NFTA Transporter

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Welcome Eric Svenson, Service Planning's Newest Addition

Eric Svenson joins Metro as its new Senior Clerk A.  His position will involve transit data and scheduling support for Metro's Service Planning Division.

Eric's professional experience includes working at Guggenheim Partners as a Floor Administrator.  He has a Bachelor's Degree in Geography from The State University of New York College at Geneseo and a Master's Certificate in Geographic Information Systems from Hunter College in New York.

Eric is a recent newlywed, and he and his wife Tess reside in Buffalo.  In his spare time, Eric enjoys playing piano.  He credits his Grandmother Anne for his humble beginnings at age 9 when she began teaching him to play.  He then went on to take numerous lessons and today he generally performs for family and friends at special events. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

NFTA Police Brighten the Holidays for Needy Children

Pictured from left:  Officers Justin Glodowski, Dina Bigham,
Marissa Mauro and Lt. Michael Davies
Once again this Christmas, members of the NFTA Transit Police and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County teamed up to make the holidays a little brighter for four local, needy families comprising of 19 children. 
As a unit, members of the department collected over $3,000 by making a donation so they could grow beards over November and December.  In addition, Lake Shore Savings contributed an additional $1,000 toward the endeavor. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Counting on Barbara Boughton, NFTA's new Internal Auditor

Barbara Boughton joins NFTA as its new Internal Auditor. Prior to coming to the authority, Barbara spent much of her career working for the Buffalo News in various financial positions. After leaving the News, she worked at LocalEdge (formerly The Talking Phone Book).  Her most recent position was with Calamar where she worked for two years.

Barbara holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the State University at New York with academic background in Human Resources.

She currently resides in Lancaster with her youngest daughter Emily.  In her spare time, she enjoys vacationing in Florida, fishing and relaxing on the beach.  Barbara is also a former Board member of the YMCA, Lancaster branch and stays active within the community.

Please join in welcoming Barbara to NFTA!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Lieutenant Porter Recognized for his Service

NFTA Transit Police Chief George Gast, Exec. Director
Kim Minkel, Lt. Porter and his wife Christie

NFTA Police Lt. Jason Porter was recognized by the Western New York Chapter of ASIS International for his professionalism, leadership and dedication to duty at their recent 42 Annual Law Enforcement Luncheon at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens. 

Lt. Porter, a graduate of the 2010 FBI National Academy, has been a member of the NFTA Transit Police Department since 1998.  Over the past 18 years, Jason has demonstrated the ability to be a strong leader within the department.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Jason Abounader, Leading the Way

Jason Abounader is a recent graduate of the Public Transit Leaders Institute Training Program which is sponsored by the New York Public Transit Association.  Jason was one of seven transit individuals that were selected within the state to participate in the 2016 program.

During the year-long program, Jason was involved with various activities including participation in webinars on topics such as finance, budgeting, advocacy and board relations as well as networking with various transit professionals. In addition, Jason also had the opportunity to travel to various cities in an effort to learn more about state-wide public transit initiatives. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Jim Lavelle Promoted to HSEQ Manager, Safety & Security

Jim Lavelle has been promoted to Manager, Safety & Security in NFTA’s HSEQ branch.   In Jim’s new position he will be responsible for the overall management of NFTA and Metro’s safety programs and managing a variety of security projects focusing on anti-terrorism technologies and emergency response programs.  For the past three years in his role as Safety Programs Administrator, Jim has been actively involved with, and recognized for, various initiatives to reduce workplace injuries and minimize other corporate environmental safety concerns. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Metro Rail Celebrates 30 Years - November 10, 2016!

Executive Director, Kimberley Minkel (left) and NFTA staff
Metro Rail is 30!  Construction on the NFTA's 6.4 mile Metro light rail line along Main Street in downtown Buffalo began officially in 1979 and was completed in three stages. The surface portion opened on October 9, 1984, while the subway portion opened as far as Amherst Street Station on May 20, 1985. The line was further extended to University at Buffalo's South Campus Station which opened on November 10, 1986.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

NFTA Metro recognizes its Customer Service Representatives

National Customer Service Week was held from October 3–7, 2016. This special week-long celebration was created by the International Customer Service Association in 1984 in support of the mission to recognize and reward individuals who provide service to customers as the primary function of their job.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

William Vanecek appointed Chairman of Airports Council International, North America

Bill Vanecek has been appointed as the new Chairman of Airports Council International, North America. ACI-NA represents local, regional and state governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada. Its mission is to advocate policies and provide services that strengthen the ability of commercial airports to serve their passengers, customers and communities.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

James Morrell, a leading force at Metro

James Morrell, left - and his team.
Congratulations to James Morrell who is a recent graduate of the American Public Transportation Association’s Executive Leadership Class of 2016. James was one of 25 elite individuals selected to participate in the one-year program based on his professional commitment within his role as Metro’s Deputy Public Transit Director and for his overall dedication to the betterment of the public transportation industry.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Black Achiever 2016 Vivian Rodgers

Metro's Barb Thomas, Vivian Rodgers, EEO Dir. (Ret.) Linda Seay
Julie Phillipson and Commissioner Margo Downey
Congratulations to our 2016 Black Achiever Award recipient, Vivian Rodgers. Part of the NFTA's Equal Employment Opportunity / Diversity Development department since 2010, Vivian has been a consistent champion of fairness and an active advocate for the disadvantaged. These are just two of the reasons she was recognized by 1490 Enterprises Inc. for her contributions to the community.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Planning ahead, with Rachel Maloney Joyner

Rachel Maloney Joyner, transportation planner, finished her year-long seminar with the American Public Transportation Association’s Early Career Program. Rachel traveled around the country, learning about what works best for other transit agencies, and what techniques and practices might help Metro be the best.
Congratulations to Officers Clifford, Bogulski and Coggins on graduating from the K9 program at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. And welcome to our new K9 officers, Lyka (a Belgian Malinois), Harvey (a Labrador Retriever) and Thuson (a Lab/Dutch Sheppard mix.)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Practice Makes Perfect

Rescue Units at Ginger - a Fed Ex donated 727
The Buffalo Niagara International Airport held a Triennial Full Scale Exercise Saturday, Sept. 17. The exercise utilized the Airport’s training plane, more than 60 volunteers made up to look like trauma victims, and first responders from across the region.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Welcome, Crystal Edwards 

Caring for customers is everyone’s job, but Crystal Edwards is now in charge of it. Crystal joins the NFTA as our new Customer Relations Manager, bringing with her over 15 years of customer service experience. She comes to us from BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and US Off Track, where she held manager posts. Crystal has a M.A. degree in Organizational Leadership from Medaille College and a B.S. degree in Communication from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Plan on welcoming Chris Ruminski

Our new Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis, Christopher Ruminski comes to us from Lumsden & McCormick where he worked as an Audit Manager and Audit Principal. Christopher graduated from Canisius College with both a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, and obviously shows excellent taste in schools. A life-long Buffalonian, Chris is married with two lovely daughters below the age of two. We hope they let him catch a few Notre Dame games this season.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Give it up for NFTA Fans!

First pitch by Eric Hernandez,
son of Misael and Marcela Hernandez.
NFTA Family and Friends’ Night at the ballpark was held Tuesday, August 9. It was a balmy 85 degree night with over 7,700 attendees at Coca Cola Field. The event was a great opportunity for authority employees and their families to come together while the Buffalo Bisons faced the Indianopolis Indians, to which our home team prevailed (9-3).

Friday, August 5, 2016


Our new Chief Information Officer is Steven Duquette. Steven comes to us from Smart Focus where he was the VP of Systems Architecture. Previously, he worked for Lockheed Martin in various positions and locations. Steven graduated from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University with a Masters in Computer Science.

Steven is married and has chosen Western New York in which to raise a family. At Lockheed Martin Steven worked on training simulators, so he can fly an Apache helicopter, F-35 fighter jet and drive an M1 tank. That last one has got to help you live in Buffalo.

Welcoming Angela Gunther

Our new Manager of Recruitment comes to us from Clinical Support Services, Inc, where she served as the Human Resources Manager. Angela earned her MBA in Marketing and Management at St. Bonaventure University, and a BS from West Virginia University, College of Business and Economics.

Angela is married with three children under the age of nine but she still tries to follow the Bills, Sabres, Bonnies and Mountaineers. With three under nine, we can’t imagine she has time for much else.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Once again this year NFTA Transit Police Officers hosted an afternoon at a Buffalo Bisons baseball game for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County. Officers Mike Green, Dina Bigham, Justin Glodowski, Chuck Szymborski and Shawn Dalton chaperoned three youth who are currently awaiting a match with a Big Brother volunteer. The group enjoyed the game, some ballpark fare and interacting with the officers on a warm, sunny July afternoon. This is the third year the department has arranged this special outing.

Respecting Fellow Fallen Officer

On their way to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX for K-9 training; NFTA Police Officers Mike Bogulski and Casey Coggins took a detour to the offices of the DART police department to pay their respects regarding the death of Officer Brent Thompson, who was recently killed while on duty in Dallas. They presented DART Chief of Police J.D. Spiller with an NFTA police shield in memory of Officer Thompson, on behalf of the entire department.

Officers Bogulski and Coggins are attending the K-9 training academy and upon graduation, will be returning home with their new four-legged partners.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Meet the new Manager of EEO / Diversity Development

Stephanie J. Calhoun has joined the NFTA as Manager, EEO/Diversity Development. She comes to us from the New York State Attorney General’s Offices where she served as Assistant Attorney General. Stephanie also worked with the Erie County Department of Law in the EEO Department, giving her wide knowledge of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action issues, in addition to experience working with government agencies.

Monday, June 27, 2016

The NFTA takes the Corporate Challenge

The NFTA’s JP Morgan Corporate Challenge team put in a strong showing this year, with 32 athletes (and a few more back at the tent, making sure everything was either as warm or cold as it should be). Team captain Michael Moore was the top male with a 22 minutes 7 second time, while Emma Concannon was the top female with a 34 minutes 55 second time (she is the daughter of Carolyn Concannon, Administrative Assistant to the Director of Aviation). Nicely done.

An estimated total of 12,488 runners/walkers from 383 companies participated in the 3½ mile course beginning and ending in Delaware Park. The event raised funds for Say Yes Buffalo and Classroom Champions, both education-focused organizations. Congratulations to everyone.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Going Hollywood

JetBlue now flies nonstop, Buffalo to Los Angeles, everyday. This is the Buffalo Airport’s first nonstop to the West Coast.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

New recruits

The Transit Police swore in three new officers this week.  Welcome . . .

PO E. Justinger (Nephew of Cold Spring's Teresa Justinger)
PO A. Dinderski
PO C. Szymborski

They graduated from  the 127th Erie County Law Enforcement Academy and will now be on duty serving the traveling public.

Stay safe out there.

Monday, May 23, 2016

It gets wild at Cold Spring

Cold Spring Garage had an uninvited visitor last week. A deer wandered in. Bus Garage Superintendent John Dembik thought she might be responding to the 'Help Wanted' sign they put up out front. Here at the Transporter, we're pretty sure she stopped in to complain about service to Tift.  Thanks go out to Perry Wittmer, the 2nd shift supervisor, and his team, for getting the deer out safely.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Captain Garrity Receives Honor from Law Enforcement Foundation

Sam Palmiere, Captain Garrity and Chris Clark 
NFTA Police Captain Michael Garrity was recently honored for his many years of service to the law enforcement community by the Erie County Law Enforcement Foundation during their annual dinner at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens.