NFTA Transporter

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Metro sponsors Kevin Guest House Beat the Train Race

Runners getting ready to go - Mike Moore #1442
On Saturday, September 15, the annual Kevin Guest House's Fall Fest 5k and Fun Run presented by NFTA/Metro took place.
Registration for the event was held in Metro's Allen-Medical Campus rail station, as participants geared up to attempt to beat the train (29:42). 

Helen Tederous and
The NFTA was represented by its
Public Affairs Director, Helen Tederous, who was part of the opening program and also had the honor of shooting the gun to begin the 5k run.  NFTA's Mike Moore participated in the race and was considerably ahead of the train the entire time; coming in third place overall.

Runners, walkers, and party-goers enjoyed a great evening of food and family fun in the beautiful landscape of Buffalo/Niagara Medical Campus.  Buffalo Sabres mascot, Sabretooth, even stopped by and took some "Metro train selfies" with attendees.

The event was a great success, which helped raise funds for the organization's mission of providing a comfortable and supportive home-away-from-home for patients and their families traveling to Buffalo for cancer treatments and medical care.   We are already looking forward to next year!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Patricia Wiseman nominated for 2018 Buffalo Black Achiever's Award

Patricia Wiseman, Superintendent of Special Services for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, has been nominated as a recipient for the 2018 Buffalo Black Achiever’s Award.  A gala to honor all 2018 achievers will be held on Saturday, October 6, in the Grand Ballroom of the Adam’s Mark Hotel in downtown Buffalo.

Patricia is an extremely positive influence at the NFTA and is highly regarded among her colleagues and the communities in which she serves.  In Patricia’s supervisory role, she oversees NFTA Metro's reservation based service available to riders with disabilities, which serves over 4,800 customers and provides over 17,000 trips per month within Erie and Niagara counties.

Over her three year career with the NFTA, Patricia has been instrumental in implementing NFTA Metro’s new PAL Direct. This innovative scheduling system enables paratransit customers to schedule their paratransit rides 24 hours per day.  The system also allows access through both the internet or by phone, which has helped enhance overall customer service and Metro’s scheduling efficiencies. 
She has also been influential in streamlining the operations and enhancing efficiency within the customer information center located in the bus terminal at the NFTA's headquarters.  This busy informational resource hub serves Metro customers and has become an integral part in serving our local transit-riding community.
As part of her continuing passion for and commitment to diversity and inclusion, Patricia also serves as a technical advisor on issues relating to the Americans with Disabilities Act. She actively helps educate local agencies and the public on Metro’s ADA services.  She also represents Metro at annual American Bus Benchmarking Group and American Public Transportation Association events.   Her collective efforts focus on assisting individuals with disabilities to increase their mobility and independence through public transportation.
Patricia stays active within the community and is a core volunteer with the Food Shuttle of WNY. This organization is dedicated to helping alleviate hunger by transporting excess prepared and perishable food to soup kitchens, food pantries, and shelters throughout the Buffalo area.  Over the years, she has been recognized by the Food Shuttle for her perseverance in helping those in need.
I am extremely honored to be nominated for the 2018 Black Achiever’s award.   I feel fortunate to be a part of an outstanding team of skilled and dedicated professionals at the NFTA, and I’m thankful for the support since joining the company over three years ago.  A heartfelt thank you to Tom George, Director of Public Transit, for the nomination and the support of the NFTA's leadership team," said Patricia.  
Patricia holds a Master of Science degree from Buffalo State College and a Bachelor’s degree in Community Mental Health from University at Buffalo.


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

K9 Rogan of the NFTA TAPD passes away on 9/11

Officer K9 Rogan of the NFTA Transit Police Department was laid to rest on Sept. 11, 2018, after 10 years of service with Officer Mark Martinelli.  They retired from the TAPD together and Rogan was adopted and remained with Officer Martinelli's family for the rest of his years.

Rogan was the namesake of Matthew Rogan, who served with the FDNY and lost his life on Sept. 11, 2001. The black Labrador puppy named for him was born three years later and became part of the TSA puppy program. The program named all service dogs after fallen first responders at 9/11.

FDNY Firefighter Matthew Rogan
Officer Martinelli met and trained with Rogan for 10 weeks at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Rogan and Mark became inseparable. Rogan, a K9 explosive bomb-sniffing dog, never let Mark down. "I was so proud of him. Everyone loved Rogan. I met so many people and was sent to so many places and events with my dog that I will always cherish. Rogan was my partner and best friend. He was a beautiful gift and a constant part of my life for 14 years. I was lucky to work with such an incredible partner," said Officer Martinelli.

On the day of Rogan's passing, Martinelli, his father and other members of the family draped an American flag over the dog and carried him to the car.  The retired K-9 officer intends to have
his companion cremated, and he will save his ashes
for one last shared act of duty.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Run the Runway

NFTA's Exec. Dir. Kim Minkel (left) and
Dir. of Aviation Bill Vanecek (right)
with the male age 35-39 race winners
On Sunday, August 18, 372 runners participated in Calspan's first ever Run the Runway 5K at the Niagara Falls International Airport. It was the first race of its kind in Western New York, and a very special experiences.

The race took place over the runways and taxiways of the airport, which is shared with the US military. Most of this space is never open to the public.  

The event was coordinated by Eclipse Multi-Sport, a local race management company. Proceeds from the race went to Friends of Family Support Association - 914th Tactical Airlift Wing, which assists local families with members in the military, and the Niagara Aerospace Museum.
Among the finishers, the NFTA was represented by Mike Moore (pictured right), Bruce Izard and Carolyn Concannon. 

The event was such a success, planning has already begun for next year! Stay tuned more information soon.


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

Operator. Mike Mercado, in Metro uniform (center)
with marching team

The 16th annual Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade and Festival sponsored by the Hispanic Heritage Counsel was held August 18-19, and NFTA Metro was thrilled to be a part of the festivities again this year. 

As part of its participation, Metro provided two "floats" in Saturday's parade; one 40 foot Metro bus driven by Operator Mike Mercado, who also helped organize Metro's participation in the parade, and a new low-floor paratransit van driven by Operator Lance Zee.  Both vehicles were accompanied by 25 proud and dedicated Metro employees donning specially designed festival T-shirts.  The team walked along in the parade from Niagara Square to LaSalle Park while handing out token Puerto Rico flags and candy to parade-goers of all ages. Later that day, the Metro marching team were thrilled to learn that they had received third place in the float competition.

Saturday morning's Metro
community engagement team
"It was so great to be a part of this event on behalf of Metro and to witness the comradery between our riding public and our operators.  Individuals were coming up and warmly embracing our operations staff out of mutual respect and friendship.  It just goes to show how important Metro and its drivers are within this community," said Misael (Mike) Hernandez, a former bus driver whose current position is in Metro accounting.

Festival-goers also had the opportunity to visit the Metro community tent where staff was on hand to discuss
Metro services, job opportunities as well obtain responses to Metro's newest customer survey. Visitors who took the survey had a chance to enter to win one of three monthly passes.

There were over 8,000 attendees at this year's esperanza-themed event meaning "hope," which helped serve as a reminder of the ongoing hurricane relief efforts for
Puerto Rico.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Beyond the Call of Duty

Crystal Edwards, Cust. Servc. Mgr, Tony Cason,
Chief George Gast and Officer David Zarbo

On August 1, the NFTA's TAPD Chief of Police George Gast presented certificates of appreciation to Tremain (Tony) Cason of the NFTA's Customer Service Department and Bobby Morland from the Facilities Maintenance Division. Both gentlemen were recognized for their assistance with the NFTA's Transit Police Officers while on duty at our downtown bus terminal.

Chris Brophy, Facilities Mgr, Bobby Morland,
Chief George Gast and Officer David Zarbo

Tony has often helped officers working at the MTC by providing Metro system information for those travelers who have been distraught or alone in travel, and Bobby, while working within the bus terminal, has on critical occasions come to the aid of our officers who were dealing with combative issues or physical struggles.

"We appreciate the quick and proactive assistance both of these gentlemen have provided to Officer David Zarbo and other TAPD officers while working at the MTC.  Their behind-the-scenes efforts are truly commendable,"  said Chief George Gast.

Nice job gentlemen - congratulations!    

Tim Meyers recognized in the NFTA Pit Crew Campaign

The newest edition of the NFTA's Pit Crew Campaign highlights Safe Lifting and features Airfield Supervisor, Tim Meyers, who has worked at the NFTA for 39 years.  
The new "Lift Safely" poster brings attention to the proper way to lift heavy items.  A couple of tips include the following: 1) stand close to the object, 2) squat down by bending knees while keeping stomach tight, 3) pull load close, 4) as you rise,
lift with your legs, 5) avoid turning body, and 6) most importantly -
always ask for help when needed.

Tim was chosen for this campaign due to his commitment to safe work practices for both himself and within his team.   He currently works as the NFIA's Airfield Supervisor where he oversees 13 employees.  Prior to this role, he has held various positions at the NFTA, starting as a custodian at the Buffalo Airport. 
Tim is a father of four children and also serves as Town Councilman for the Town of Cheektowaga.  Please join in congratulating him on being selected to represent the NFTA in this authority-wide safety initiative.