Posted by: DeWain Feller

Rochester's Intermodal Transit Center needs your support. Please leave your name in the comments section and sign on to our letter.

Rochester’s new Intermodal Transportation Center is on the drafting table but that does not mean this much needed project is a done deal. [Learn more about the project external link] The station and site costs are estimated to be $27.3 million, and track and signal upgrades are approximately $10.4 million, bringing the estimated project cost to $37.7 million. A portion of the funding has been identified, but not all.

So far, the project has won $15 million external link from a Federal TIGER grant and New York State has pledged $7.5 million. But if the remaining funding does not materialize, plans for the new station will either need to be scaled back or may even put the project in jeopardy.

We want to let our elected officials know that Rochesterians support this project. So we are sending the following letter to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Congresswoman Slaughter, County Executive Brooks, State Senator Robach, and State Assemblyman Gantt.

Read the letter and sign on by leaving your name in the comments section below…

Dear [ representative ],
Reconnect Rochester urges you to fully support the City of Rochester’s project to replace Rochester’s obsolete and deteriorating Amtrak station with a new Intermodal Transportation Center.
Rochester needs a new facility just to meet today’s needs, and the current facility is woefully inadequate to meet projected future needs. Rochester needs a station that presents a positive civic image to visitors. All other major stations on the Niagara Falls – NYC Empire Corridor have either completed or are implementing major renovations or new buildings.
The City of Rochester is finishing a study of a new Intermodal Transportation Center this year. The project received a $15 million Federal grant in June, and New York State has pledged $7.5 million. Approximately $5 million in additional funding needs to be secured to cover the projected cost of $27.3 million. We ask for your support to ensure that the project becomes a reality.
Why do we need a new Amtrak station?
The current station is seriously deficient for a number of reasons. 
We need a new station just to meet current passenger needs.

  • CSX (which owns the tracks on which Amtrak operates in our area) wants two platforms 
(one for each direction of travel) in order to minimize interference with growing freight traffic.
  • The station is becoming too small for the growing number of passengers. The number of boardings and alightings from Rochester’s station rose steadily from 84,111 in 2004 to 
140,222 in 2011.
  • The current station’s single platform, bathrooms and sidewalks are not handicapped-accessible.
  • The current building is too small to accommodate an expanded bathroom, and the building cannot easily accommodate new high-level platforms.
  • The current building was built as a temporary structure, and it has outlived its useful lifespan.
  • The building, platform, parking lot and service road are in such poor shape that it is more practical to build a new facility than it would be to renovate the current concrete slab structure.
  • The current station lacks basic amenities such as a newsstand and food services.
What would be the benefits of a new station?
Since we need a new building, it only makes sense to design a facility 
to allow for likely future growth.
  • New York State plans for improving the Empire Corridor are likely to increase the number of trains serving Rochester from 8 trains per day to up to 20 trains per day. The current waiting room and facilities cannot accommodate projected growth in ridership.
  • New “high-level” platforms will allow Amtrak passengers to board the train at the 
same level as the floor of the train. High level platforms offer a number of benefits:
  • Faster boarding, which in turn reduces end-to-end trip times.
  • Enables boarding and alighting through all doors, rather than 
channeling all passengers to one or two doors.
  • Easier boarding for all passengers, especially those with luggage, 
children, or mobility needs.
  • Improves ADA accessibility.
  • Combining intercity buses (Trailways and Greyhound) and intercity rail (Amtrak) 
improves service to riders:
  • The interconnection of routes allows transfers from bus routes to train routes 
and vice versa (for example a SUNY Geneseo student might take a bus to 
Rochester to transfer to an Amtrak train to their home city).
  • More efficient use of public funding by taking advantage of common 
facilities in a single consolidated facility.
  • Passengers can switch carriers in the event of a delay or blockage on their 
original carrier’s route (for example, passengers faced with bus delay caused 
by icy conditions on the Thruway could switch to Amtrak).
  • The new station will include amenities such as a newsstand and restaurant. 
This will greatly improve the environment for passengers, and will provide 
amenities comparable to those provided at our airport.
  • Enclosed and climate-controlled passageways between the station building 
and the new platforms will improve passenger comfort.
  • A new, architecturally impressive, station will create a positive image of our city.
Why is Amtrak service important for Rochester?
Intercity rail is energy efficient, low-polluting, and efficient:

  • Amtrak provides efficient and economic service to other cities without the use of a car. This is particularly important when traveling to major cities such as New York, Chicago and Boston.
  • Train travel times to NYC are competitive with flying when one considers travel time from the airport to the city, and airport-related security, waits and delays.
  • Amtrak uses only 2,100 BTU per passenger-mile compared to 3,597 for cars.
  • Taking the train from Rochester to NYC will offset 300 pounds of CO2.
  • Amtrak is heavily used by students in our area’s colleges. Our colleges are increasingly important to Rochester’s economy.
Reconnect Rochester

Please sign on to this letter by adding your name (and any applicable organization) in the comments section below…


  1. As one who frequently travels on Amtrak to and from Rochester, the necessity of a new station is obvious. A welcoming environment to a major city is a good business investment. An intermodal facility increases smart-growth and therefore is also a good business investment. Allowing area college students greater ease of travel is a very good business investment; we want them to stay. Enough of the dithering. Let’s finish this project up.

  2. Either do it right or not at all. If we have $50,000,000 for useless pork-barrel on Mortimer Street, then we can find $40,000,000 for a good station with high-boarding platforms and higher speed capabilities.

  3. Major has arrived :yay: (that’s my npehew!) He was not due until next Thursday, but he decided to make an early entrance. No, Major is not his name When my brother was about 15, he was watching a football game between Tennessee and Auburn. If Tennessee won, it would mean that Alabama would go to the Sugar Bowl. He vowed that if UT could pull out the win, he’d name his first born son Major, after UT’s then coach, Johnny Major. Fast forward many, many years to 5 months ago when we found out they were having a boy. He immediately started calling him Major, much to the annoyance of the mom. They agreed that that would not be his actual name :lmao: Brother already has Major’s college interview story ready when he goes off to Alabama, and is certain that it will be greatly appreciated by the Alabama alumni, if not by Major’s mother.Mom is on her way down here, though she hadn’t planned to come until next Wednesday. She’s going to call me when she gets off the interstate and I will meet her at the hospital so we can go see Major. Brother sent me some pix on my phone but they’re tiny and looks like he was standing in the next room to take them. I will do better :fingerscrossed: Major weighs 6# 14 oz, is 18 inches long and has big feet!

  4. This is a must for Rochester’s infrastructure. The current station is almost laughable in its failure to accomodate to the disabled. The temporary structure should be replaced by this magnificent plan to bring Rochester’s transport together in one spot.

  5. Completely for it!!!!!!! Just an Idea, part of the project could be to lay tracks on the abandoned falls road line. This line went through spencerport and south Greece but was ripped up by Conrail in the 1980s. If tracks were laid again it would serve the Niagara Amtrak station. Tracks are laid from brockport to Niagara Amtrak. Gates to Brockport do not have tracks. The Roc station was the terminus for this line. This is just an idea that came to me and since I live near Spencerport and run on the roadbed I hope someone feels the same way. This could help serve the small towns and help rebuild Rochester.

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