NFTA Transporter

Monday, December 30, 2013

BNIA Showcases Local High School Student Art

Travelers flying into or out of Buffalo Niagara International Airport will now be greeted by 10 original pieces of art, created by local Buffalo high school students from PS 192- The Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts.

Music Man Visits MTC

  Solmon Dixon at the piano
The concourse of our MTC now features its own piano for the playing and listening enjoyment of NFTA employees, visitors and customers using the facility.

On a recent afternoon, Solmon Dixon from Syracuse, NY, while waiting for a bus took advantage of the open invitation to “tickle the ivories,” and pounded out a few songs on the new addition, much to the listening delight of the people who were waiting for their bus in the concourse.

The vintage Brewster piano will remain on location and people are encouraged to take a seat and explore their creative side for the enjoyment of all.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Santa on the Route 34 Niagara Falls Blvd.

click for more photos
The one and only Santa Claus took some time out of his busy holiday schedule to visit with riders on the Metro Bus this past weekend.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fairgrounds Festival Brightening Holidays

NFTA Metro is once again a proud sponsor of the Annual Fairgrounds Festival of Lights in Hamburg. The festival is open weekend evenings through December 29 along with a special "Walk Around Wednesdays" on December 11 and 18 from 5-9 p.m.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

NFTA Detectives, Officers Honored

Captain Chris Chiodo, Det. Kevin Schilling,
Det. Craig Palladino, Agent Brian P. Boetig
Several members of the NFTA Transit Police Department received special recognition last week from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their outstanding work and cooperation in helping to maintain security at the Buffalo and Niagara Falls airports.

Monday, December 9, 2013

‘Tis the Season

click to view more
Thur., December 5, a group of talented young ladies from Mount Mercy Academy of Buffalo, along with their Musical Director Fred Kiristis helped kick off the 6th Annual NFTA Metro "Holiday Sounds of the Season" performance series inside our downtown transportation center.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wojnar Promoted to Captain at the BNIA

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Mark A. Wojnar has been promoted to the rank of captain at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport’s Aircraft Rescue Firefighting Department.

Mark has been a member of the BNIA’s firefighting unit for three years and has over 21 years in the fire service. He brings multiple nationally recognized fire service certifications, as well as command experience to the team.

Originally from Buffalo, Mark started as a volunteer firefighter and later moved to Florida, where he was a career firefighter for seven years. He moved back to his hometown and accepted a position at the airport in 2010.  Captain Wojnar is a resident of Buffalo.

Congratulations to Mark from everyone at the NFTA on his well deserved promotion.

Firefighter Honored

Tim Finnegan and Chief Gast
On November 26, Fire Fighter Tim Finnegan of NFTA’s Aircraft Rescue and Fire Department was presented a Certificate of Appreciation by Chief Gast for his assistance in treating a stab victim on March 21 in the transit center terminal at 181 Ellicott Street.

Monday, December 2, 2013

TSA Pre-Check Eases Check-In at BNIA

Metro's Steven Schnepf interviews passengers
For some passengers at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, taking off shoes and jackets at check-in could now be a thing of the past. The Transportation Security Administration has expanded its popular Pre-Check operations to include select travelers flying out of the BNIA.

Bus Simulator Helps Improve Rider Accessibility

Metro has rolled out a new "moving billboard" bus advertisement depicting several people enjoying a ride inside a Metro bus. You might be surprised to learn that the bus used in the ad is not really a bus at all. It’s actually a unique bus simulation device, and it is used for more than just photo shoots.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Darnell Barton honored by Board of Commissioners

Metro bus operator Darnell Barton was honored at the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s Board of Commissioners meeting November 21 for his assistance in saving a woman’s life October 18. Also in attendance at the meeting was his wife, Petrina, their two daughters, Courtney and Danielle, his mother, Cynthia, sister-in-law, Shamika, and his niece Amari.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Poloncarz proclaims "Darnell Barton Day" in Erie County

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined today by Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Metro Bus Operator Darnell Barton to proclaim “Darnell Barton Day” in Erie County.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sabretooth Rides the Metro Rail

click for more photos
It turns out that Sabretooth rides the Metro Rail to work sometimes, too! The Buffalo Sabres furry mascot was spotted Tuesday evening at the University Rail Station where he met with Sabres fans and other passengers ahead of the team's home game versus the St. Louis Blues.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

United Way Bake Sale Raises Over $450

Gary Davison, from Graphics, in the middle of things
NFTA employees demonstrated their love of both a good cause and a good dessert at the United Way Bake Sale held Tuesday at the MTC.

Tim Horton's Opens To Brisk Business

The new Tim Horton's inside the NFTA's Metropolitan Transportation Center has been open for a little over a week now. And -- in homage to the company's famous advertising campaign -- the rrrestaurant appears to be a rrraging success!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

BNIA Going to the Dogs

click for more photos
Announced at a press conference held at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport Thursday, November 7, passengers at the airport will now have the opportunity to relax and visit with man's best friend thanks to Paws for Love, a program of the SPCA serving Erie County.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Our first Chief Information Officer

John Oborn has joined the authority as its first ever Chief Information Officer. He has over 25 years leading both business and IT organizations. John is the co-founder and principal of Live Oak Partners in Oklahoma, which previously focused on executive management consulting and now serves as a research and advisory partner with multiple leadership groups primarily serving Information Technology executives.

Say good morning to Kara

As many of you might have noticed, there is a new face at the receptionist desk at 181 Ellicott. Kara Jeziorski comes to us from Chelus, Herdzik, Speyer & Monte PC where she was a Real Estate and Litigation Paralegal. She has Bachelor degrees in both Psychology and Criminal Justice with Minors in Public Health and Sociology from The State University of New York at Fredonia. Prior to working at the law firm, she was an intern at Dunkirk Drug Court where she assisted the case manager with youthful offender matters.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The honors for Darnell continue

 Darnell and his family with the Eire County Legislature
Frontier Operator Darnell Barton was honored three more times this week for saving a young woman’s life.

Monday, November 4, 2013

A thank you from Darnell

Darnell Barton would like everyone to know that he and his family are very thankful for the outpouring of love and generosity that has come his way since the story of his heroic actions on October 18 become public.

He would like to convey, “That the past two weeks have been the most exciting chapter in this journey that is my life. I appreciate all of the kind words and gestures extended to me and my family. To avoid any confusion, please know that I don’t have any social media pages, as such, an official e-mail account has been established at”

In addition, correspondences can be mailed to his attention at 3500 Main Street, Suite 130-141, Amherst, NY 14226.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Darnell Barton Story Goes International

WIVB's George Richert with Darnell Barton
Frontier Operator Darnell Barton's story of thoughtful and heroic actions (covered here below)  has taken off. After its initial local coverage, news outlets around the country - and around the world - have picked it up. We've collected a list of them and will try to keep it up-to-date as additional stories come on line.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Help Plan Buffalo-Niagara's Future

Have you ever had a great idea about how to make the Buffalo Niagara Region a better place to live and work? A local consortium of private and public sector organizations is working to improve the area’s future and hoping to hear from you.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Operator Saves Woman

Friday, Oct. 18, Operator Darnell Barton, Frontier Station, drove the 20 Elmwood when he saw a young lady perched outside the railing over the Scajaquada Expressway.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Eating right during the holidays

Join us for the Holiday Nutrition Seminar, Wed. Nov. 6, noon 'till one, in the Board Room at 181 Ellicott.

The holidays are centered on food, celebration and fun. We will share healthier versions of some of the traditional dishes we all enjoy during the holiday season as well as other healthy holiday dishes to serve if you are entertaining. Call EAP (854-1775) to sign up, before Nov. 5. A light lunch will be provided.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Corey Hacker inducted into the Pop Warner Hall of Fame

Corey Hacker from Public Affairs was honored by the Springville-Griffith Institute this fall with induction into the Pop Warner Hall of Fame. Corey was recognized for athletic achievement. Corey was a member of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team from 1995 to 2003. During that time, Hacker competed in many World Cup competitions around the globe. He was crowned the 1998 Nor-Am Grand Prix Champion. In 2001, he was a member of the World Championship Team, where he placed fifth.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Things heat up at the BNIA

It's always great to hear about innovations that save money and the environment. That's why NFTA Facility Maintenance Department Manager Rick Russo is eager to tout the success of the Heat Recovery System at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

Art and Music on Metro

Sugar City, an active and innovative producer of local art and music events, teamed up with the NFTA on Saturday, October 12 for Ride the Metro Round and Round; an unprecedented artistic event taking place along Metro’s 6.4 mile track.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Airport Drill

The Buffalo Niagara International Airport Rescue Fire Fighting Unit conducted its triennial training exercise on September 21. The drill is required every three years by the Federal Aviation Administration. The intent of the comprehensive crisis management exercise is to provide an opportunity to test the collaborative efforts of first responders including local, state and federal law enforcement and emergency response agencies.

The NFTA's Black Achiever for 2013

The Transporter is proud to announce that Vehicle Maintenance Supervisor James Jones Jr. is the recipient of the NFTA's Black Achievers Award for 2013. James learned the value of persistence and determination at an early age while working his first part-time job as a shoe salesman for the Hanover Shoe Company. The experience taught him that success is not something handed to you -- it comes only from setting goals and working hard to see them through.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Flex spending sign up approaches

The Flex 125 Program allows you to set aside a portion of your pay (up to certain specified limits) before your money is taxed. Flex money can also be used for healthcare, like medical, dental, vision expenses or dependent care expenses, like day care or a daytime babysitter.

All you have to do is decide how much you migh spend on dependent care or health care. Payroll will automatically take it out of your check before taxes.

In order to participate in the Plan for 2014 you must enroll during the period between Oct. 18 and Nov. 15. Contact the Human Resources Department to obtain additional information and an enrollment form.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

NFTA Officers honored

A ceremony was recently held at Canisius College to honor those who apprehended a suspect in a robbery at the M&T bank at Jefferson and Delevan Avenues on September 4. Chief George Gast presented commendations to the following officers of Canisius College Public Safety; Brian S. McIntyre, Andrew M. Nowak, Matthew Srodawa, and Amanda Summers. Gary Everett, Director of Public Safety at Canisius, presented recognitions to NFTA Officers Joseph Ippolito and Vincent Mancino.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Terminals A and B sold

The NFTA Board of Commissioners have approved the sale of waterfront land and property around and including terminals A and B to Gracious Living Corporation, a manufacturer and distributor of outdoor furniture and housewares out of Toronto.

ARF’s new chief

Edward J. McDonald is our new Chief of the Buffalo Niagara International Airport’s Aircraft Rescue Firefighting unit. He comes to us with outstanding experience, having served as Chief of the Fire Emergency Services for the 914th Airlift Wing at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. He’s worked in aircraft rescue and firefighting for 37 years.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Open House at Cold Spring

The NFTA is currently seeking qualified mechanics and technicians looking for steady employment, good starting pay - with guaranteed increases – and a comprehensive benefit package.  An open house Sat. Sep. 28, 9 am to noon will give everyone a chance to see our safe, clean shop.  A comprehensive skills test will be administered for interested applicants.  Applications are also available at

Open House Sat. Sep. 28, 9 am to noon
Cold Spring Bus Maintenance Office
1581 Michigan Ave., 2nd floor

NFTA at the Sustainability Fair

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority showed off its green side this past week at the 5th Annual UB Sustainable Living Fair held at the University at Buffalo's North Campus.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Frontier Station Raises Over $500 for Light the Night Walk

The Light the Night campaign is in full swing, and nowhere is that more evident than at the NFTA's Frontier Station. Station Clerk Henry Beaman (pictured) and his colleagues have been selling individual sponsorships and have raised over $500 dollars so far the annual fundraising event for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Friday, September 6, 2013

NFTA Outer Harbor properties to the state

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo presented his visionary plan for a dramatic transformation of Buffalo’s waterfront at a press event Thursday, Sept. 5. The first component of the plan calls for the transfer of up to roughly 340 acres of land on the Outer Harbor from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to the state.

NFTA traffic reports move to Channel 2

Dave Masi, center, with the Daybreak team
The NFTA’s traffic and transit reports will be seen on WGRZ-TV starting Mon. Sept. 9. NFTA “Traffic Tracker 2” information will be broadcast during Daybreak in the morning and First at Five in the evening.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Flu shots to be offered on site

As a part of the EAP’s on-going Wellness Program, Independent Nursing Care will be providing shots at the locations and times listed below. Employees can go to any of the sites. Please have your insurance card with you. Flu shots are $25 if you do not have coverage, flu mist is $35.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Special Service Awards

Last week Transit Police Chief George Gast, and Director of Surface Transportation Tom George, presented special service awards to two Metro Bus operators for outstanding devotion to our community.

Day of Caring 2013

A whole mess of people from the NFTA helped clean up at the Riverside Boys and Girls Club as part of this year's 21st Annual United Way Day of Caring.  Thank you to Cynthia Harris, Gary Tamol, Sinclair Fabor, Samuel Nevilles, Steve Harkiewicz, Teresa Justinger, William Moran, Donna Danner, Mary Schreiner, Thomas Danner, Corey Hacker (not picutred: Kendall Rush and Annmarie Kelley) for taking the time to help make this community a better place.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Welcome Brigette Whitmore

Brigette Whitmore joins NFTA’s legal team as Associate Counsel where she will be working under the direction of the General Counsel. Brigette is originally from Batavia but attended law school on a scholarship at the esteemed Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan. She moved back to the Western New York area in summer of 2011 and passed the BAR exam in February 2012. Her professional experience includes working at the Erie County Attorney’s Office as well as the New York State Attorney General’s Office.

Airport partners honored

The Buffalo Niagara International Airport’s Noise Compatibility Program has been a resounding success. So much so, that two officials from the Federal Aviation Administration instrumental in getting the program off the ground have been recognized with a Best Practices award.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A dog day of summer

NFTA Police Chief George Gast and members of the Authority’s K-9 teams were guests at a dedication ceremony, Tue. Aug. 13, in Buffalo’s Black Rock Canal Park. The event unveiled a stone monument honoring dogs that have served, or are serving, in law enforcement across Erie County. It is great to see recognition for those working to keep our community safe – especially those that can’t speak for themselves.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Our Tough Mudders

In order to raise money for the Wounded Warriors Foundation, on July 27, ten BNIA firefighters and their family members competed in the first Western New York hosted Tough Mudder challenge in Andover, New York. The layout of the obstacle course was originally designed by Special Forces to test individuals' all around strength, stamina and grit.

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Taste of Metro

NFTA-Metro's very own James Morrell, Manager of Planning, and Rich McDermott, Manager of Operations, have a longstanding history of contributing to the Taste of Buffalo's remarkable success. James, the longest tenured logistics committee member, assists the team with schedules, and develops, implements and ultimately takes down the entire event. James plays a crucial role in ensuring that vendors, tents, carts, water, radio system and a variety of other factors are in place for this weekend-long event. James stated, "I am very pleased that the logistics committee was able to assist in making the 2013 Taste of Buffalo another successful event."

Business First honors Christine Farrow

Christine Farrow, NFTA's Superintendant of Special Services, who recently celebrated her sixth anniversary at NFTA, has been named one of Business First's Forty Under 40 honorees for 2013. This prestigious award recognizes young professionals' outstanding career achievements and devotion to community involvement. Christine was nominated by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County.  The 22nd annual award ceremony will be held on November 7 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

William L. Holcomb Award

Louis Giardina, NFTA’s Labor Relations Manager, recently received the William L. Holcomb Award from the New York State Public Employer Labor Relations Association.

Named after one of the association's founders, this annual award recognizes individuals displaying exemplary leadership, service, innovativeness and effectiveness throughout the course of one's public sector labor relations career within New York State.

Louis' venerable career within the public sector labor relations sphere has spanned over twenty years. His past experience includes positions with the Erie County Sheriff's Department and City of Buffalo. For the past seven years, Louis has been a respected member of the NFTA family and has effectively assisted the organization on many labor relations matters. Congratulations Lou on this outstanding achievement!

A Makeover at Cold Spring Station

A dedicated team of Cold Spring Station employees is nearing completion of a unique bus refurbishment project under the direction of David Rugg, Bus Maintenance/Equipment Manager. Four, 30-foot fuel efficient buses have been undergoing a cosmetic makeover, including full coats of green paint accompanied with gold decals designed to emulate the look of the 40-foot trolley buses currently used on Route 55T in Niagara Falls. Metro’s trolley buses have a distinctive look and appeal to riders. The overhaul was a way to add additional trolleys back into our current fleet while keeping authority costs down by not having to purchase new vehicles.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

NFTA’s Family Night at the Ballpark

NFTA’s Family Night at the ballpark Thursday, July 18, had all the essential ingredients for a relaxing night of entertainment including a balmy 85 degree evening. The event was the perfect opportunity for authority employees and their families to come together while the Buffalo Bisons faced the Toledo Mud Hens at Coca-Cola Field.