NFTA Transporter

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.