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Thursday, June 4, 2015
The NFTA is canceling the direct route from Lockport to Niagara Falls effective June 21. (ENP FILE PHOTO BY SCOTT LEFFLER)

By +Scott Leffler

The road from Niagara Falls to Lockport is being cut short by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.

A sign hung in the Niagara Falls Transit Center notes 
that the 55L is being canceled as of June 19. The
addition to the "57 Flex" sign appears in pen, as though
an afterthought. (SCOTT LEFFLER / ENP STAFF)
Effective June 21, the 55L Route, which travels from Locust Street at Main Street to Niagara Falls (and back) four times a day will cease to operate. The closest the route will make it to the Lock City is BOCES.

Lockportians hoping to get to the Falls will have to either travel through Buffalo or take the county-run Niagara Rural Transportation, which offers direct service from the Falls once a day and back-and-forth service to Niagara County Community College four times daily. Riders would then have to take the 55F from NCCC to or from the Falls.

Using Rural Transporation will also up the cost of a trip from $2 to $4 if a transfer is required. Going through Buffalo will also increase the cost to $4 a trip and require at least one transfer — at the Buffalo Transportation Center near Coca Cola Field. It could require multiple transfers depending upon the time of day. That would also double a trip to $4 or require riders who travel round trip to purchase a $5 day pass.

In April, the NFTA announced it would be shuttering the 57 Flex bus between Niagara Falls and Tonawanda, but there had been no mention at the time of a change to the 55. A sign posted at the Niagara Falls Transit Center on Military Road shows that the change to 55L was added in pen — as if an afterthought.

State Sen. Rob Ortt argued against the Route 57 change in April and the NFTA responded by saying the transportation authority was working to reroute another route to cover much of the lost 57 service.

There has been no reasoning given by NFTA officials about the cancelation of the 55L and no one could be reached for comment this evening.


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