NFTA Transporter

Monday, November 19, 2018

William Lobuzzetta Celebrates 40-Year Anniversary

Tom George presents gift to Billy Lobuzzetta 
William (Billy) Lobuzzetta celebrates 40 years at the NFTA  on Tuesday, November 20.  In honor of this great milestone, Tom George, with assistance from Sue Ohol, held a surprise luncheon during Metro's recent management team meeting.  The celebration included an etched glass award and a Ralph Kramden cake, referencing "a bus driver with big dreams" of Honeymooners fame.

Billy started his career as a Bus Driver in 1978 working out of Metro's Cold Spring Station. Being recognized for his stellar work ethic and dedication to serving the riding community, he became Bus Supervisor in 1984 and in 2002 was appointed as the Teamster's Union Leader.  In 2004, he was promoted to Superintendent of Transportation Services and continues to serve in this role today.

At Metro, Billy is known as "the guy who gets it done."  Over the years he has successfully managed Metro dispatch services and supervised numerous employees.  He has also helped plan and organize Metro bus participation during special events including stuff-a-bus and other community engagement activities.  Although he makes it all look so easy, his hard work never goes unnoticed.

“Billy Lobuzzetta’s value to the organization goes beyond his role of monitoring and managing our transportation system, his knowledge of our community and role in pursuing great customer service are paramount to making us vital to the community,” said Tom George.

In talking with Billy, you quickly get the impression that he loves his job in transportation, and he is
well-equipped to handle any situation.  One of his most significant memories includes managing Metro's crisis services day and night during the unexpected and devastating lake-effect storm in October of 2006.  During this time, he helped transport a large group of electrical and tree service employees on Metro bus from Buffalo to Rochester and back for ten days, so that the community and our residents could get the necessary help needed.

"I am so proud to work for NFTA Metro.  I never dreamed when I got hired what a wonderful career would be ahead of me.  I want to thank Kim Minkel and Tom George for their unwavering support, and the amazing employees and community members that I have had the pleasure of working with over the years.  It has been such a fantastic ride (pun intended), and I do not plan on slowing down anytime soon."

Please help in congratulating Billy on this amazing 40th year and milestone anniversary!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Christine Farrow graduates from PTLI

Christine Farrow, NFTA's Equal Employer Opportunity Manager, has added yet another achievement to her list.  She is a proud graduate of the New York State's Public Transit Leadership Institute, which provides a year-long program devoted to mid-to senior-level managers aspiring to serve in an executive leadership role. 

PTLI provides a first-hand look at the role of a transit executive under the mentorship of Bill Carpenter, Chief Executive Officer of Rochester Transit Authority.  While working with Bill and his team, Christine had the opportunity to enhance her knowledge in the areas of crisis management, Board and labor relations, leadership, and advocacy to name a few. 

“Participation in this program has provided me with a wealth of knowledge enabling me to better assist our employees at the NFTA and the local community we serve.  Through PTLI, I have been able to incorporate my experience as a diversity and inclusion professional and assist others in coordinating progressive meetings and training sessions. This truly was an amazing program, and I am grateful to Kim Minkel and Tom George for recommending me,” said Christine.

While in the program, Christine volunteered to help coordinate the key diversity speaker for NYPTA's 2018 fall conference and served as moderator for the leadership track session, Inclusion and Equality: Driving from Awareness to Action.

Way to go Christine - congratulations on your great achievements! 

El Museo Exhibits Art in Utica Station

Artists from left -Tyshaun, Imani and Obsidian with
Metro's Dir. of Public Transit, Tom George 
On November 9, El Museo, in conjunction with the NFTA, hosted a special event to launch Your Utica Station, and unveiled its public installation of art by four local artists.  

The artists include Tyshaun Tyson, Imani Williamson, Obsidian Bellis, Bleu-Ruby Daniels-Taylor, all of whom have been influenced by their experiences growing up and taking Metro in Buffalo.  Each of the three artists in attendance delivered a short presentation on the inspiration for their individual piece. 

Representatives from El Museo expressed their enthusiasm in showcasing the artists' works within Utica Station in the next few months, and they are looking forward to riders and community members stopping to take a look. 

"We are very excited about this new initiative and its alignment with our longstanding mission to exhibit work by underserved artists and engage diverse audiences and marginalized communities in Buffalo and Western New York," said William Vogel, El Museo's Executive Director. 

Your Utica Station aims to inspire transit riders and beautify this unique public space. The project was made possible in part by a grant from the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and support from the NFTA and Lamar Advertising. The artwork will be on display at the station until December 30, 2018.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Preservation Buffalo Niagara Takes a Tour of DL&W

On November 1, Metro's Rachel Maloney conducted a tour of  DL&W for 30 members of the Preservation Buffalo Niagara.

This nonprofit organization invests in projects that play a role in the protection of historic buildings and community revitalization. Given the historic value and relatable charm of the 101 year-old facility, the attendees expressed interest in learning more about the upcoming plans for DL&W, and this was a great hands-on way to do so.

The focus of the tour was on the new Metro rail passenger station and the planned redevelopment of the 80,000 sq. ft. space on the second level. Some key factors in this redevelopment project include maintaining the existing building features and providing access to the river. The anticipated completion date for the project will be in 2022.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Courtney Crosby Joins Metro's Customer Service Team

Courtney Crosby has recently become Metro's newest Customer Service Associate.  She has been with the company for seven years as a bus operator and enjoys working with the public. 

In her new role, she will assist with Metro inquiries and help riders get where they need to go.  She will also provide customers with updates as it relates to Metro's upcoming new farebox collection system. 

Courtney resides in Buffalo with her 16 year-old son, who is an extraordinary track runner.

Please join in congratulating Courtney on her new position.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

A "Tee" Reffic way to support a great cause

TPD Officers Brian Pernick (L) and Aaron Dinderski (R)
with Mercy Flight's Ashley Coder in front of one of
the newest life-saving helicopters
Members of our Transit Police Union recently held a charity golf tournament and raised $2500 for Mercy Flight Western New York. Both TPD and ARFF work closely with this life-saving organization and wanted to provide financial support.

The money will be used to help the continuing efforts of the independent, not-for-profit provider of emergency and non-emergency air and ground medical transport and supporting services; ensuring rapid, safe and cost-effective delivery of expert response teams.

Mercy flight has safely completed more than 26,000 patient missions over the last 36 years and serves all of Western New York, Northwestern Pennsylvania, and Canada.

Monday, October 1, 2018

The NFTA is getting its PINK on!

NFTA Exec. Dir. Kim Minkel with "oversized"
October Metro pass
On Monday, October 1, the NFTA held a media event outside its headquarters in downtown Buffalo to recognize its partnership with Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the initiative to turn Metro's October passes PINK in support of breast cancer awareness. This collaborative effort is to help acknowledge the importance of annual mammography for early detection of breast cancer.

Statistics indicate that one out of every eight American women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, which is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. There is no known prevention of breast cancer, but if it is found early and treated, there is an excellent chance for a cure. That is why it is so important for women to commit to regular breast cancer detection screenings.

"We are excited to partner with Roswell Park in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month,” said Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director, “it is our hope that by turning our Metro monthly passes pink and providing valuable and potentially life-saving information will remind our riders of the importance of annual breast cancer screenings.”

Ms. Minkel and Ms. Skimmer cut pink ribbon
to launch awareness campaign  
During the presentation, Ms. Minkel honored an NFTA employee and cancer survivor, Dawn Skimmer, who was diagnosed last November with invasive breast cancer.   Ms. Skimmer's cancer was luckily found in an early stage through mammography.   In the past year, she has undergone surgery, subsequent chemotherapy and radiation. She is extremely grateful, due to early detection, to be three months cancer free.

During the month of October, the NFTA is also supporting breast cancer awareness by turning the water in the two fountains outside the Buffalo Niagara International Airport pink using an LED system; the NFTA’s Transit Police patrol vehicle will be wrapped in pink and officers will proudly be exchanging their regular badges for pink versions for the month; the Buffalo Airport firefighting trucks will be adorned with pink decals; and the Fountain Plaza Metro Rail Station will be lit with pink LED lighting.

In further support of breast cancer awareness month and the many individuals affected by this disease, the NFTA is inviting riders to show their #GetYourPinkOn support on Metro bus and rail on Friday, October 5, and post selfies.

To receive more information about scheduling a mammogram, visit Roswell Park.