Any stadium discussion should include light rail

Recent discussions about a new Buffalo Bills stadium have generated many ideas. A critical consideration is the need to transport large numbers of fans within very short timeframes. Locations that can be served by light rail are best.

Light rail can comfortably deliver over 600 fans every 10 minutes (from each direction of service). This greatly reduces stadium traffic and the amount of parking needed. And it benefits everyone.

It benefits those delivered directly to stadium gates without the hassle of traffic and massive parking lots; those who drive (and perhaps tailgate) and experience less traffic congestion; and neighborhoods near the stadium that see less traffic and associated air pollution. This is why many NFL cities have provided rail transit to their stadiums.

The original NFTA plan was for a 36-mile light rail network. Most of the rights-of-way for this network still exist and are publicly owned. Stadium locations along one of these rights-of-way can benefit from light rail on game days while the region will be better served by transit every day. And stadium parking lots can double as park-and-ride lots.

Investments in transit as part of a new stadium build, or Ralph Wilson Stadium refurbishment, give a double return on our investments.

If we build a new stadium, the ability to provide light rail service is an important location criterion. Many of the proposed stadium sites, and the current location of Ralph Wilson Stadium, meet this criterion. The best choice is a stadium served by light rail.

Douglas Funke

President, Citizens for

Regional Transit