NFTA Transporter

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Metro Community Night at the Ballpark

NFTA-Metro held its annual Community Night on the plaza at Coca-Cola Field on June 26, before the Buffalo Bisons took the 3-1 win against the Pawtucket Red Sox.

TAPD Officer Dave Capretto and King
and NFTA Executive Director  Kim Minkel
NFTA Metro staff were on hand at the main entrance an hour before the game greeting game-goers with give-a-ways. As part of this outreach event, Metro had one of its full size 40-foot buses on site which operates on compressed natural gas. The “green” CNG vehicles are more environment-friendly helping to decrease fuel costs and greatly reducing overall emission levels. In addition, Metro showcased its latest Paratransit vehicle which is one of its first front wheel drive low-floor vans providing more user-friendly service for the disabled community.

Transit Authority Police K-9 Officers were on-site with two of the department’s amazing service dogs, including Officer Dave Capretto and his K9, King. The TAPD also displayed its fully-functional “retro” Dodge Diplomat police car which is an exact replica of the original vehicle used in 1985.

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA Executive Director said, “This annual event presents a great opportunity to thank our many riders for their loyalty as well as talk with potential customers about an additional transportation option for the emerging multimodal riding community.”

This program is part of an overall customer appreciation initiative to thank customers for being loyal riders of the Metro system and to help make others aware of Metro services.

See you all again next year!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Bill Major Celebrates One Year as the Chief of ARFF

Chief Bill Major is celebrating his one-year anniversary as the head of the Airport Rescue Fire Fighting team. Chief Major has been a part of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority since 2008, when he began his service as an Airport Rescue firefighter and member of the 3rd Platoon under the direction of Captain Hal Hathaway. Since then, the chief has climbed the rankings, holding positions as Lieutenant and Assistant Chief, which prepared him for his current role.

Chief Major is an integral part of the NFTA and has done an amazing job in assisting with overall safety and adjunct operations at the Buffalo and Niagara Falls airports.  He has also played a significant part in the development of ARFF's new state-of-the-art firehouse.  However, in addition to overseeing all the firehouse's operations and managing his firefighting team, he also goes above and beyond to support his community on an every day basis.  This is a characteristic he hopes he has passed down to his assistant chiefs and firefighters.  As a matter of fact one of his favorite things about his job his team “go the extra mile” and taking genuine interest in the well-being of those that they serve.

However, the Chief himself, a humble man, should also be celebrated for his countless "miles" of heroic service.  Among his many honorable moments stands a time in which the chief was called into help a man suffering cardiac arrest at the Buffalo Airport.  In addition to helping save his life, he continued to follow the man and his family through recovery proceeding the attack.  This kind of selflessness is what has made the chief such a well-respected role-model within the NFTA and to those that know him in the community.
Photo taken by Chief Bill Major.

Outside of the firehouse, the Chief enjoys spending time with his four daughters and three grandkids. He loves travelling and visiting local parks and scenic areas where he can also feed his passion for photography.

“I’ve seen a lot of things and have been exposed to a lot.  That's part of the reason why  I love photography - to kind of reset. But, I truly have a passion for my profession and helping people… being a firefighter is the greatest job in the world, and I wouldn't trade it for anything,” said Chief Major.

Congratulations Chief on your anniversary - thanks for doing what you do! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

NFTA HSEQ tips save Jeff Lesanti and his family from disaster

The NFTA HSEQ team regularly provides safety tips to employees and although they contain important information, it is always their hope that no one will need to worry about dangerous circumstances.

However, Jeff Lesanti, found the information provided in May on "Grilling Safety" came in extremely handy during a recent situation at his home.  Jeff has owned his grill for about three years and in getting ready for summer barbecuing he checked the tank hose and related equipment prior to use.   When he did, he could smell gas, heard a hissing noise and subsequently found a leak in the tank.  Upon realizing there was a serious problem, he referred to the grilling safety tips and proceeded with caution to address the situation.  Since he is handy, he was able to properly replace the gas line himself. 

The grill is located underneath a patio off of his house, and if the grill would have caught fire it could have spread throughout his entire house and quickly. He has two children under the age of four, and he was extremely grateful to catch this leak before anything serious could have occurred. Jeff generally uses his grill two to three times per week to cook for his family and friends, so by checking things out prior to seasonal use, he saved himself and his family a whole lot of trouble.

Now, Jeff is ready to get back to safely grilling his burgers, hot dogs and his specialty - shish kebabs!

Friday, June 15, 2018

On the Run

Another great finish for the NFTA at the 38th annual JP Morgan Corporate Challenge. The NFTA, GBNRTC, and NITTEC fielded a team of 31 athletes, posting some very respectable times.

14,145 runners and walkers (a record number), from 391 companies, took part in the race. The course leads from Delaware Park to Gates Circle and back. Part of the proceeds go to the Buffalo Olmstead Parks Conservancy.
Special thanks go to Michael Moore, pictured above, who once again captained our team and organized our part in the event, along with assistance from Tom Kingston, Max Thayer, and the Transit Police Department. A fun time was had under beautiful blue skies in Delaware Park, and once again Jeffrey Sweet showed off his grilling skills.

Corey Hacker in the PR Dept. was behind the design for the this year's shirt and banner inspired by the event being held on Flag Day.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Alyssa Mancinelli becomes Metro's newest Customer Service Associate

Alyssa Mancinelli is the new face in the customer service center located in the bus terminal at the NFTA headquarters in downtown Buffalo.

Prior to this position, she worked as a Metro bus Operator for the past four years out of Frontier Garage.  Although she loved driving for the company, having the opportunity to work as an agent was very appealing to her.  In her new role she will be assisting customers with their Metro travel needs including reduced fare and PAL.  

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and her three year old son James. In the fall she plans on going back to school to finish her degree in business.

Good luck in your new position Alyssa.

Welcome Nadine Chalmers as the NFTA's new Transportation Planner

Nadine Chalmers has just joined the NFTA as a new Transportation Planner.  She comes to us from the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) where she served in the role of project manager for bicycle and pedestrian safety projects, including integration with transit.

Prior to working for NYCDOT, she was employed as an active living planner with Hennepin County in Minnesota, where she worked on station area planning and public engagement for their light rail expansion efforts in the Minneapolis area. She will have an active role in many of our current and future planning initiatives, including community outreach and the Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC).

She holds a dual Master’s in Urban Planning and Public Health from the University of Minnesota and was the recipient of the Women in Transportation Scholarship. Prior to enrolling in graduate school, she received a bachelor of arts and sciences in biomedical sciences and history from McGill University in Montreal. She brings with her a new perspective and passion for alternative modes of transportation along with a diverse background in community outreach into the fold.

Welcome Nadine!

NFTA Metro participates in Annual Developmental Disability Awareness Day

The 30th Annual Developmental Disability Awareness Day was held on May 24 at the Niagara Falls Conference Center. NFTA Metro, along with many area organizations who provide service to people with disabilities were on hand to share information about services, and celebrate inclusion and diversity. 

The Developmental Disability Awareness Day conference is the largest event of its kind in the U.S. It recognizes the achievements of people with disabilities and others who are making a positive impact toward accessibility and inclusiveness. Awards for personal achievement, direct service provider of the year, community service of the year and caregiver of the year are presented at the convention’s luncheon. Awards are also presented to professionals, organizations and individuals with developmental disabilities. The festivities include an art show featuring artwork from local artists with disabilities, various workshops and entertainment.

Patricia Wiseman, Superintendent of Special Services, Christopher Antholzner, Senior Operations Manager and Vivian Rodgers, ADA/EEO Administrator, were on hand to share information with individuals about Metro’s Paratransit Access Line and its fully accessible bus and rail system. There were over 100 vendors and 1,200 attendees at this year's event.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Congratulations to Louis Giardina, NPELRA President's Award Winner 2018

Lou Giardina tabled any negotiations in April while attending the National Public Employer Labor Relations Association Annual Conference held in Charleston, South Carolina.

This year's 2018 NPELRA President's Award of Excellence was given to none other than our own Louis Giardina.

The prestigious award is given to the individual who exemplifies dedication and achievement in the development of positive labor management relations. It signifies their professional efforts, which have demonstrated creative and innovative leadership.

Lou has served as Labor Relations Manager at the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority since 2006.

He has had quite a distinguished career serving as NYSPELRA President twice from 2007-09 and again in 2011-12. Currently, he is a Board Member-At-Large at NYSPELRA.

Lou was also awarded the 2013 Holcomb Award. This award is presented to those NYSPELRA members demonstrating exceptional achievement on behalf of the public employers and citizens of New York in the field of Labor Relations.