BUFFALO, N.Y. -- We are getting a look at the plans for Buffalo's new Exchange Street train station.
It's a train station that has needed an extreme makeover for years. In 2015, it was named one of the saddest train stations in America by the website City Lab. In 2016, after heavy rain, its ceiling partially collapsed. And almost exactly one year ago, a committee voted to replace the Exchange Street Amtrak station with a new one downtown.
It's going to double in size, have more parking, and twice as many seats. It will be located where the current train station is.
"I've been in the current train station when there wasn't even enough room for everyone to go inside station and people had to wait outside in the winter cold," says Gary Prophet with the Empire State Passengers Association.
Despite 88-percent of people who responded during the public comment period favoring the Central Terminal for the new train station location, the committee in charge picked downtown. Its members say it was largely because of the opportunity to link a variety of transportation options under one roof.
Monday, when 2 On Your Side’s Kelly Dudzik posted the new renderings on social media, the majority of replies and comments she got still favored the Central Terminal. She asked the DOT spokesperson to address those comments.
"The location to stay downtown was determined by a very qualified group of participants in the study, so now we're looking forward to moving that into an actual construction project," says NYS DOT spokesperson Susan Surdej.
The plans also call for a covered corridor linking the new train station to the Metro Rail station.
"Right now, people are kind of confused when they get off with their suitcase, you know, now what? So, in addition to that covered corridor that's going to have those kind of cool lights, it's going to be like lighting your path to light rail station. You're also going to have a city bus stop. You're also going to be accessible to taxis. It's pedestrian friendly, bicycles can access it, so it's definitely an accessible site," added Surdej.
The train station should open in the summer of 2020. There will probably be a temporary location for Amtrak during construction because the project also includes track upgrades.