi 1,898
8 Denver 65,300 35 mi 1,866
16 Seattle 29,800 16.9 mi 1,763
9 Salt Lake City 60,600 35.3 mi 1,717
7 San Diego 87,700 53.5 mi 1,639
21 Charlotte 14,800 9.6 mi 1,542
11 Sacramento 49,600 36.9 mi 1,344
6 Dallas 103,100 85 mi 1,213
10 St. Louis 52,500 46 mi 1,141
17 Pittsburgh 27,600 26.2 mi 1,053
19 Jersey City 21,426 20.6 mi 1,040
23 Newark 10,075 9.9 mi 1,018
18 Baltimore 29,200 30 mi 973
14 San Jose 33,800 42.2 mi 801
26 Norfolk 5,200 7.4 mi 703
24 Cleveland 8,900 15 mi 593
27 Memphis 3,300 6.7 mi 493
22 New Orleans 10,000 21.5 mi 465
25 Oceanside 8,500 22 mi 386
30 Tampa 600 2.3 mi 261
32 Kenosha 300 2 mi 150
31 Little Rock 340 2.5 mi 136
28 Trenton/Camden 4,273 34 mi 126
Source: American Public
Transportaton Assoc.