Mayor Brown is working to co-locate Greyhound at new Amtrak station

Sources close to Mayor Byron Brown tell The Chronicle that he is working to relocate the Greyhound Bus Station on North Division Street and to co-locate it at the City’s new Amtrak Station, which opened earlier this month on Exchange Street.  The new $50 million Amtrak Station includes ticket booths, waiting areas, and large parking lots that can easily accommodate the needs of intra-city bus passengers.

Co-locating intra-city train and bus service at the same transit hub makes all the sense in the world from a connectivity perspective, urban planners argue.

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) owns the current Greyhound Station, which it leases at nominal rates to Greyhound and uses for its own Metro Buses.  The structure also includes five floors of office space that houses the transportation authority.  Relocating those operations opens up two large city blocks for redevelopment, including the surface parking lot on the opposite side of North Division.

Some urban planners want those two NFTA-owned blocks transferred to Erie Community College in anticipation of the longer-term expansion of its downtown campus.  Others want to see the structure demolished and an RFP issued to solicit proposals for mixed-use private development.

It’s unclear if NFTA Executive Director Kim Minkel is supportive of the move, which would require the authority to relocate to other office space — likely elsewhere downtown or at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.  The underutilized Mahoney State Office Building and surplus space at City Hall have been suggested by the Mayor in early conversations with staff.

Architects can imagine a ‘quick and cheap’ conversion of the NFTA Bus Station into an Erie County Community College student center.

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