When was the last time you did it?

There was a time when husbands and wives did it frequently.

Lovers thought it was incredibly romantic to do over and over again.

Sometimes they did it all night long and from city to city.

When was the last time you did it?

Ride the train, that is.

Mayor Paul A. Dyster’s nearly completed $45 million train station will be called ” the Niagara Falls International Railway Station & Intermodal Transportation Center.”

That’s a mouthful – in fact it is the longest name for any train station in America.

It is likely to be one of the loneliest too.

At 22,000 square feet, it is bigger than train stations in larger cities. Niagara Falls averages 64 passengers per day [32 coming and going]. Amtrak currently services these in an 800 square foot station at no cost to city taxpayers. 800 square feet is all they are going to rent in the new station since that is all the need.

It is up to taxpayers to pay for the other 21,200 square feet of new train station space.

A federal, state and city-funded project to build, the city will pay for its maintenance, estimated by this publication to be between $300,000- $500,000 per year based on published information of other train stations costs.

This big increase in city taxpayer burden will be paid by city taxpayers to offer no new train services just a much larger station for an outmoded form of transportation.

Some critics say the mayor built the train station to quench his childhood wish to be a railroad engineer.

But is it outmoded?

Please stop reading right here, turn to your friend, your spouse, your significant other or whoever is sitting or standing near you and ask: When was the last time you rode a train?

When you traveled to Disney World, did you take a train? When you went to Vegas for the weekend, did you take a train? When you went to DC and chaperoned your children’s school outing, did you ride the train? When you went to New York City with friends to catch a Yankee’s game did you take the train? When you and your girlfriends shopped the Big Apple for the holidays, did you go by train?

So, who is taking the train and, more importantly, who is going to be taking the train to Niagara Falls?

The millions of city dollars spent to build the train station could have gone toward further development of the Niagara Falls International Airport. It could have gone toward road and highway improvement so that visitors would have a smooth, safe stay instead of pothole-filled roadways. There are few places in America where roads are in poorer condition.

It could have gone to a lot of items needed in Niagara Falls.

The millions could have been saved, gone to the general fund, to reduce what are the highest property taxes in New York State in proportion to the value of the real estate.

Dyster instead built an outmoded transportation monument to himself at a huge cost and a hige future maintenance cost – for what will be an empty building.

That will be one of his legacies. A disproportionately large station that will be empty most of the time and cost taxpayers all of the time.

We are indeed fortunate that Mayor Dyster never dreamt of becoming an astronaut.

train trvl

Is Niagara Falls going back in time or will more people ride the train because of a new train station?

 


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