Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Plans advance for Rochester Intermodal Transportation Center

An agreement has been reached for Amtrak to continue to own and operate the new $23-million Rochester Intermodal Transportation Center in Rochester, N.Y., at the existing Amtrak station location on 320 Central Avenue.

Now that ownership has been determined, the final design and construction will be led by New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), which will join the city of Rochester, Rep. Louise Slaughter and Amtrak to form a steering committee for the project.

Establishing long-term ownership for the new facility is one of the Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) requirements for the recently-announced $15-million Transportation Initiative to Generate Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant for final design and construction funding.

The existing Rochester Station served more than 144,000 passengers in Amtrak's fiscal year that ended September 30, 2012, an 89 percent increase since 2007 and ridership is expected to double in years to come. Ridership on the Empire Corridor west of Albany increased by five percent in 2011 and 40 percent during the past five years.This project will improve accessibility, reduce travel delays and enhance amenities for rail travelers, all of which will help further increase Amtrak's ridership.

The new facility, track improvements and high-level platform will also greatly improve accessibility for people with disabilities and aid in reducing train delays.

NYSDOT and FRA supplied $3.5 million in funding for the ongoing preliminary engineering and environmental phase of this project. This funded the city of Rochester's work on the scoping phase, which was instrumental in allowing this project to compete for and win TIGER design and construction funds and the state and Amtrak reaching this long-term ownership agreement.

Project funding includes the $15 million TIGER grant from the FRA, $7.5 million from New York state and $500,000 from the city of Rochester.

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