BUFFALO, NY (August 28) – Buffalo Niagara International Trade Gateway Organization (ITGO) executive director Craig Turner today announced the regional logistics organization’s support for a proposal forwarded today by U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins to convert the Williamsville and Lackawanna toll barriers to electronic, at-speed facilities.
“Transition of the Williamsville and Lackawanna toll barriers to at-speed has been a key component of ITGO’s agenda for some time, and it’s encouraging to see not only last week’s announcement by the Governor for the Grand Island tolls, but the Congressman’s proposal for funding this transition in today’s announcement,” said Turner. “From a logistics perspective, the benefit of upgrading the tolls goes beyond even the environmental impacts, eliminating back-ups and allowing trucks to pass more freely through the region. That makes Buffalo Niagara even more attractive as a logistics center.”
Earlier this year, ITGO, in collaboration with the Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council (GBNRTC), submitted a series of recommendations to the NYS Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Freight Plan process, highlighting projects and initiatives designed to enhance the region’s transportation and logistics capabilities. Replacement of the Williamsville and Lackawanna tolls with at-speed facilities was a top priority among those recommendations.
“In logistics, time is money, and every minute a truck is sitting at a toll booth not only adds cost, but eats into the driver’s hours of service limits,” said Turner. “The discussion surrounding these two toll barriers is generally – and reasonably – focused on the environmental benefits, but believe me, carriers don’t want their trucks sitting there any more than the neighbors do. This proposal is a win-win.”
The International Trade Gateway Organization (ITGO) is a collaborative initiative of the public, private and academic sectors to create a globally-known logistics center in the bi-national Buffalo Niagara region. The mission of the Buffalo Niagara International Trade Gateway is to build upon the capacity of existing organizations and leverage the advantages of the region – extensive transportation system, experienced logistics and trade networks, positioning as part of the third largest and fastest growing metropolitan region in North America, and our history and reputation since the nineteenth century – as a center for trade and commerce.