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Cars Sharing Main project getting an additional $54.5M

Since it started, the project to bring cars back to Main Street in downtown Buffalo has received nearly $108M.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Cars Sharing Main Street project is moving along with the announcement on Monday of more than $54 million in additional funding.

The addition of the above-ground Metro Rail removed cars from a big stretch of Main Street forty years ago, but twenty years ago the push to bring them back began.

"The fastest growing neighborhood in all of Western New York is downtown Buffalo and that creates a commercial demand. That creates activity that is very, very positive," said U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins. 

Monday, an additional $54.5-million in federal and state funding was announced for the Cars Sharing Main Street project bringing the total close to $108 million.

"With each dollar, we have invested in opening up Main Street to vehicular traffic, there's been essentially a four-dollar private sector return on that investment," said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

The next phase includes the stretch of Main from Exchange to Mohawk where construction is expected to start as early as late next year. Right now, it is in the design phase.

"The NFTA has some funds they've already looked to invest that came from the state and taking this $54-million that we're talking about today, putting it all together and seeing exactly what's the best way to progress that. In a perfect world we'd just get it all done and that's the goal that we're starting with, but that still remains to be seen if we have the funding to do that," said Buffalo Public Works Commissioner Mike Finn.

Construction at Lower Main, near Canalside, is still going on. Public Works Commissioner Mike Finn says that phase is expected to wrap up by the end of the year.

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