NFTA Transporter

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sounds of the Season

Thank you to Saint Mary of the Lake, Akron High School, Cardinal O’ Hara High School, Holy Angels Academy, Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, Ambrose Catholic Academy, and Lake Shore High for participating in this years NFTA-Metro Sounds of the Season.

Doug Hartmayer listens to his alma mater

NFTA Spokesman Douglas Hartmayer enjoyed Cardinal O’ Hara High School brass band performance as part of Metro’s Sounds of the Season concert series in the Metropolitan Transportation Center.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Niagara Falls Family Wins Trip to Tampa

The Leo family of Niagara Falls, NY received an early Christmas present at the Niagara Falls International Airport Thursday evening, a free trip to Tampa, Fla. courtesy of Allegiant, the airport’s newest carrier.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Message from the Executive Director

Dear NFTA family:

It’s the time of year to pause and reflect, to be thankful and plan for the year to come. In that spirit I want to thank everyone here at the NFTA for the dedication and hard work we’ve seen throughout 2011. It’s been a year of challenges and change, but the strength I’ve seen across the Authority continues to be inspiring. My personal New Year’s resolution is to work at the high level you all have set. This is also a time for hope, so let me wish you and your family a very safe, and a very happy holiday season.


Kimberley A. Minkel

Executive Director

Sounds of the Season

Thank you to Saint Mary of the Lake in Hamburg for
participating in NFTA's Sounds of the Season
on December 14 at the MTC bus terminal.
What a great job. For the rest of our Sounds of the Season schedule . . .

Friday, December 9, 2011

New Niagara Falls to Orlando Service

Allegiant has started selling tickets for new, nonstop jet service between Niagara Falls and Orlando, Fla., via Orlando Sanford International Airport. Flights begin Feb. 15, 2012. Allegiant came to Niagara Falls in September and their first flight – to Tampa – doesn’t even take off until Dec. 15. As a result of such a positive response to the Tampa flights, they decided to expand.

Major ARFF Training Development

Captain Bill Major has been selected as the vice chair of the newly established North East Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Training Officers Consortium. This group includes two Federal Aviation Administration regions, covering 14 states.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Four alerts in four days

This week, the Buffalo Airport’s aircraft rescue and firefighting team responded to four alerts in four days. There is nothing suspicious or linking the events, the numbers are just odd.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Santa Takes the 55T

55T Metro trolley bus operates weekends through the end of the year. To kick-off the seasonal service, Santa Claus himself rode the 55T trolley last Friday. Santa and his helpers gave out candy canes and smiles to all the good little passengers.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NFTA helps land a $2 million HUD grant

Buffalo Niagara is one of 27 communities, out of 468 applicants, to receive a Sustainable Communities award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grant will be used to connect housing, schools and jobs.

United Way Basket Winners

Congratulations to this year's winners, and to everyone who participated.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Officer Michael Insalaco

NFTA Transit Police Officer Michael Insalaco died yesterday afternoon from injuries suffered in a one-car crash this past Sunday. Fellow officers of the 100-member NFTA force have kept vigil at the hospital since the crash.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Officer Ed Carney is off and running

Transit Police Officer Edward Carney will run in this year's New York City Marathon, Sunday, Nov. 6, on behalf of the Spina Bifida Association.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The NFTA's Black Achiever for 2011

This year, the Authority celebrates Sr. Maintenance Technician Michael Mingo as a 2011 Black Achiever.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Putting the Boat Harbor to bed

The NFTA Boat Harbor bids good-bye to another successful season: Slip sales and daily launchers were both up almost four percent for 2011. Overall revenue increased a whopping 12 percent.
This past season saw a number or returning events, like the Bassmaster Weekend Series, which shipped in competitive anglers from all over the country. It also debuted a lot of new attractions, like the Queen City Ferry - a water taxi operating between the inner and outer harbors, and the colorful Adirondack chair collection, for sitting back and watching the water, proving you don't need a boat to enjoy the Boat Harbor.

We'll see you in May.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Honor Flight

Another Honor Flight took off from the Buffalo Niagara International Airport Saturday, Oct. 22. This was the sixth flight out of Buffalo since the program began. Honor Flight takes veterans of World War II to Washington DC, to visit our national monuments dedicated to their honor. The program does not charge the veterans for any part of the trip.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sunny Side of Metro

The New York Solar Energy Industry Association has named Metro’s Frontier Garage “best photovoltaic solar project for New York state government in 2010.” The 6,000 Degrees award recognizes the best in solar energy across the state.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Executive Director Addresses Metro Fare Structure

Dear Community:

There has been a great deal of information in the press recently about the possibility of Metro adjusting fares and reducing service on routes that have extremely low ridership.

I'd like to take this opportunity to help set the record straight and present some relevant facts that are driving these difficult considerations.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

On the field

Sun. Oct. 9, Ralph Wilson Stadium will be seeing a lot more pom poms than usual. 340, actually. And pink. At the Buffalo Bills “Billieve” game approximately 170 current and former Buffalo Jills will perform prior to kick-off and hold a ribbon ceremony to support breast cancer awareness. The squad will, for the first time ever, span six decades. In the middle of it all, is Metro’s very own Lisa Piecki.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Over One Thousand Dollars Raised for the United Way

The last United Way cookout was held today at Metro’s Cold Spring facility and drew a steady stream of hungry customers.

Cold Spring’s net sales were $216, bringing our grand total for the United Way to $1,291!!

Thank you to everyone who supported the various seven cookouts. You are the reason we were successful. Special kudos to Karen Novo and Annmarie Kelley for making all of the arrangements and to executive director Kim Minkel for a great job on the grill! The hot dogs were cooked to perfection.

Niagara Falls Airport Lands New Florida Service

Low-cost air carrier Allegiant came to the Niagara Falls International Airport to announce that commencing December 15 they will offer nonstop flights between Niagara Falls and Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla. The flights will depart Thursdays and Sundays.
“We are pleased to bring an affordable and convenient way for the Niagara and southern Ontario areas to travel to Tampa Bay,” said Andrew Levy, president.
“This is a case of building something and they will come,” said Henry M. Sloma, Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority interim chairman. “The broader range of services we provide, the better it will be for the entire community."

Veterans of the Greatest Generation Travel to D.C

The fifth Honor Flight to depart the Buffalo Niagara International Airport left Saturday, Sept. 17 with 26 World War II veterans and their guardians onboard to visit the service memorials in Washington D.C.

Honor Flight Buffalo, one many national chapters, raises funds through donations in order to provide veterans with a free plane trip to our nation’s capital where they tour the various service monuments, especially the World War II memorial.

The local organization is spearheaded by the tireless efforts of sisters Jo Anne and Lisa Wylie, who started the Buffalo chapter in honor of their dad, a World War II veteran.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Have a shot

A flu shot. It’s that time of year. The NFTA’s Employee Assistance Program is serving up painless vaccinations at various locations across the authority. They are quick, free and you can barely feel them. Today, at the MTC downtown, they doled out about 70 doses, with the assistance of Independent Nursing Care of Buffalo.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Local hero

Rob Siegel was driving home at 2:20 a.m. the morning of July 20 after working his shift as a Helper at Frontier Station, where he’s worked since Nov. 2010 when he saw a house on fire on Farady Rd. in the Town of Tonawanda and an adjoining home starting to catch fire as well.

Bright Sunshine and Warm Breezes

Today's bright sunshine and warm breezes brought out the hungry employees at the BNIA to enjoy a hot dog or two, grilled by executive director Kim Minkel. As a result of today's support we raised $250, helping us top the one thousand dollar mark with $1,181 now in hand for the United Way. Next and last stop is at our Cold Spring facility Wednesday, Sept. 21, from noon - 1:30 p.m.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Buffalo Airport Fire Department Turns Thirty

Buffalo Airport Fire Department Turns Thirty
The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority commemorated the 30th Anniversary of the Aircraft Rescue Firefighting unit at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport Sept. 7 recognizing active and retired firefighters at the BNIA firehouse.

The BNIA ARFF unit got its start in March 1981, when it was created as the Public Safety department by the NFTA board of commissioners to handle both safety and security functions at the then Greater Buffalo International Airport.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Babcock Cookout

Babcock Station and Garage hosted today’s United Way Cook Out. While it wasn’t the prettiest day for picnic, the hot dogs were cooked to perfection by what’s getting to be a team of professionals. Babcock appreciated it. They raised $111 for the folks at United Way. Well done. (The donations and the dogs.)

Next week the cook out crew takes off to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hot Dogs For Sale

The South Park Rail Maintenance facility was the setting for the latest stop of the United Way Cook Out Tour. Everyone had a good time as they enjoyed Wardynski hot dogs, snacks and beverages under sunny skies along the DL & W river walk.

The day’s proceeds of $240 boosts our running total to $820 for the United Way. With three more stops, the next being Babock Station September 8, we are well on our way to surpassing $1,000.

Thanks to everyone who has supported the program to date.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Waterfront Fun

Our latest cookout to benefit the United Way at the Small Boat Harbor was greeted with smiles and hungry staff. NFTA personnel skillfully grilled the Wardynski hot dogs to everyone’s delight. The day netted $74.89, raising our running total for the United Way to $580.39

Thursday, Sept. 1 it’s on to the South Park Rail Station. ALL ARE WELCOME!!!!! Come join our friendly folks at South Park Rail/Maintenance for a hot dog lunch from noon to 1:30 p.m. at 164 Ohio Street.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cookin’ for the United Way

Yesterday’s hot dog roast at Metro’s Frontier facility to support the United Way was another success. A $5 donation to the United Way got you a hot dog, soda and snack, plus Executive Director Kim Minkel, CFO Deborah Leous, Linda Seay, Director, EEO/Diversity along with additional volunteers from the NFTA Management Team did the serving.

The event raised $237.50 and when added to the MTC event brings our running total to $505.50 . . . all going to the United Way. Next up is the NFTA Boat Harbor, Wednesday, August 31, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Joe Miller, ACE Designation

Airport ACE doesn’t always mean a deadly fighter pilot. Joe Miller, airfield electrician for the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, recently earned the Airport Certified Employee Airfield Lighting Maintenance title.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Charcoal Broiled Fun

Last week’s hot dog roast to support the United Way was a big success. Held on the 2nd floor of the MTC, NFTA employees donated $5 to the cause, and lunched on hot dogs grilled by Executive Director Kim Minkel, Chief Financial Officer Deborah Leous and HSEQ Director Frank Cefalu. Each could have a second career at Ted’s. The dogs were perfect.

The event raised $268 and gave everyone in the building, and OCC, the chance to mingle for a bit. Don’t miss your opportunity. Next up is Frontier Station, Thursday, Aug. 25. For a complete schedule, click here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Day of Caring

A number of NFTA employees from across the company participated in the United Way’s annual Day of Caring on Wednesday, August 17. This was the 19th year of the event that sends teams of volunteers out into the community tackling a variety of challenges for people and organizations in need.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Have a seat, enjoy the view

Chris Todorov and his crew at the NFTA Boat Harbor have added something new to the marina's landscape. Very colorful and comfortable Adirondack chairs are now positioned along the lakefront, providing people with a great way to enjoy the summer breezes and the beautiful sunsets Lake Erie has to offer.

All aboard with Mike Esford

Michael Esford has been named Manager of Metro Rail. Esford has been with the Authority since 1985.

Director of Surface Transportation Thomas George said, "Mike has demonstrated his ability to provide leadership and guidance for Metro Rail as the Acting Manager for the last eight months, and throughout his tenure with the NFTA. It is a well deserved appointment and helps us continue to provide safe and reliable service to our customers.”

Honor Flight

The Buffalo Niagara International Airport recently welcomed a very special set of passengers. Honor Flight, a non-profit organization created to pay tribute to America’s veterans, chartered a plane specifically for heroes from Western New York. In conjunction with SouthWest Airlines, Honor Flight took a plane full of veterans to Washington, DC to visit the WWII Memorial. Honorees were flown back the same day, all without any cost to the veterans.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Meet the new boss

By unanimous decision of the NFTA’s Board of Commissioners Kimberley A. Minkel became Executive Director this past December. After half a year in the new position, the Transporter decided to check in with her and see how things were going.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chase Corporate Challenge

This year’s NFTA Chase Corporate Challenge team was one of the largest in the last 10 years, with 41 athletes from across the Authority. It’s also the first time we’ve had an Executive Director participating. When it comes to health, Kim Minkel doesn’t just talk the talk. She walks the 3.5 mile walk. Although everyone had a great time, Michael Moore put in the best time. Congratulations to everyone.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Local High School Students Take a Stand

The ninth grade students at the Tapestry Charter High School in North Buffalo wanted to effect change, and to make their point they used their collective voices and the power of the pen. The students wanted to stress to the NFTA that the school requires service from a special Delaware Metro bus to better serve their transportation needs in getting to and from school.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cold Spring’s Franklin Fowler in the News

. . . The Buffalo News, that is. Cold Spring technician Franklin Fowler was interviewed by Mark Sommer, and photographed by Mark Mulville, on July 20, for an article in the Buffalo News. Franklin talked about staying cool in the garages, which can be challenging. There’s no air conditioning in the huge facilities, sometimes you’re in a pit that reduces air -low and bent over diesel engines still warm from running. Still, it didn’t bother him much.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Transit Police Awards

On June 15, the NFTA hosted an awards ceremony for the Transit Authority Police Department.  Chief of Police George W. Gast acknowledged the officers who, over the past year, excelled in protecting the traveling public.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Cefalu named new director of HSEQ at NFTA

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Frank J. Cefalu has been named the authority's new Director of Health, Safety and Environmental Quality.

With over 20-years experience in safety and environmental initiatives, Cefalu will help promote and further enhance the organizational safety and environmental performance levels throughout the organization, which continues to remain a high priority for the NFTA.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Meet the new general counsel

Welcome to our new General Counsel, David J. State, who started this past April. A former assistant state attorney general, David was an administrative law judge with the New York State Office of Temporary Disability and a JAG Officer (Major) for the Trial Counsel, 42nd Infantry Division. An Iraq veteran, he served from May 2004 to Jan. 2006.

Boat Harbor harbors something new

The NFTA Boat Harbor is open for another successful year. Slip rentals are up, the new dock organization is a hit and the place looks better than ever. The harbor is also offering two new features this year. Personal watercraft slips are now available, so people can stow their Jet Skis rather than trailer and unload them every time they want a ride.

The sustainable airport

The Buffalo Niagara International Airport has become one of the only airports in North American developing a sustainable master plan. In concert with Erie Community College, the airport is working towards an efficient, effective community asset that is also a good neighbor.

Snow Symposium: They come here to learn from the best

The Buffalo Niagara International Airport has won the Balchen/Post Award for the sixth time. Presented at the annual Snow Symposium, the award is given to airport snow-control teams that have demonstrated determination and excellence in keeping their respective airport runways open and safe during winter storms. The BNIA took home the honors for medium-sized airports.
Buffalo hosted the 45th Annual Snow Symposium in April. More than 350 airport professionals, responsible for runway operations from around the world, attended.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Metro's new boss

Thomas George is the new director of surface transportation, as of this past April. A licensed engineer, Tom has been involved in transportation issues around this region for the last decade.

For the last eight years George has been the Executive Director of the Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition, the agency responsible for monitoring roadways around Western New York and Southern Ontario. It is the only bi-national organization of its kind.

Airport Hospitality Ambassadors to be Honored for Volunteerism

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that the hospitality ambassadors at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport will celebrate their 11th anniversary Tuesday, March 15 during an 11:30 a.m. luncheon at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Historical Site, 641 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY.

More service from the NFIA

Direct Air has added another destination from Niagara Falls International Airport: nonstop jet service to the Orlando West, region of Florida. It has also added two new Caribbean destinations beginning November 17. Three nonstop flights will depart each for San Juan, Puerto Rico and Nassau, Bahamas.

Brunette Named NFTA Deputy General Counsel

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Ms.Vicky-Marie J. Brunette has been named the NFTA's Deputy General Counsel. Brunette, 44, started with the authority in 1994.

In making the announcement, NFTA General Counsel David J. State said, "In addition to handling her current litigation caseload, Brunette will perform General Counsel duties in my absence and play a significant role in implementing compliance initiatives being developed by the authority. This restructuring of the General Counsel's office will improve our ability to serve the authority and the public and I congratulate Vicky on her appointment."