Release Date: November 18, 2010
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo has entered into an agreement with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to implement a pilot Metro Rail pass program that will provide UB students and faculty and staff members with discounted passes to make travel to the university's South Campus and Downtown campus safer, easier and more environmentally friendly.
The pilot program will allow UB to purchase up to 3,000 student rail-only passes for $10 per semester for South Campus residents and students living around the South Campus to travel to the South Campus or to work and classes on UB's Downtown Campus. In addition, UB will purchase up to 300 faculty/staff rail-only passes at $30 per year for transportation between the campuses.
Under the agreement, the university also could purchase up to 100 daily round-trip rail passes per month for members of the university community. The university will have access to space within the LaSalle lot for overflow and event parking, as well.
The Surface Transportation Committee unanimously passed the resolution at its meeting today. The resolution goes to the full NFTA Board on Monday for the final vote.
NFTA Commissioner Eunice A. Lewin said, "This is a wonderful opportunity to partner with the students and faculty of UB, because everyone benefits. Metro Rail is zero-emission transportation and provides a convenient connection to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The more people use public transportation, the better it is for the whole community."
The new transportation alternative is expected to decrease the number of vehicles brought to campus by individuals who reside near the rail and to ease traffic congestion into and out of downtown, ultimately reducing the university's carbon footprint.
The agreement underscores the university's commitment to green initiatives and campus sustainability, a primary institutional priority that was formalized when UB President John. B. Simpson in 2007 signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. The commitment pledges the university to achieving "climate-neutrality" by reducing or offsetting all of its greenhouse gas emissions.
"The pilot program will support use of the NFTA's rail system, provide connectivity between our campuses, decrease the number of vehicles coming to campus, while reducing the University's carbon footprint," said Maria Wallace, director of UB Parking and Transportation Services. "It is another step forward towards greening UB."
Metro Rail will continue to utilize parking facilities on the South Campus for use by its rail and bus customers.