NFTA Transporter

Thursday, January 18, 2018

NFTA TAPD K9 Teams are Superbowl LII Bound

NFTA TAPD K9 Teams Offcr. Dave Capretto and King and
Offcr. Andre Taibbi and Holly
Two NFTA TAPD K9 teams have been selected to help with security at Superbowl LII.   Officer Dave Capretto and his partner King along with Officer Andre Taibbi and Holly will be leaving for Minneapolis late January for a ten day trip.  They will be assisting with explosive detection and overall stadium security prior to and during the big game on February 4.

Our NFTA TAPD officers are among 80 police handler and dog units selected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and whom have been deputized and granted full arrest power by the United States Marshalls and the City of Minneapolis.   These officers and their K9 partners will patrol parking lots, spectator stands, sidelines and numerous areas within the vicinity of U.S. Bank Stadium including parking lots and vehicles. 
"K9 teams really are the most successful tool in detecting explosives.  With any large-scale special event these days, there is a potential for some sort of nefarious activity.  Although our teams are extremely well-trained, they have been also undergoing an event-specific security orientation to help protect everyone involved in this highly-visible national event." said Chief George Gast, NFTA's Police Chief. 
This is the third time that NFTA TAPD officers have been asked to help patrol during a superbowl, and we couldn't be more proud.  Maybe next year we will also be able to cheer on own home team, the Buffalo Bills!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Gary Bennett promoted to Metro's Business Manager

Gary Bennett has been promoted to the position of Business Development Manager for Metro.  Gary’s new role will include managing all of Metro’s College Riders Accessing Metro (CRAM) program while maintaining responsibility for the Buffalo Board of Education contract.   

Gary will also now be responsible for the Corporate Pass program, reintroduction of the Metro Extras program, development of corporate relations including route and pass development as well as community outreach associated with ridership programs and incentives. 

This new role will allow Gary to continue to provide incredible value to the organization while positioning Metro for ridership growth.  Prior to this Gary held the role of Metro's Senior Transportation Planner.

Please help in congratulating Gary on his  new position.


Metro Cold Spring Operators recognized for heroism

Operator Herrera (far L) and Operator Blackman (2nd from R)
pictured with Tom George, members of the TAPD team,
and Chief George Gast (far R)
On December 12, two of Metro's Cold Spring operators were recognized by the NFTA Transit Police Chief George Gast along with Metro's Public Transit Director Tom George for going above and beyond the call of duty.   

Metro Operator Hector Herrera was working the Utica line on October 30 when he noticed a small child along the road.  Operator Derrick Blackman had a similar incident on November 16, when he too noticed a small child with very little clothing near the road during his work run. Both operators contacted transit police during these situations and kept the children safe until they arrived.  Both toddlers were unharmed and faired extremely well due to the quick action of these operators.

The commendation from NFTA TAPD recognizes the ability to act effectively in a serious and possible life-threatening situation.  Thank you Mr. Herrera
and Mr. Blackman for your compassion and quick-thinking!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Welcome Arlene Sebastian

NFTA welcomes Arlene Sebastian as our new Procurement Compliance Specialist.  This is a new role to NFTA, and her  responsibilities will include running our Minority and Women Owned Business enterprise and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business programs.

Prior to coming to NFTA Arlene worked at Sumitomo (formerly Dunlop) Rubber, and before this she was employed at ArcelorMittal (formerly Bethlehem Steel).  She has a variety of experience working in Accounting, Purchasing and HR.   In addition, she also owned and operated a gift shop for several years and was active within the North Buffalo Business Association during that time.

Arlene has a Bachelors of Management from Houghton College and a Business Degree from Villa Maria College.  In her spare time, she volunteers and helps with local fundraisers such as Carly's Club for Roswell, Make A Wish and the Food Bank of WNY. 

Arlene resides in the southtowns and in the summer enjoying beach-going, jet skiing, camping, motorcycling, and outdoor concerts.  In winter months she is also a fan of snowmobiling.

Please help in welcoming Arlene to NFTA.   

Christine Farrow, Appointed Board Vice President for Big Brothers Big Sisters

Christine Farrow, NFTA's Manager of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) & Diversity Development, has again been shaking things up!   Christine has been named Vice President of the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County.  She has been involved with BBBS since the age of seven where she was a "little" (sister), and as a result of the experience went onto volunteer and give back to the organization and those in need.  

Throughout her early years with BBBS, Christine used public transportation often.  Much of her experiences and professional growth were influenced by her ability to get around the city without a person vehicle.  So, ironically as she walks into her office every day at the NFTA -- it feels like home.

Christine began her career with the authority in 2007 and has held roles as Superintendent, Special Services and Manager of Employee Assistance.   While at NFTA she has participated in several leadership trainings such as Eno Center for Transportation-Mid Manager Training and is currently participating in New York Public Transit Leadership Institute (PTLI) which gives her a firsthand look and hands on experience in the role of a transit agency executive. Further, Christine serves as one of the Authority’s Racial Equity Coaches and is spearheading the Authority’s first-ever Strategic Diversity Plan.

She also teaches classes at the University at Buffalo, Graduate School of Education and is a member of the Rehabilitation Counseling Program Advisory committee where she assists with the accreditation process of various counseling related programs.  Christine is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and truly embodies their motto of “Service to All Mankind.”

Christine continues to be a champion for diversity and is heavily involved in related initiatives  throughout the community.  The Pegula Foundation, Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres recently recognized Christine for her dedication to WNY as she was the November 2017 recipient of the One Buffalo Award.  

Please help in congratulating Christine on these great accomplishments; she may have started out as a little sister but look at her now.  If she keeps up like this, she is going to need her own newsletter one day!



Wednesday, January 10, 2018

TAPD brings joy to families of BBBS

NFTA TAPD Officers shopping for gifts

During the months of November and December, NFTA's Transit Police Department sponsored a  No-Shave campaign to support the families of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County.  All money raised was used to purchase gifts for four families who were selected by BBBS.  The officers also received  donations from NFTA and Metro employees.

The NFTA TAPD successfully collected over $3,500 and sent their team of elves out to purchase items from Walmart, Target, and Toys R Us.  All of the gifts were wrapped and presented to the families on Dec. 22 at their homes.

Family of BBBS

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.

This is the third year that the NFTA TAPD worked with BBBS in this special holiday partnership.    Thank you to everyone who was involved with this great cause!  

Monday, January 8, 2018

Go Bills!

January 5, 2018

How awesome ... the Buffalo Bills made the NFL playoffs!  The Bills will be taking on the Jacksonville Jacquars in the wildcard game on Sunday, Jan 7.

Exec Dir. Kim Minkel with
members of NFTA's legal team

As you can imagine there is excitement and anticipation throughout the Queen City.  At NFTA Metro we are no different.  Employees got together this week to show support for our home team by donning their best Bills blue and red.  It's an exciting weekend of football ahead - let's hope we can come out with a victory and continue on the journey to Superbowl 52. 
Gooooo Bills!