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Give UB students access to NFTA bus, rail passes

The announcement of the new University at Buffalo Medical School on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is exciting news for the Queen City. Much has been made of the fact that the new school will sit on top of a reconstructed Allen/Medical Campus Metro Rail station. What is left out of the conversation is that the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority and UB appear unable to work together.

UB students do not have access to NFTA Bus or Metro passes. It is puzzling to me that Canisius, Buffalo State, ECC and Bryant & Stratton Colleges have negotiated with the NFTA to provide unlimited, 7-day-a-week bus and rail passes to their students, but UB does not have such a program. UB did have a pilot program that provided a limited number of rail-only passes to students, but the program folded after only two years because UB and the NFTA could not reach an agreement.

The lack of collaboration between these organizations is especially confusing in light of the fact that the Metro Rail begins on UB’s South Campus and will soon go through the Medical School. Nonsensically, services are duplicated by UB’s “Blue Line,” a small bus that takes riders from the South Campus to the Medical Campus every 30 minutes. There is no need for this bus line, because the Metro Rail takes more riders to the Medical Campus faster and in a more environmentally friendly manner.

UB and the NFTA must set aside their apparent differences and work out a deal to provide passes to the university community. The NFTA and UB must collaborate for the greater good of the region, and both entities will prosper.

Bradley Loliger

Buffalo