Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) and Erie County Legislator Bob Reynolds (D-12) today announced the launch of a Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) Metro Link bus line along Route 62, between the Village of Gowanda and the Town of Hamburg. The announcement was made in conjunction with the NFTA who developed the 30-mile long route using data collected by Higgins and Reynolds in community surveys and town meetings.
“It has taken those involved four years to develop and establish this bus route,” Higgins stated. “Now that it’s a reality I have no doubt it will prove its worth in helping residents travel to school, work, shopping centers, and doctor’s appointments, as well as into Buffalo and beyond. This bus route will definitely provide both an economic and a social boon to those residing and working in the Southtowns.”
According to Legislator Reynolds, a Route 62 bus route previously existed. “Unfortunately, Southtowns residents lost public transportation along Route 62 a number of years ago, which was detrimental to this area. So the fact that a coalition of government officials, business owners, and concerned private citizens collaborated with the NFTA to re-establish this route is a definite positive for all involved. I want to thank everyone, beginning with Congressman Higgins and including the Route 62 Committee headed by Rich Tachzkowski, the NFTA Officials and all the individuals and businesses in the community who took the time to answer our surveys and attend the public meetings on this issue. Grass roots efforts and collaboration are what made this project come together so successfully.”
Gregory Stamm, NFTA chairman said, “We are grateful for the enthusiastic support generated by the Route 62 bus committee and the elected officials which led to the initiation of this new service. Personal mobility is an important factor in people’s daily lives. MetroLink service will provide the ability for people to use public transit to go to work, shopping, doctor’s appointments, school or visit friends.”
ECC President William J. Mariani spoke of the potential offered by the expanded bus route. “There has long been a need in southern Erie County for extended public transportation. We at Erie Community College laud the NFTA for providing such a service that will undoubtedly make higher education more readily available to residents of Eden, North Collins and Gowanda.”
Also recognized at the press conference were a collective of community leaders, business owners, students and private citizens including Rich Taczkowski community activist and leader of the Route 62 bus committee, Paul Kline McKinley Mall Director of Marketing, Deacon Fred Johnson Director of Love in the Name of Christ, Inc., and Vicki Haas a North Collins resident. All spoke on the impact of the Route 62-bus route in their community and their lives.