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Thread: NFTA rail cars in line for $32.8M makeover

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    Member steven's Avatar
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    NFTA rail cars in line for $32.8M makeover

    For the first time since the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority's Metro Rail cars began rolling 20 years ago, the NFTA will begin a complete overhaul of all 27 cars in its system.

    The NFTA's Board of Commissioners Monday afternoon unanimously approved a $32.8 million program to rehabilitate and restore all of its Metro Rail cars. The initiative is being funded through federal money and some in the form of a state grant.

    Lawrence Meckler, NFTA executive director, said the rehab work on the cars will begin this fall with the authority repairing four cars at a time. No service will be disrupted during the repair period.

    Meckler estimated the final car will get its rehab work done in 2010.
    "That should give us reliable cars through 2035," Meckler said.

    The work comes at a time when Metro Rail ridership is peaking. The rail line handled 5.4 million riders last year and this year, ridership for the first three months of the calendar year was up 290,000 because of a number of factors including rising fuel costs and a marketing outreach program to students at four area colleges.

    The rail line, last year, averaged between 18,000 and 19,000 weekly riders. Combined bus and rail ridership for the first four months of the year is up 3.77 percent, going from 7.79 million riders in 2005 to 8.08 million this year.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/s...ml?jst=b_ln_hl
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    27 cars.

    32 million dollars.

    Why do I think that we are getting hosed on this deal. For what it is going to cast, you could buy each of the riders a car

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    Member BuffaloEMT14216's Avatar
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    Waste of money on the cars. They should put that money into building a new spur to the airport, Niagara Falls, Ellicottville, etc. somewhere.
    The NFTA, I believe, personally, enjoys the stranglehold it has over WNY. They have a monopoly over Bus service, they control the BNIA, and the much bigger capacity Greater Niagara Falls International Airport,(which they allow to sit idle for years, as well as the waterfront lands. They hold all the cards. A public authority with so much power is scary.
    The NFTA's forerunner, the IRC knew how to manage mass transit. The International Railway Corporation had streetcars as well as buses in service.
    The Streetcar lines were on Elmwood, Delaware,Kenmore, East Ferry, Hertel, Parkside, Main Street, Fillmore, Kensington, Bailey, Clinton, Broadway, South Park, Seneca, Virgil, Kehr, French, as well as high speed service to Niagara Falls in turn running trolley lines there with the historic gorge trolley line.
    Of course after 1950 the streetcar was dead as well as the NYC Belt Line and Eire Lackawanna Belt Line that circled the city and operated passenger service.
    I just find it fascinating the powers at the NFTA have never tried to revamp the past glory of our mass transit. We have so many miles of used and abandoned track in the Buffalo area. Making lines to the Galleria Mall, Niagara Falls, Ellicottville, Rich Stadium, Amherst, are not difficult at all. The track is THERE!
    Yet the past couple years have seen the NFTA rip up the Conrail right of way from LaSalle station to Tonawanda, sell off the trolleys purchased for that corridor, and sell the land to development for money gains, and to keep the public out. Aren't they a public authority? Typical NY shadow government at it's best.

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    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northshore
    27 cars.

    32 million dollars.

    Why do I think that we are getting hosed on this deal. For what it is going to cast, you could buy each of the riders a car
    a mil a car? HOLY crap is that expensive.

    What are they doing? restoring them to thier former glory? HOW about cleaning up the subways roofs and docks. I was near fountain plaza and couldn't believe how dingey they all look.

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    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    Member DelawareDistrict's Avatar
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    That does seem like an awfully high cost to rehab the cars.
    The path is clear
    Though no eyes can see
    The course laid down long before.
    And so with gods and men
    The sheep remain inside their pen,
    Though many times they've seen the way to leave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northshore
    27 cars.
    32 million dollars.
    Quote Originally Posted by WNYresident
    a mil a car?
    um...

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    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    GO read this

    What cars cost in 1974

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    wikipedia.org makes my computer freeze up, sorry.

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    Member Edisonic's Avatar
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    As I recall, the cars cost well over $1million each - 22 years ago. (There were 28 - one was dropped & damaged during shipment) ..

    $3million seems to be the minimum for a new car, these days. Looky at this type, used in Strasbourg and Houston - If we had these, all those platforms downtown could be ripped right out !


    Oh, ps: The original NFTA cost probably didn't include the multiple "observation trips" by multiple NFTA people to Japan, ostensibly to check on building progress. I figured that's why they chose Tokyu instead of Hawker-Siddeley or Bombardier - bogus trips to Ontario wouldn't have been much fun.

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    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    Does the subway in any way pay for itself? What if 32 mil was used to close it up and buy some busses?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WNYresident
    Does the subway in any way pay for itself? What if 32 mil was used to close it up and buy some busses?
    When comparing light rail systems, seven, including Salt Lake City's, stand out as success stories. Five boast decent ridership and benefits to the community, but leave residents with a sense there should be more. In six cities, such as Buffalo, N.Y., the systems can be regarded as failures.
    Other studies have shown that LRRT does not remove cars from the roads, it just shifts riders from buses to the LRRT. One of the main goals was supposed to be less cars, but that is not happening in any significant numbers.
    The path is clear
    Though no eyes can see
    The course laid down long before.
    And so with gods and men
    The sheep remain inside their pen,
    Though many times they've seen the way to leave.

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    Member 300miles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodstock
    um...
    He's using Cheektowaga Math.

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    Member 300miles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WNYresident
    HOLY crap is that expensive.
    That's nothing. $32 million isn't even enough to move a toll booth.


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    Member Joe Buff's Avatar
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    If the Metro went someplace--like the airport or the Falls or somewhere that would benefit people going to work or to school around the area--it might be worth spending the money. As it is, I say just shut the system down and buy a few more buses. Electric ones.

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