An initiative to increase travel to and from Erie is in the works.

Local rail organization All Aboard Erie now leads a multi-state rail coalition.

Here is more about the plan to make Erie more accessible to neighboring cities.

An organization has been created to improve rail service along the Lakeshore Corridor. Here is what this could mean.

Traveling to cities neighboring Erie may be a lot easier in the years to come.

The new executive director of All Aboard Erie said that a multi rail coalition is in the works. It’s called the Lakeshore Rail Alliance and fills a transportation gap.

Trains and bus service is limited in this densely populated region.

“We really are now developing assets in the inner core through EDDC’s development and all the things that are happening. So the idea of having people in these Metropolitan regions in Cleveland, Buffalo and Pittsburgh spend the weekend maybe the afternoon and take it back, that’s economic development,” said Michael Fuhrman, Executive Director of All Aboard Erie.

The Lakeshore Rail Alliance will bring together organizations along the corridor between Chicago and New York City.

All Aboard Erie has been chosen to host the new group because of it’s central location between the Midwest and East coast. This initiative will provide more accessibility.

“Trains should be part of the national system. It should be a service that is provided by federal government so that people who don’t have the resources to buy a car, $40,000 or so, that they can actually get from point A to point B,” said Fuhrman.

All groups from neighboring cities are on board. One representative from New York said that the coalition will benefit all states involved.

“It’s everybody along that corridor folks in Syracuse New York might want to come to Erie and enjoy your waterfront. Folks in Buffalo might want to enjoy some of our cultural opportunities. So it takes a unified approach,” said Bruce Becker, Director of Communications for Empire State Passenger Association.

Becker said that this project will take some time to get running but it’s worth the wait to ultimately reduce travel time for visitors.

“Our organization in New York is firmly committed to incremental improvements. So we want to take what we have in New York today, hopefully expand some to come to Erie and onto Cleveland and work on higher speed,” said Becker.

One of the organizations goals is to get the attention of congress to acquire necessary funding for this project.

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