NFTA Transporter

Thursday, April 26, 2018

NFTA Metro supports 3rd Annual Earth Day Clean Up in Tonawanda

Clean-Up Volunteers
NFTA Metro was proud to be a sponsor of the 3rd Annual Town of Tonawanda's Earth Day Clean up on Saturday, April 21 at Lincoln Park.

Over 200 volunteers came out on the sunny 65 degree day to help clean up the areas surrounding the 3.9 Rails to Trails path.  New this year, volunteers planted 750 seedlings at the Brighton and Sheridan Golf courses. 

"Our tree community suffered a great loss in the October 2006 snow storm and we are experiencing a lost of the Ash tree population due to Emerald Ash borer infestation.   The planting of native deciduous and coniferous tree seedlings helps accelerate our reforestation efforts. Plus, it's easy to do, fun and rewarding.," said Jim Jones, Town of Tonawanda Engineer.

Also, each planting volunteer received a special NFTA Metro logo'd spade or hand rake to help make their job easier.  The clean up was followed with refreshments and special gifts for the children.

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated in the United States in support of environmental protection and related initiatives.  

Metro's Railcars Continue to be Rebuilt

Refurbished Railcar
Exciting news - the last of 27 of Metro's rail cars has shipped out to Hitachi Rail U.S.A, in Dansville, N.Y for its complete overhaul. 

This process is part of the NFTA Metro's Railcar Rebuild Program which began in 2006.   This rehabilitation program provides the necessary actions to rebuild, refurbish and replace nearly 90% of the equipment and components that make up our railcar fleet. 

"Each car has been completely gutted to a shell and the entire unit refurbished which includes new framing, flooring and various mechanical and safety improvements.   This overhaul process will help maintain our Metro railcar vehicles in a state of good repair, improve reliability, ensure operations and maximize the useful life of the cars.  We are about two-thirds through the process with the last refurbished railcar expected to be in service in late summer of next year." said Kevin Rogers, NFTA Metro's Manager of Rail Operations.   

Currently there are 19 of the refurbished cars in service on the Metro rail system and the remaining eight are in various stages of rebuild, which is anticipated to be complete in July 2019.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Hats off to our latest class of NFTA Metro Operators

Class photographed with Metro's Tom George (far right)
and Christopher Antholzner (far left)
Friday, April 20, marked the last day in the seven-week training for our recent class of Metro drivers.  In order to graduate, potential drivers must undergo a written exam and a rigorous road test for their Class B Commercial Driver’s License.  They also receive extensive customer service training and driving practice with an instructor for exposure to Metro's expansive system.  

“The training is extremely intense and is designed that way so that we can provide all of the students with the proper education and necessary tools to best serve the public and our riding community.  I am so proud to meet the new group of drivers, and I hope that everyone will stay safe, be on-time and nice to our riders.  These individuals truly are the face of NFTA Metro, and I hope that they all enjoy a long and rewarding career with us,” said Tom George, Director of Public Transit.  
Training class size ranges from 18 to 20 drivers every eight weeks. If you would like to be considered for the next class, applications are available on Metro’s website at or at our office at 181 Ellicott Street.  Once a candidate's application is submitted and are considered qualified, they are  asked to come in ergonomics and safety testing.   Once completed with a passing grade, the next phase of the hiring process includes a formal interview and a pre-employment physical. 

If you are interested in joining Metro’s team, please contact our HR Department at 716- 855-6500 to start the process.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The NFTA hosts its 35th Annual Welless Fair

The NFTA's John DePaolo speaking to
representative at Sam's Club

The NFTA held its 35th annual Wellness Fair in the downtown bus terminal  This year, for the first time, the Wellness Fair was split across three days and hosted over 40 vendors and an estimated 120 employees. 

The Fair offered various hands-on treatments including massages, immunizations and health screenings. In addition, attendees had the opportunity to set up dental appointments and wellness visits with various organizations on-site.   
Pennette Green

On day two there was a table that featured Buffalo Sabres Hockey alumni Larry Playfair and Derek Smith who took photos and signed autographs.   In addition, the NFTA's own Kara Jeziorski from the HSEQ division promoted overall safety for employees and distributed some trinkets. Pennette Green added her own healthy touch by providing items to "make your own trail mix,"  complemented with other light refreshments.

A special shout out also goes to Chris Brophy and the entire NFTA facilities team for their assistance with set up and clean up.  The event would not been such a great success without their attention and hard work.  

We want to thank everyone who attended and took advantage of the wellness fair's offerings; it was great to see so many employees involved in the three-day event.  Stay tuned for information on similar upcoming events soon.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Safety Belt Use highlighted in NFTA Pit Crew Safety Campaign

Bus Operator Jessica Maldonado, from Metro's Babcock Station, is the newest face in the NFTA's HSEQ Safety Pit Crew campaign which highlights various safety topics. 

Buckle Up - Drive - Stay Alive
The first segment of the campaign focused on hand safety, and the importance while working that we guard the extremely valuable assets including our arms, hands and of course all ten fingers (ft. Lemar Robinson from Cold Spring).   Our second segment focused on winter surface preparation and keeping the snow and ice at bay (ft. Hector Lozada in Facilities Maintenance).  In addition, the adjunct internal "walk like a penquin" campaign helped remind employees on the best method for walking steadily and safely on ice. 

The most recent phase of the campaign focuses on proper seat belt use.  In an event of an accident seat belts really do save lives, so it's critical to buckle up.   In addition to being a great practice, New York State mandates that seat belts be properly worn by all vehicle operators and front seat passengers, and even though it's something simple it significantly helps  protect the lives of our employees, customers and the public on a daily basis.  
Jessica has dedicated the past seven years to her instructing and driving career at the NFTA.   She is well known for her great safety record, her positive attitude, and lovely smile.   Congratulations Jessica for a job well done!




Monday, April 9, 2018

NFTA hosts its 33rd Safety and Service Award Luncheon

Safety Award Winners at Salvatore's Restaurant
The NFTA hosted its 33rd Annual Safety and Service Awards luncheon on Sunday, April 8, at Salvatore's Italian Gardens.  The annual event recognizes the exemplary safety performance of Metro bus and rail drivers and vehicle maintenance workers as well as employees who have reached 25 years of employment at the NFTA.

This year's program began with introductory remarks by Helen Tederous, the NFTA's Public Affairs Director and was followed with an inspiring Invocation by Reverand Ray Mitchell, who is a MetroLink Operator out of Babcock station.  After lunch, the NFTA's Executive Director, Kim Minkel, accompanied by Commissioners Margo Downey and Phil Wilcox individually recognized each award-winning employee present at the event.

Service Award Employees  
Although not everyone was able to attend,
16 drivers received awards for 10 years of safe driving, one with 20 years, two who have 30 years and five with over 30 years - wow!  There are also seven maintenance employees that have a 10 year safety record and 21 employees celebrating a silver anniversary.

“I am so happy to be here today to honor our amazing employees who have achieved outstanding safety records and those celebrating 25 years of service.  These milestones could not have been reached without a true commitment to the company and to the welfare of our customers and the community we serve everyday.  Congratulations to each of you, and thank you for your continued dedication and service." said Kim Minkel.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

WNY Delegation Announces $9 Million in NFTA Funding

Hon. Monica Wallace, Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Sean Ryan
pictured with NFTA's Tom George and members of Metro's engineering staff
On April 2, New York State Assembly members Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Sean Ryan and Monica Wallace along with members of NFTA's leadership team came together at the Delevan/Canisius Metro Rail Station in downtown Buffalo.  The delegation members were on site to announce a $9 Million capital grant through the New York State Department of Transportation for improvements to the NFTA's light rail system. 

The timely funding comes amid significant deterioration through the Metro Rail system, which accounts for 90 percent of the NFTA's capital dollars.  Issues stem from the fact that there is no dedicated state funding line for the light rail system, as current STOA and capital funding only account for bus service at all upstate transit authorities.

"We are extremely grateful to Governor Cuomo, the entire Western New York delegation and the New York State Department of Transportation for these funds.  The Metro Rail system is a tremendous asset in our community, and we need to continue to invest in it to make sure that we maintain a sustainable public transportation network.  This funding will allow us to move onto making improvements at LaSalle Station, to rebuilding rail cars, and taking care of our track and catenary.  Although riders may not physically see these components, they are critical to the system's operation and to providing our riders with safe and consistent rail service," said Tom George, NFTA's Public Transit Director.

Last year Metro rail served an estimated 5 million riders, and these funds will help to continue to serve its customers in the best way possible and further support the resurgence of the great Queen City.