NFTA Transporter

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Getting Ready for the 10th Annual Sounds of the Season

Akron High School's Santa Marching Band
Yes, it's true, NFTA's Sounds of the Season. Program is coming back to the downtown bus terminal at 181 Ellicott Street for the holiday season.

In addition to he hustle and bustle of busy travelers, there will be lots of festive music performed by the very talented students from local high schools.

So that you can catch a performance, be sure to check out the list with dates and time below:


           Fri. Dec. 15          Akron High Santa Marching Band, 8:15 a.m.
                                         Mt. Mercy Magic Bells, Noon
           Mon. Dec. 18       Middle Early College, 11 a.m.
                                         Hutch Tech, Noon
           Tues. Dec. 19       West Hertel, 1 a.m.
                                         Discovery School, Noon
           Weds. Dec. 20      Hutch Tech, 11 a.m.
                                         Buff. Acad Vis/Perf Arts, Noon
           Thurs. Dec. 21     Olmsted, 11 a.m.
                                         Visit from Santa, 11:45 a.m.
                                         Buff. Acad Vis/Perf Arts, Noon
           Fri. Dec. 22          Olmsted, 11 a.m.
                                         Southside Elem., Noon

Dec. 19 - Metro Rail is also hosting its Winter at the North Pole which will include visits from Santa, a Toy Shop and a Reindeer Barn.  There will be two events as follows:  University Station from 10 a.m. through Noon with sounds from Hutch Tech at 9:45 a.m, and at Utica Station from 2-3 p.m. with music of BAVPA at 2:15 p.m.

Most performances listed above will be 45 minutes in length, however, may be subject to change.  Everyone is welcome to come and help us spread some holiday cheer - hope to see you.
Ho Ho Ho!

John DePaolo - Brewmaster for 3rd Annual Santas of Swig

NFTA's Sheila Keane (2nd in on left)  Wayne Gradyl,
Steve Hobbs, John DePaolo, Mike LaGraves (with wife Sue) 
On Sat. Dec. 2, the 3rd Annual Santas of Swig was held at Buffalo Iron Works in downtown Buffalo.  The annual event is a homebrewed fundraiser to benefit the Matt Urban Hope Center.

Entry included a donation to the cause and guaranteed everyone an opportunity to vote for the best brewed beer. A basket raffle was also held throughout the day.  The event proved to be a great success and raised approximately $2900.

John brewed up a well-received Brown Ale, and he was excited to share it with the crowd as well as his fellow NFTA supporters. 

Looking forward to next year! 


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

NFTA TAPD Sponsor No-Shave Holiday Drive

TAPD Lt. Davies and Officer Bielanin
sporting their facial growth :)
It's that time of year -- the holidays are upon us and the spirit of giving is in the air!  And, in this case some members of the NFTA's Transit Police are "giving it up" -- shaving that is, to support the many families of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Erie County.

During November and December, our TAPD officers have been holding their version of a No-Shave campaign in an effort to bring awareness to those less fortunate, especially this time of year.  All money raised will be used to buy gifts for families of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Erie County.

The officers have also been managing an authority-wide collection among NFTA employees. If you would like to contribute to this great cause and help those in need, please provide checks written to Big Brothers and Big Sisters, cash or gift cards for Target, Walmart or Toys R Us to the TAPD office in the downtown bus terminal or to the main office at 1404 Main Street through December 10.  Our busy Officer Elves and their magical "sleigh" will be out delivering all of the gifts purchased with the funds raised through this drive on December 20 - just in time for Christmas. 

Big Brothers Big Sisters is the largest provider of youth mentoring services in the United States. In Erie County, they have been matching caring adults with local children for more than 40 years and have impacted the lives of over 9,500 youth.

As one of the lead organizers, Lieutenant Mike Davies said, "I feel so fortunate to help with this charitable drive.  There is no better feeling than to see the smiles on the faces of the children and their families when they are opening up gifts that they wished for but never expected to receive.  It is a humbling experience, and I am truly grateful to everyone who helps out with this great effort each year!"

Monday, December 4, 2017

Metro Operators Have a New Look

Current NFTA Metro Instructors
showcasing new uniform pieces
Many of Metro Bus and Rail Instructors as well as Operators are sporting new "threads" these days. 

Metro serves approximately 28 million passengers per year, and that means a lot of miles on the road.  Metro personnel are out and about everywhere and dealing with various  unexpected situations that may expose them to busy roadways and inclement weather are common.

In order to continue to keep the hard working men and women working within Metro and their passengers as safe as possible, the NFTA has initiated a system-wide uniform update. 

These new uniforms have a more contemporary style  and comfortable fabrics as well numerous high visibility identifiers on items from the waste up.  Also included is a new badge emblem on the right side of all sleeves (the side facing customers as they board Metro bus).

The new Metro uniform transition is expected to be complete system-wide by January 1, 2020. 

NFTA celebrates 50 years

Members of Cold Spring staff pictured with
Exec. Dir. Kim Minkel (center)
and Public Transit Dir. Tom George (right)
NFTA celebrated its 50 anniversary - 50 years of serving Western New York's transportation needs.

As part of an authority-wide recognition for its dedicated and 1,500 hard-working employees, Executive Director Kim Minkel and members of her leadership team visited each business location which includes NFIA and BNIA properties, Metro bus and rail stations and garages, TAPD units as well as the main NFTA headquarters and operations control center.

Exec. Dir. Kim Minkel bringing cheer to BNIA's
TAPD unit and special treats to the K-9 team.
(Officer D. Capretto picutred with King)  

All celebrations were held between Nov. 2-9 and included unique "retro" designed cupcakes by Wegmans markets.  Each  employee also received a special commemorative 50th annivesary pin and small keepsake.   

Even the TAPD K-9 unit received special recognition for their hard work with delicious  dog treats compliments of Notorious Dog in Amherst.

A lot of fun was had by all, and we are looking forward to another successful 50 years ahead! 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

NFTA’s Tom George, Making Moves in Public Transit

NFTA's Exec. Dir. Kim Minkel & Tom George
Right: Brett O'Neil, Buffalo TSA - BNIA
Tom George, NFTA's Director of Public Transit, and his team are the recipients of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) highest level of achievement, the Gold Standard Award 2016. The TSA awards transit agencies from across the nation with this achievement using the Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement (BASE) scores.

The BASE program is a voluntary security assessment covering numerous categories which allows TSA inspectors to identify critical assets, evaluate infrastructure systems and review public transportation security programs. Buffalo’s Metro Bus and Rail system was recognized for its high scores across all BASE categories, and the caliber of this performance has deserved special attention. “We commend Tom George and his team for the commitment and hard work that this level of achievement requires,” said Huban A. Gowadia, TSA’s Acting Administrator.

Tom has also recently been appointed President of the American Benchmarking Group of North American Light Rail (GOAL) Systems. The benchmarking group, which currently has 11 transit agency members and is administered by the Railway and Transport Strategy Centre at Imperial College London, was established to provide a confidential forum for light rail agencies in the United States and Canada.  The group provides collective opportunities to learn from each other by comparing performance, sharing experiences, and identifying best practices. Tom‘s plans as President include the continued development of enhanced benchmarking activities as well as increased agency membership.

Please join in congratulating Tom on these impressive achievements. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Vice President Pence Comes to the BNIA

Vice President Mike Pence landed at the Buffalo Airport International Airport just before noon Tuesday October 17. The VP’s time on the tarmac was limited, but there is a huge number of NFTA staff to be congratulated on assisting with a safe and successful visit.

The NFTA Police added to security for the visit. This included the creation of a safe area and screening people allowed into that area. The airfield crew positioned vehicles lining the zone and Aircraft Firefighting and Rescue were on hand for support, also repositioning their teams and equipment to maximize efficiency. While seemingly simple, it takes days of planning to get it right. Which everyone did.

A visit from Washington does not make anyone’s day easier out at the Airport. It is an honor, though. And everyone should be proud of the work they put in.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Leonard Hubbard promoted to Transportation Supervisor

Leonard Hubbard has recently been promoted to the Transportation Supervisor position at Frontier Station.  Prior to this he worked as Transportation Supervisor for Metro's public transit division where he has supervised operations and station clerks among three bus stations. He has also worked in multiple positions within our maintenance division, and has proved himself time and again to be a great asset to the Metro team.

Leonard has a Masters of Organizational Leadership and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Medaille College and an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice from Erie Community College.

In addition to his current job responsibilities, Leonard represents the NFTA in the community as a member of the Taste of Buffalo Planning Committee and also serves on the Alumni Board for Medaille College.  He is also a former Black Achievers Award winner, 2015.

Please join in congratulating Leonard on his new position. 


Monday, October 16, 2017

NFTA Goes Pink for October

Metro Rail Station - Fountain Plaza
The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority has gone pink for the month of October to show support for breast cancer awareness. 
In addition to turning our logos pink, we have also changed a few things at some of our business locations to further draw attention  to this great cause.  The Metro Rail Station at Fountain Plaza has been adorned with Susan G. Komen decals and lit with pink LED lighting.

MTC Employees supporting
Breast Cancer Awareness on "Jeans Day" 
The water in the fountains on Genesee Street outside the Buffalo Niagara International Airport have been spouting pink water using an LED light system, and our Transit Police Officers have exchanged their regular badges for pink versions.

NFTA also sponsored a jean's day at the downtown headquarters for employees who wanted to donate in honor of breast cancer awareness.  All proceeds will be provided to Susan G Komen.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. It is also the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. The NFTA wants to help awareness and the importance of taking the necessary steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same.

Haven House visits NFTA

Haven House staff with NFTA's Frank Capuano
In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month - October, Haven House held a table event in the MTC lobby on Monday, Oct. 16.

Haven House was founded in 1979 by the Coalition for Victims of Domestic Violence (now known as the Erie County Coalition Against Family Violence). For over 35 years, Haven House has been working to prevent domestic violence/intimate partner violence and promote peace in the home.

NFTA employees wearing purple on Oct. 19
in support of Domestic Violence Awareness Day
Services are based on a continuum of care ranging from a fully-inclusive emergency shelter in a confidential location to long-term transitional housing. The continuum of care includes an extensive counseling and advocacy program for all individuals regardless of gender that includes many satellite locations throughout Erie County. Haven House is a recognized leader in the provision of services and staff are available to meet with groups and organizations to create new and exciting partnerships and collaborations.

Information can be empowering and for anyone that is feeling unsafe in their relationship, the Haven House hotline staff are available 24 hours a day at (716) 884–6000 to provide information and support. For non-emergency calls of inquiry, please make contact at (716) 884–6002.

If you would like to express support for Domestic Violence Awareness, please feel free to wear purple on Thursday, October 19.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Darnell Barton, 2017 Black Achiever's Award Recipient

Metro Supervisor Leonard Hubbard, former Black Achiever,
pictured with Darnell Barton (right)
Congratulations to our 2017 Black Achiever Award recipient, Darnell Barton, who was recognized at a ceremony held at the Adam's Mark Hotel on October 7.   Darnell began his career NFTA Metro six years ago, and continues to epitomize what it is to be a great driver.  

In addition to his strong leadership skills, Darnell also proved that he has true human compassion when he made national headlines in October 2013 for saving a distraught woman from committing suicide on his morning Metro bus commute.  In the following weeks, Darnell was honored for his extraordinary heroism by various organizations and community leaders and also received a $10,000 reward from (now U.S. President) Donald Trump which was presented in a ceremony at the offices of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. 

Since that fateful October day, Darnell has gone onto become a suicide prevention instructor and active mental health advocate where he can continue to help those in need.  He has also been asked to appear on a variety of television network shows including CNN’s “Ted Talk,” and NBC’s hit game show “The Wall” with his brother Dion.   

Darnell came from modest beginnings and worked hard while growing up.  He graduated from Bennett High School and attended the University of Buffalo majoring in pre-law and psychology.  He is also an active member of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity.  Darnell has also participated in the Hard Targets Executive Protection Program as well as the Friends and Family Transportation Programs.  
In addition to driving for Metro and serving the public transportation community on a regular basis, Darnell is a devoted father!   We are truly grateful to have Darnell as part of the NFTA Metro team -- please help in congratulating him on this well-deserved recognition. 

NFTA Welcomes Bob Chapman

Bob Chapman joins NFTA as its new resident engineer located on the seventh floor at the MTC.  Bob comes to us with a variety of experience including working with Gilbane-Liro on construction of the University of Buffalo's new school of medicine and biomedical science as one of the superintendents.

Bob has a BSCE degree in civil/structural engineering. He resides in the village of East Aurora near the Roycroft Campus.  He is a father to two grown children and has grandchildren that range from three months to 11 years old. In addition to spending time with his family, Bob also is involved with recreational activities through the West Side Rowing Club.

Please help welcome Bob to the NFTA!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Promotions announced in Service Planning

Tim Sugrue, Eric Svenson and
Rachel Maloney
NFTA has recently announced the promotions of three individuals within the service planning department – Rachel Maloney, Timothy Sugrue, and Eric Svenson.   All of these employees have shown a high level of competency and dedication during their time at the authority.

Rachel Maloney has been promoted from transportation planner to senior transportation planner. She will continue her work with our external committees and community outreach efforts (Citizen’s Advisory Committee, Mobile Safety Net Team, Go Buffalo Mom) while maintaining her management roles with the DL&W and Amherst Light Rail expansion efforts.

Timothy Sugrue has been promoted from data analyst to senior data analyst, while Eric Svenson is moving from his clerk position to data analyst. Both Tim and Eric have shown a keen sense for data administration, transit best practices, and reporting and will help fill the void left by Chris Cronin’s previous promotion to Manager of Fare Systems.
 "I look forward to working with this great team as they continue to grow in their new roles. They have each worked really hard and should each be congratulated on a job well done,"  said Rob Jones, Manager - Service Planning.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Metro Celebrates National Customer Service Week

Customer Service Team Recognized in 2016
Metro's Customer Relations Manager, Crystal Edwards, helped organize a week-long employee celebration from Oct. 2-6 to support National Customer Service Appreciation Week.  Some of the fun events included pizza and donut parties to honor of the many dedicated and hardworking Metro employees including operators, mechanics, clerks and customer service staff.

Also, during the week the following employees received awards for the most commendations in 2017: Toni Wilkes - Metrolink,  Bernardo Nieves- Babcock Station, Deborah Moore-Frontier Station, Irish Reed-Metro Rail, and Kareemah Mack-Cold Spring Station. The following employees received awards for excellent on-time performance records:  Demettrius Patterson-Cold Spring, Carla Smith- Frontier, and Ray Taylor-Babcock.

Customer Service Appreciation Week has been going on in the United States since the late 1980's.  In 1992 the U.S. Congress proclaimed it a nationally recognized celebration to help boost morale and help support continued teamwork.

"This was a great opportunity to formally recognize the individuals that work so hard to deliver great service to our Metro customers on a daily basis," said Crystal. Congratulations to everyone on Team Metro - keep up the good work.

NFTA stuffs a bus to support Empire State Relief & Recovery for Puerto Rico

NFTA's Exec. Director Kim Minkel (front left) and staff on board
the Relief & Recovery bus before its trip to the Armory
In support of the New York Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico, the NFTA sponsored a Metro stuff a bus event as well as an internal authority-wide donation drive from Oct. 3-6. Some of the items collected included bottled water, batteries, flashlights, lanterns and hygiene products.

NFTA's Lisa Piecki, Mike Hernandez and Metro Operators
with Members of the National Guard
Misael (Mike) Hernandez, co-organizer of the events and whom has family in Puerto Rico said, "This drive was an overwhelming success. The pride that came over me as our flagship Nova Bus rolled up to deliver our donations to the Connecticut Street Armory, was unlike anything I’ve ever felt before. Even the soldiers were amazed to see how stuffed the bus was, and I am grateful for their help in getting everything where it needs to go."

We would also like to send a special thank you to both Crowley Webb and the Church of Igelsia Pentecostal Camino De Santidad, Inc., who each held their own internal drives to support NFTA in our efforts - we are so grateful! Please go to NFTA's facebook page for more photos.

Officer Dave Zarbo and Metro's Claudia Benitez - A Great Team!

On September 17, Claudia Benitez, from Metro's Special Services Department, was walking into work like any other day.   However, little did she know that she was going to be recognized as a heroine by the end of the day.

Transit Police Officer Dave Zarbo had encountered a distraught woman that morning and was attempting to assist her, however, she did not speak English.  When Officer Zarbo saw Claudia, who is of Cuban descent and bilingual, he called out to her to see if she could help.  

Without hesitation, Claudia walked over and started talking with the woman in her native language.  After a heartfelt and successfully translated conversation, Crisis Services was called in and they were able to get the woman the help she needed.  Officer Zarbo said, "Claudia was such an asset in dealing with the woman in crisis.  She was respectful, caring and deserves a commendation for her tireless commitment to helping resolve a difficult situation."     

Here's to teamwork -- Congratulations Dave and Claudia for a job well done!

Bruce Izard, NFTA's new Manager of Procurement Compliance

Bruce Izard, an avid Metro Rail rider, joins NFTA as its new Manager of Procurement Compliance.    He comes to us from M&T Bank where he was Assistant Vice President of Corporate Procurement.  Bruce has a variety of experience in managing procurement teams and evaluating proposals for the procurement of goods and services.  He also has a background working on strategic sourcing of HVAC, engineering services, and software and maintenance.  

Bruce has a Bachelor’s degrees in both Psychology and Management as well as an MBA with a concentration in Operations Management.  As a C.P.M. for 19 years, he also holds a PMP certification in Project Management.

Bruce is a busy man - he currently serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors at ISM Buffalo, a premier organization in WNY for continuous education of procurement and supply chain professionals.  Bruce also serves on the Board at PMI as Director of Finance. He is also on the Board for Sycamore Reservation, Inc. which is a 432 Acre camp which straddles Erie and Cattaraugus Counties. 

Bruce resides in Amherst with his wife Denise who is a CPA.  They have two daughters, Stephanie and Melanie.  Stephanie is working on her Master’s degree in Public Health, and Melanie on her undergraduate degree in International Development.  Pebbles is their 10-year-old cockapoo.

Bruce enjoys running, golf and on the weekend. He also makes yard games such as Yardzee, Left, Right and Center, Corn Hole and Washer Toss.  If you are interested in talking with him about any of this, stop by and see him on the fifth floor.

Welcome Bruce!


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Helping Hands

Special thanks to Lemar Robinson, for helping us kick off our authority-wide HSEQ Safety Pit Crew Campaign. Lemar is a Mechanic B at the Cold Spring Shops, Safety Committee member, and Commercial Driver’s License Trainer for the Shops. Lamar has an outstanding safety record and his job in the upholstery shop means that's critical.

The first focus of the Pit Crew campaign is hand safety, the importance of following safe procedures, and making sure that you guard the valuable assets at the ends of your arms – your hands and ten fingers. Over the past few months, we have had employees involved in serious hand injuries – we want to make sure this does not happen again.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Cindy Cirbus joins NFTA Engineering

Welcome Cindy Cirbus who is NFTA' new Engineering/Property Administrative Assistant.

Cindy has a bachelor's degree in Economic/Finance from Buffalo State College. Prior to coming to NFTA she worked in finance at People, Inc. and before that she was with M&T investments.

Cindy and her husband Don live in Lackawanna and have two children, Ashley and Megan.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, especially Harry Potter novels.  She also enjoys hockey and is a big Star Wars Fan.

Please help in welcoming Cindy to the 7th floor at the MTC.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Metro Operator Gerard Scott shows his love for NY

Metro operator Gerard Scott participated in a video shoot for an I Love NY video to air during the New York State Fair beginning August 23.  The promotional video was designed to highlight the talented "behind the scenes" individuals that help support tourism within New York State.

During the filming, Gerard had the opportunity to show off his skills as a driver as well as his new Metro uniform and his pearly whites!  Some of NFTA's staff including Jason Abounader, Mike Hernandez, Gary Bennett, Nick Kurtz and Caitlin Behm were also along for the ride and may be included in future I Love NY promotions. 

When you have some time - check out the video here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

NFTA conducts trackbed training for individuals with disabilites

Visually impaired child walking within the
track bed during training
NFTA hosted a trackbed training for a group of 15 visually impaired children on August 23, 2017.  

The two hour training which was conducted by staff members from the HSEQ division addressed various Metro rail system safety precautions including movement within stations and on platforms, as well as on rail cars and along the trackbed.  Some specific topics addressed were elevator pace panels, Braille signage, use of tactile strips and other emergency equipment, priority seating and electricity on ground rails to name a few.

This training is part of NFTA's standardized customer safety sessions which are provided throughout the year.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Celeste Kubisty - Metro's new Transportation Clerk Specialist

Celeste Kubisty has recently taken on the role of Metro's Transportation Clerk Specialist.  In her new position she will provide a variety of administrative support functions for the  Transportation Service Department.

Celeste began her career with NFTA in the Paratransit division in 2011 and eventually became a bus operator working out of the Cold Springs Garage.   Although she enjoyed driving for big bus, a position working behind the scenes was something she has been aspiring to achieve.  

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Kelsey Badaszewski has exciting news

Joining in the NFTA's Summer of Love celebration is the lovely young woman that greets employees and visitors at our headquarters daily, and with a brand new accessory on her left hand.  Yes - it's an engagement ring!  Kelsey has been dating Steve, her (new) fiance', for the past four years, which all began with an introduction from a friend at a country music concert!

NFTA Metro Groovin' at the Erie County Fair

Staff talking to fairgoers about Metro and its benefits

NFTA Metro was out at the Erie County Fair on August 17-18.

The on site display designed in celebration of NFTA's 50th anniversary included our 1967 Summer of Love themed "Givin and Groovin" Nova diesel bus as well as participation by NFTA staff and our transit police and K9 units.

There were a lot of fun things to do, both adults and children were excited to board and even "drive" our Metro bus while listening to our special themed G&G Metro Radio.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

NFTA Launches its Givin' and Groovin' Bus to support the Food Bank of WNY

Food Bank's Catherine Shick and
NFTA's Kim Minkel cut ribbon
On August 1, the NFTA launched its Givin' and Groovin' Stuff A Bus outreach program to support the Food Bank of Western New York.  NFTA also partnered with the Erie County Fair, Upstate Farms and Tops Markets in this effort.

The Givin' and Groovin' Bus, which was designed in honor of the NFTA's 50th anniversary, moved around town to various locations on a mission to collect as many canned goods and non-perishables as possible.  As an added bonus, anyone who donated food was able to enter to win a raffle for a year's supply of Upstate milk.  (The winner - Laura Westfall from North Tonawanda).

James Morrell, Being Neighborly

Leadership Buffalo Class of 2017
James Morrell center with LB CEO Althea Luehrsen 
James Morrell, a former graduate of Leadership Buffalo (1998), recently served on an advisory panel for their Class Experience group (July 12) as well as provided a stand-along presentation for their Rising Leaders team (July 19) as part of their respective 2017 Neighborhood Days.
Leadership Buffalo is a year-long community discovery program, and Neighborhood day is one of eight day sessions within the program.

John Honan Joins the Engineering Team at the NFTA

Please help welcome John Honan, who is the new Design Manager at the NFTA.  In this role, he will assist the engineering team on projects from pre-construction through completion. 

John was formerly with Watts Architecture and Engineering in Buffalo for the past twenty years where he managed many types of engineering projects throughout New York State.  He is a licensed Professional Engineer, and has a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in engineering –  both from the University of Buffalo. 
John lives in Cheektowaga with his wife and nine children.
Please stop by the 7th floor and say hello to John. 



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Welcoming Sue Ohol to Surface Transportation

Please help in welcoming Sue Ohol (pr: Oh-ho), NFTA's new Administrative Assistant to our Public Transit Director, Tom George.  In this role she will be assisting with board report preparation as well as other Metro-related projects. 

Before coming to NFTA, Sue was with Calamar in Wheatfield for three years.  She brings with her over 20 years administrative experience working in various industries including healthcare, education, legal and property management.

Sue resides in Pendleton with her stepson and husband Tom. In her free time, she enjoys gardening and cooking.  She also helps manage their family business, Ohol Farms.

Please stop by and say hello to Sue; she is located on the 5th floor at the MTC.

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Parade of good fun!

NFTA Operators Tonya Ball and Chris Rizzo
On Saturday, July 22, NFTA Metro staff
participated in the first Disability Pride Parade
and Festival sponsored by Western New York Independent Living, Inc.   The event was held at Coca-Cola Field with approximately 800 participants involved.

This event was a great opportunity to highlight  Metro's Paratransit services as well as network with a variety of community partners, vendors and attendees.   The event was a great success and Metro is looking forward to being a part of it again next year!


Jeanette Buffamonti Joins NFTA's Transit Police Department

Jeanette Buffamonti has become the new Sr. Administrative Assistant for NFTA's Transit Police Department.  Her primary role includes administrative support to the Chief of Police, as well as working on special projects as needed for the team at 1404 Main Street. 

"Armed" with a Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science from Hilbert College, Jeanette is excited to be working within the criminal justice/law enforcement field.  

Jeanette resides in Buffalo, and in her spare time, she loves to cook, travel, and explore new local places along Canalside and in the resurging downtown area.  She is also a big sports fan and enjoys attending home team football and hockey games.

Please help in welcoming Jeanette to the NFTA Team!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Church Street Metro Rail Station Gets a Face Lift

Dennis, Dan, Mike & Floyd
Church Street Station
NFTA Metro consistently supports initiatives to help ensure that its transit centers and rail stations are safe, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing for riders.  As part of this continuing effort, a team of Metro employees represented by the ATU have been working tirelessly since mid May of this year to update the Church Street Rail Station which has included repair work, functional upgrades and painting.   

This effort is part of a phased plan that began in 2016 for station improvements along the rail line.  Last year, Lafayette station received a variety of upgrades including structural mends, new lighting and paint.  In addition, landscaping enhancements have also been made at LaSalle, Amherst and Delevan stations.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Stand Down for Public Transit

Patricia Wiseman, Metro's Supt. Special Services and
Amy Hughes, NFTA's Recruitment Manager
NFTA staff participated in the Annual Stand Down at Coca-Cola Field on June 23, 2017.  Hundreds of individuals, many of whom were veterans, attended the event.  On site were over 160 vendors showcasing a variety of services and resources available to veterans and disabled individuals.  Information was available on medical care, health screenings, transportation options, employment options and job search assistance, as well as counseling and legal advice, and much more.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Chris Cronin, First Manager of Fare Collection

Chris Cronin has been chosen as the first (ever) Manager of Fare Collection at NFTA Metro. Chris brings an impressive and broad background at Metro to his new position through his experience as a bus operator, in rail maintenance and many years of growth through the service planning department.

Friday, June 30, 2017

NFTA Customers Receiving the Best Care!

The NFTA's Customer Relations Department celebrates two employees in their new fulltime roles, Takesha London and Maria Logan.

Maria Logan
Maria has worked for our Customer Care team since 2015 and has just recently returned as our new Customer Relations Bilingual representative.   She brings with her over 17 years of customer service experience and over 25 years translating English to Spanish.  Maria has been married for 20 years and is a proud mother of three beautiful daughters.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

NFTA Metro sponsors Community Night at Coca-Cola Field

NFTA Metro outreach staff at Coca-Cola Field
(ECC in background)
On Wednesday, June 28, NFTA Metro sponsored its annual Community Night at Coca-Cola Field. On the plaza before the game were various vehicles on display including a Metro CNG bus, Paratransit van as well as a Transit Police K-9 vehicle and a special vintage 1985 Transit Police Car accompanied by company representatives.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Spotlight on Wellness for Men

Ladies from the FDA provided
some tasty treats at their table!
On Wednesday, June 21, NFTA celebrated Men’s Health Month with a table event in the lobby of the MTC featuring BlueCross BlueShield, the Food & Drug Administration, Sam’s Club, Kaleida, Citizens Bank, WNY Law Center and movement demonstrations from Taoist Tai Chi Society.

The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Losing can be a good thing!

Not all participants are pictured.
In February of this year 14 NFTA colleagues got together and held their own version of "The Biggest Loser" contest which encompassed a self-managed nine week program with the winner being the person who lost the largest percentage of weight.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Thumbs up for public transportation

Metro's Public Transit Dir. Tom George and
happy rail rider
It saves money, helps the environment and brings communities together-here at the NFTA, we are passionate about public transportation. On June 15, we went out and spread the word on the many benefits of our Metro bus and rail system. This was all part of national, “Dump the Pump Day,” an event started by the American Public Transportation Association.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Feeling the Corporate Challenge love

Another great finish for the NFTA at the 37th annual JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge. The NFTA and NITTEC fielded a team of 25 athletes, posting some very respectable times. You can see them here.

Schedule some time to say hello to Tim Henderson

Please join in welcoming Tim Henderson to the authority. Tim is the newest addition to the service planning team, serving in the function of service scheduler.

Originally from West Seneca, Tim recently moved back to the region from Utah where he served as an aircraft maintenance scheduling manager in the United States Air Force for 20 years. During his time as a technical sergeant in the Air Force, Tim has had the opportunity live in numerous exciting places including Japan and Alaska.  Immediately prior to coming to the NFTA, Tim worked as a Project Manager for a solar installation company.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Transit Police Lieutenant John Ford recognized with Award

NFTA Transit Police Lt. John Ford and Lead Firearms Instructor, was honored at the 26th Annual Community Service Award Ceremony held at Salvatore Italian Gardens on Thursday, May 18.  The annual event celebrates the dedication and outstanding contributions of individuals in local law enforcement.

Lt. Ford, who has been with the Transit Police since 2002, was recognized for the implementation of a program that provides officers with increased range time and firearms instruction to increase their shooting proficiency.   

Please join in congratulating Lt. Ford on this extraordinary achievement.

Say Hello to Sheila Keane

Sheila Keane joins NFTA as its new paralegal. In her role she will be assisting the legal team with matters related to personal injury, property damage and no-fault litigation. Sheila holds an AAS in Paralegal studies from Erie Community College and has over 20 years experience in the legal field.

Sheila currently resides in Buffalo with her two daughters, Kaylah and Anna, whom are both in college, D'Youville and Buffalo State respectively. In her spare time she enjoys biking, finding unique goodies at farmers markets and doing yoga. She is also currently training as a volunteer for Explore Buffalo with the intent to become a docent.  Her summer plans include brushing up on some of Buffalo's history and visiting local breweries for some special tastes!

Please join in welcoming Sheila to NFTA!

John DePaolo, Brewing Up Good Things

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority has a new litigation attorney, John DePaolo, who will be working in the office of the General Counsel. His role will include personal injury defense as well as the resolution of no-fault matters.

John formerly worked for the Bouvier Partnership, LLP, in Buffalo where he served as a trial attorney handling all phases of complex civil litigation. Prior to that, John served as an Assistant District Attorney in Worcester, MA, where he was a prosecutor in charge of major felony cases. In addition, John was a member of the International Longshoreman Association Local 1273, in Houston, Texas, where he was a union laborer loading and unloading of ships that carried such items as coffee, rice, automobiles, rawhides and steel.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Safety First

Chief George Gast at FMD
In conjunction with NFTA’s HSEQ Department, Transit Police Chief George Gast and his team have been offering active-shooter awareness training for employees. The elective one-hour sessions began last fall and were designed to address the importance of being theoretically equipped to act quickly should a live-shooter incident occur at the workplace.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Helen Tederous named NFTA's new Public Affairs Director

Helen Tederous has been named as the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority's new Public Affairs Director. In her position, she will be responsible for development and implementation of NFTA's comprehensive communications strategy and objectives. She will also assist in providing direction to protect and enhance the organization's mission to deliver the best in class public transportation for Western New York.