Notes by: Howard Decker
Where: AMTRAK Station
When: 10:30am, 12.10.12
Who: Congresswoman Lousie Slaughter, NYSDOT Commissioner Joan McDonald, AMTRAK representative Bill Hollister, Mayor Richards, Councilman Miller
Bill Hollister, Principal Officer Policy & Development at Amtrak:
AMTRAK will be owner, operator, and maintainer of the new station. This is a bit of a deviation from our policies nationally, but we have been convinced this is the correct course of action in Rochester.
National annual ridership is currently at 31.2 million, 11.5 million (one third of all national traffic) in NYS, 1.8 million on the Empire line, and 145,00 passengers per year in Rochester, up from 76,000 five years ago. This represents a very substantial increase.
Funding is in place. AMTRAK is ready to move forward.
Rochester has seen an 89% increase in ridership over the last 5 years.
New side tracks will obviate conflicts with freight traffic, and make boarding and alighting, especially for the disabled, much easier to achieve.
Funding is in place. New station will open within 30 months.
Joan McDonald, NYSDOT Commissioner:
Project represents 3 wins of TIGER grants in 4 tries. Budget of $26.5 million now in place.
Note that 94 miles of CSX track now in AMTRAK hands (Schenectady to Poughkeepsie, announced by the Governor December 4th). High speed and improved passenger rail on NYS is on the way.
NYSDOT has created an executive committee for the project: Slaughter, McDonald, Richards, AMTRAK.
Project will be delivered design/build – NYSDOT now crafting the RFP.
Existing station built as a temporary in 1978. Time for a permanent solution.
New building will be a reflection of Rochester, a gateway. Design work achieved to date will be continued.
(Not sure what this last means, but his implication clearly was that the publically presented, and favored, design would somehow remain intact).
Trailways and Greyhound representatives were present. Phase II with inclusion of buses continues to move forward.
Mo Duggan again thanked Reconnect for being involved, sharing our views, supporting the project. She will keep us posted of any developments.
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