NFTA Transporter

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 goes Retro 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 staffed "Givin and Groovin" Nova diesel bus as well as participation by the Transit Police and K9 unit.

There were a lot of fun things to do, both adults and children were excited to board and even "drive" our Metro bus.

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.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Pssst . . . new security guy

David Wilde is the NFTA's first-ever IT Security Manager. A new position at the Authority, David comes to us just in time. Network and information integrity have become serious issues around the world, and it’s now his job to make sure they don’t become serious issues for the Authority. David is a lifetime resident of Amherst.

Make a welcoming environment for our new Director, HSEQ

Lyle Death (pronounced ‘Deeth’!) is our new Director, Health Safety and Environmental Quality. Coming off a post as Chief Operating Officer at Crossett, Inc. Lyle was also a Director, Safety Health and Environmental Services with Praxair, Inc. where he managed the national environmental and health services support resources across the country, overseeing as many as 150 locations with over 2,500 employees. He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Bucknell University.

Lyle resides in Orchard Park with Ellen, his wife of 36 years. They are blessed with two daughters and four young grandchildren that they love spending time with. Lyle enjoys working in their gardens, golfing, and finding other excuses to be outside.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Safety and Service Awards 2017

More Photos
This year's Service and Safety Awards luncheon were held Sunday, April 30, recognizing outstanding Metro bus and train operators and vehicle maintenance workers. It also acknowledges NFTA employees with 25 years of service.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

BNIA Brings Home the Cup

Chris McBride BNIA Airfield Operations
The 51st International Aviation Snow Symposium took place in Buffalo last week for the 32nd consecutive year, and, as in the past it was a resounding success. All indications are that the programs were informational in providing “best practices” with regard to airfield operations and a good time was had by all.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Welcome, Amy Hughes

Amy Hughes joins the NFTA as its Manager of Recruitment. Her position involves networking with the community to assist in filling the NFTA’s vacancies.

Legislature Honors C. Douglas Hartmayer

 Chairman John Mills, Legislator Edward A. Rath III,
NFTA Executive Director Kimberley Minkel, C. Douglas Hartmayer.
NFTA Spokesman Doug Hartmayer has overseen the Transporter since its inception. As such, he hasn’t been it. He has always found self-promotion unseemly. But news is news, so we’re not going to run this story by him before we post it.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Officer Capretto Saves Baby

NFTA Police Officer David Capretto is being credited with saving the life of a 3-month-old on the morning of March 15.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Wellness, Despite the Weather

Pat Kaleta, Kimberley Minkel, Michael Peca 
This year's Wellness Fair was Wednesday March 15 at the NFTA's Metropolitan Transportation Center. It completely ignored the ill and unfair weather outside.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

NFTA Staff Climb 470 Steps for the ALA

L-R: Mike, Kevin, Rachel, Carolyn, Tim,  Maggie,
Emma, Patrick and Nate.  Front: Mike
On Saturday, March 11, over 600 individuals, of which 150 were firefighters, attended the annual American Lung Association's Buffalo Air Climb at Main Place Tower to take on 24 flights of stairs (470 steps) to advocate for lung health awareness and help save lives.  In addition to its advertising sponsorship, NFTA also supported the event with two climb teams; a ten-person civilian team that was coordinated by Mike Moore and an Aircraft Rescue Firefighter team from BNIA which included Assistant Chief Bill Major and five firefighters.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Christine Farrow, All Smiles and Not Just for the Camera!

Christine Farrow has a great reason to show off her pearly whites as she has been promoted to NFTA's new Manager of EEO & Diversity Development. In her role she will manage the authority's Equal Employment Opportunity/
Affirmative Action programs, as well as develop, coordinate and deliver diversity training. Christine joined the authority in 2007 as the Superintendent of Special Services and was promoted to Manager of Employee Assistance in 2014.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Great Things Are Happening at OCC

Sharon and Tiffany
Great things going on in Transportation.  Sharon Weber was recently promoted to Metro's Deputy Superintendent. Sharon has had a long-standing career at NFTA beginning in 1992 where she started in the Metro Payroll Department.  Since then she has worked in Service Planning and as an ATU Clerk Typist.  Prior to taking on her current role, she was the Transportation Support Specialist which has now been awarded to Tiffany Brown who joined NFTA in 2016 as the MTC Receptionist..