NFTA Transporter

Friday, November 30, 2018

GObike Buffalo Receives 85 Unclaimed Bikes

GObike Buffalo received more than 85 unclaimed bicycles NFTA-Metro. The donated bicycles will be used for GObike Buffalo’s recycle-a-bicycle classes, an educational program for children of all ages in which students receive a donated bicycle and strip it down, part-by-part, and rebuild it.

In addition to rules of the road, GObike Buffalo teaches the students how to travel from place to place on two wheels via bike paths and bicycle infrastructure with a final group ride on their rebuilt bicycle around their surrounding neighborhoods and local parks.
“We are thrilled to partner with GObike Buffalo and do our part to help those who cannot afford bikes become more independent,” said Tom George, Director, Public Transit, NFTA Metro. “We value GObike Buffalo and recognize the importance of bicycling to provide additional modes of transportation in the community and their strong tie to public transportation."
Donated bicycles from the NFTA had been left by bus patrons on bus bicycle racks. The NFTA Metro stores the bicycles for 90 days before donating to GObike Buffalo. NFTA Metro began donating the bicycles to GObike Buffalo in 2017.
Each year, GObike Buffalo recycles an average 1,000 of bicycles back into the community, thanks to generous donations from community members and organizations such as the NFTA. In 2018, GObike Buffalo has taught 275 children through their recycle-a-bicycle program. 

Welcome Jason Reilly to the NFTA

Many of you have been seeing a new face in MIS these days, and  his name is Jason Reilly.  Jason joined the NFTA in October as our new System Administrator Manager. His role includes assisting the MIS team with ongoing upgrades and overall support.

Jason's prior experience includes running a small IT department for a healthcare agency with a strong focus on security and industry compliance.  He has a degree in computer information systems as well as degrees in psychology and history.

Jason is originally from Syracuse but has lived in WNY for the past 22 years. In his free time he spends family time with his two children, a 17 year-old daughter and 14-year old son.  He is also an avid sports fan and enjoys watching and coaching various sports.

Please join in welcoming Jason to our team!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The J.D. Power Award Officially Comes to WNY

On November 28, the Buffalo Niagara International Airport had the honor of officially receiving the prestigious J.D. Power award after ranking number one in customer satisfaction among all medium hub airports in North America.

The Airport was named number one after an extensive survey of the flying public.  The high scores were attributed to ease of parking and going through security, and the expansive concession offerings for passengers.

The Buffalo airport serves approximately
5 million passengers per year, many of which are Canadians.  This great honor was announced a few months ago, but the airport received the actual award during an official ceremony today.

Monday, November 19, 2018

William Lobuzzetta Celebrates 40-Year Anniversary

Tom George presents gift to Billy Lobuzzetta 
William (Billy) Lobuzzetta celebrates 40 years at the NFTA  on Tuesday, November 20.  In honor of this great milestone, Tom George, with assistance from Sue Ohol, held a surprise luncheon during Metro's recent management team meeting.  The celebration included an etched glass award and a Ralph Kramden cake, referencing "a bus driver with big dreams" of Honeymooners fame.

Billy started his career as a Bus Driver in 1978 working out of Metro's Cold Spring Station. Being recognized for his stellar work ethic and dedication to serving the riding community, he became Bus Supervisor in 1984 and in 2002 was appointed as the Teamster's Union Leader.  In 2004, he was promoted to Superintendent of Transportation Services and continues to serve in this role today.

At Metro, Billy is known as "the guy who gets it done."  Over the years he has successfully managed Metro dispatch services and supervised numerous employees.  He has also helped plan and organize Metro bus participation during special events including stuff-a-bus and other community engagement activities.  Although he makes it all look so easy, his hard work never goes unnoticed.

“Billy Lobuzzetta’s value to the organization goes beyond his role of monitoring and managing our transportation system, his knowledge of our community and role in pursuing great customer service are paramount to making us vital to the community,” said Tom George.

In talking with Billy, you quickly get the impression that he loves his job in transportation, and he is
well-equipped to handle any situation.  One of his most significant memories includes managing Metro's crisis services day and night during the unexpected and devastating lake-effect storm in October of 2006.  During this time, he helped transport a large group of electrical and tree service employees on Metro bus from Buffalo to Rochester and back for ten days, so that the community and our residents could get the necessary help needed.

"I am so proud to work for NFTA Metro.  I never dreamed when I got hired what a wonderful career would be ahead of me.  I want to thank Kim Minkel and Tom George for their unwavering support, and the amazing employees and community members that I have had the pleasure of working with over the years.  It has been such a fantastic ride (pun intended), and I do not plan on slowing down anytime soon."

Please help in congratulating Billy on this amazing 40th year and milestone anniversary!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Christine Farrow graduates from PTLI

Christine Farrow, NFTA's Equal Employer Opportunity Manager, has added yet another achievement to her list.  She is a proud graduate of the New York State's Public Transit Leadership Institute, which provides a year-long program devoted to mid-to senior-level managers aspiring to serve in an executive leadership role. 

PTLI provides a first-hand look at the role of a transit executive under the mentorship of Bill Carpenter, Chief Executive Officer of Rochester Transit Authority.  While working with Bill and his team, Christine had the opportunity to enhance her knowledge in the areas of crisis management, Board and labor relations, leadership, and advocacy to name a few. 

“Participation in this program has provided me with a wealth of knowledge enabling me to better assist our employees at the NFTA and the local community we serve.  Through PTLI, I have been able to incorporate my experience as a diversity and inclusion professional and assist others in coordinating progressive meetings and training sessions. This truly was an amazing program, and I am grateful to Kim Minkel and Tom George for recommending me,” said Christine.

While in the program, Christine volunteered to help coordinate the key diversity speaker for NYPTA's 2018 fall conference and served as moderator for the leadership track session, Inclusion and Equality: Driving from Awareness to Action.

Way to go Christine - congratulations on your great achievements! 

El Museo Exhibits Art in Utica Station

Artists from left -Tyshaun, Imani and Obsidian with
Metro's Dir. of Public Transit, Tom George 
On November 9, El Museo, in conjunction with the NFTA, hosted a special event to launch Your Utica Station, and unveiled its public installation of art by four local artists.  

The artists include Tyshaun Tyson, Imani Williamson, Obsidian Bellis, Bleu-Ruby Daniels-Taylor, all of whom have been influenced by their experiences growing up and taking Metro in Buffalo.  Each of the three artists in attendance delivered a short presentation on the inspiration for their individual piece. 

Representatives from El Museo expressed their enthusiasm in showcasing the artists' works within Utica Station in the next few months, and they are looking forward to riders and community members stopping to take a look. 

"We are very excited about this new initiative and its alignment with our longstanding mission to exhibit work by underserved artists and engage diverse audiences and marginalized communities in Buffalo and Western New York," said William Vogel, El Museo's Executive Director. 

Your Utica Station aims to inspire transit riders and beautify this unique public space. The project was made possible in part by a grant from the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and support from the NFTA and Lamar Advertising. The artwork will be on display at the station until December 30, 2018.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Preservation Buffalo Niagara Takes a Tour of DL&W

On November 1, Metro's Rachel Maloney conducted a tour of  DL&W for 30 members of the Preservation Buffalo Niagara.

This nonprofit organization invests in projects that play a role in the protection of historic buildings and community revitalization. Given the historic value and relatable charm of the 101 year-old facility, the attendees expressed interest in learning more about the upcoming plans for DL&W, and this was a great hands-on way to do so.

The focus of the tour was on the new Metro rail passenger station and the planned redevelopment of the 80,000 sq. ft. space on the second level. Some key factors in this redevelopment project include maintaining the existing building features and providing access to the river. The anticipated completion date for the project will be in 2022.