UB and NFTA Park and Ride Lot Talks Continue

Release Date: November 21, 2008 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University at Buffalo several weeks ago presented the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority with a proposal that would allow the NFTA to continue operating a Park and Ride lot on UB's South Campus while making it easier for students, faculty and staff to use mass transit.

"We think this is the right thing to do for our community and the environment," explained Joe Brennan, UB associate vice president for communications. "Our proposal presents little or no additional cost to the NFTA. It will decrease the demand for parking on campus, improve convenience for our students, and maintain the community's access to the Park and Ride lot."

UB initiated the conversation weeks ago in anticipation of the January 31 expiration of the current agreement that allows the NFTA to use parking spaces on the South Campus. The university expects that the discussions on the proposal will continue. The next scheduled meeting will be held Tuesday, November 25.

The UB proposal asks for student access to the NFTA system to:

• Reduce the demand for on-campus parking now and in the future

• Increase student access to community resources and opportunities, enabling them to experience Western New York, particularly downtown Buffalo

• Promote mass transit as an environmentally responsible option, instead of single occupant vehicles

The UB proposal also asks for Metro system access for employees traveling between the South Station and the developing downtown medical campus.

UB has provided the Park and Ride Lot since 1986, an estimated value to the NFTA and Metro riders of approximately $14 million over the years. In exchange, the NFTA has paid $14,500 annually and provided a limited number of bus passes. UB is now asking the NFTA to broaden access for its students and employees.

UB has attempted for many years to establish a student-pass system for students. The NFTA had earlier agreed to offer a student plan, marketed it on campus to students, and then withdrew the plan without explanation. UB had agreed to pay for those passes, based on usage.

Since that time, UB has continued to propose a variety of student pass alternatives to the NFTA.

NFTA representatives participated in the "Building UB: The Comprehensive Physical Master Plan" forum held on Wednesday, November 19 on the South Campus. In transportation related workshops this week, they reported they were working with UB on the "Park and Ride" and improved system access.

"UB does not enforce South Campus lot restrictions on weeknights or weekends, so the community will continue to be able to park on campus and use Metro rail to attend Sabres games and weekend events in downtown Buffalo. That free access will not change, even if the NFTA moves the Park and Ride lot elsewhere," Brennan pointed out.

UB could charge $4 to $5 for faculty, staff and visitors to park in the lot, which would generate about $450,000 in annual revenue, but it has decided not to do so.

"We believe that a great region needs a great university - and a great public transportation system. We want to work in partnership with the NFTA to move our region forward," Brennan said.

Media Contact Information

John Della Contrada
Vice President for University Communications
521 Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
Tel: 716-645-4094 (mobile: 716-361-3006)
Twitter: @UBNewsSource