In 1973, UB’s two campuses were academic islands, connected only by car and public bus. That same year, what was then known as the Niagara Frontier Transit System published a report imagining how a newfangled light rail system might look and operate in the future.
The plan called for 10.7 miles of track, running from Cathedral Park (a pocket park in downtown Buffalo) north along Main Street and past the South Campus to not one but two North Campus stations, with stops along the way at Sweet Home, Maple and Sheridan. The report projected that the complete line would be operational in six years, with trains running every two minutes during peak hours. In reality, the 6.4-mile single line took seven years to complete and ends at the South Campus.
But there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Buffalo’s public transit system is back in the news as community leaders call for more funding, and the NFTA (Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority) studies how that money can and should be spent. Perhaps one day rail service will connect all three of UB’s campus communities, linking the bustling suburbs to the exciting developments downtown.