NFTA Transporter

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

TAPD Officers and K9 teams are Superbowl Bound!

Superbowl LIII is only a few weeks away, and the city of Atlanta is gearing up.  Like prior cities hosting the big event, it has teamed up with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to help keep everyone safe.   

In this massive safety effort, a variety of law enforcement teams across the country have been carefully chosen to join the Superbowl security detail.  Officer Mike Bogulski and K9 Lyka, and Officer Christie Clifford and K9 Harvey, from the Niagara Frontier Transit Police were among the lucky teams to be selected.  

In talking with Officers Boguski and Clifford, you can feel the excitement in the air.  "This is a huge national event and to be a part of it at the ground level is so amazing.  Both Lyka and Harvey are trained explosive detection dogs.  Our primary responsibilities will be to 'sniff' out potential threats, conduct vehicle searches and provide overall security checks," said Officer Bogulski.  "Although I'd love to watch the New England Patriots lose, we will essentially be working 24-7 and our focus will be on keeping the city and everyone within it - safe." 

Congratulations to this dynamic foursome for being selected for this great honor; it illustrates the level of experience and excellence of this law enforcement team.  Now, go Rams! 


Friday, January 11, 2019

Three is Key for Metro Operator Shirley Garwol

Shirley Garwol is the newest representative of the NFTA-HSEQ's Pit Crew Campaign where she features the importance of 3-points of contact for Metro passenger safety.  Simply put, "3-points" means always having one foot and two hands (or one hand and two feet) in contact while riding Metro vehicles. This campaign also highlights the importance of accessing handrails when using stairs, taking it slow, wearing slip resistant footwear when possible, and looking ahead for slippery surfaces.

Shirley is a dedicated operator of 26 years with an excellent safety record at Metro's Cold Spring station.  Prior to becoming an operator, Shirley held temporary roles as receptionist at the downtown bus terminal and toll booth clerk at the boat harbor, previously owned by the NFTA, bringing her time of service technically to 29 years.

Shirley says she loves working for Metro and enjoys serving the local riding community.  Each day offers opportunities to see riders she knows, meet new people and help them all get where they need to go.

Way to go Shirley, thanks for showing us how to stay safe while riding Metro bus and rail.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

NFTA Metro donates bus to Alfred State College

John Dembik, center, with students 
The NFTA has recently donated a Metro bus to Alfred State College to help students take their heavy equipment: truck and diesel technician program to the next level of learning.  
The bus is a 30-foot-long 2004 Gillig model that includes a diesel-powered engine with Tier 4 emissions, and multiplex communication between the vehicle and computer systems. The bus is also equipped with a Voith Automatic Transmission, which is considered the “Cadillac” of bus transmissions, according to Automotive Trades Department Chair Eric Wilmot.
NFTA's John Dembik, who is a member of Alfred State’s heavy equipment: truck and diesel program’s advisory board, had been looking to make the donation happen for the past three years, and is very pleased to see it come to fruition.

“Providing an operable hands-on training aid to Alfred State College’s heavy equipment truck and diesel technician program allows the students to get familiar with a transit bus and the operation/diagnostics of their subsystems.  The donation, will provide years of education to Alfred State’s students, and help remove some apprehension about working on a bus, whether it be a 30-foot, 40-foot, or 60-foot articulated transit bus," said John Dembik.
With the support of the NFTA and having a (physical) bus as part of their program, students at Alfred State will have the ability to further enhance their applied learning experiences and ultimately have more robust job opportunities early on in their careers. 

Friday, January 4, 2019

TAPD Officers graduate from Erie County Police Academy

We are happy to announce that there are four new NFTA Transit Police Officers. All of whom graduated from the Erie County Law Enforcement Academy on December 21 after undergoing an intense five-month training program.   

The new officers are pictured from the left as follows:  Kyle Allen, former Virginia State Trooper; Lauren Gawlak, daughter of TAPD Officer Robert Gawlak; Ken Bigham, former NYS Corrections officer and brother of TAPD Officer Dina Bigham; and Collin Griffiths, former investigator with Chesterfield, Virginia, Police.

The Erie County police training curriculum complies with New York State requirements as mandated by the Municipal Police Training Council and goes above and beyond basic training.  The program emphasizes ethics, excellence, professionalism and current best practices in the law enforcement field which supports the overall mission of training officers to help enhance public safety in our community.

These new officers have started their 10-week Field Training Officer Program (FTO) with a senior officer of the TAPD.  After completing FTO, they will then be assigned to a division for regular patrol.

Congratulations to all! 

Tom George Appointed President of ABBG

Tom George, NFTA-Metro's Director of Public Transit, has been appointed President of the American Bus Benchmarking Group (ABBG).  The ABBG is a consortium of 23 mid-sized bus agencies in North America that was established in 2011 to benchmark performance and share experiences and best practices.  

Tom, a licensed NYS professional engineer, brings to this role over thirty years working in transportation, consulting on both the international and regional levels. Tom’s experience in design, construction and management includes public transportation and intelligent transportation systems, as well as highway, facility and traffic systems.  In his current role with the NFTA, he provides overall direction for Metro bus and rail including public transportation administration and financial planning. 

ABBG 2018 Annual Meeting - San Bernardino, CA

He also serves as the Vice President of the New York State Public Transit Association and is on the Board of Directors of the Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps. Tom is an active member of the American Public Transit Association, Benchmarking Group of North American Light Rail Systems, Transportation Research Board, and the Institute of Transportation Engineers.

As part of the plans for 2019, Tom and his Metro team are looking forward to hosting the annual ABBG meeting in Buffalo later this year. 

Congratulations Tom!  

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Officer Gould and Sabre Score Big at ASIS Awards

TAPD Chief George Gast, Officer Robert Gould and
NFTA's Executive Director Kim Minkel 
Transit Police officer Robert Gould and his K-9 Sabre were recognized for their dedication and excellence in law enforcement from the WNY Chapter of ASIS International.  The award was recently presented at the Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Luncheon at Salvatore’s Italian Garden’s Restaurant.

“I’m incredibly proud of Officer Gould and Sabre,” said TAPD Chief George Gast, “It is so important to acknowledge the tremendous work of our officers, they truly make a positive difference in our community.  We are grateful to ASIS for taking the time to honor the many law enforcement professionals in Western New York who work every day to protect our community.”  
Sabre taking a break from the action 

Officer Gould and Sabre were among an elite group of officers from Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany, Orleans, Genesee and Wyoming Counties as well as to Federal and State Law Enforcement agencies.  The awards were given to officers who perform “above and beyond” the call. 

ASIS WNY is a non-profit organization, committed to this pursuit of recognition and public appreciation for the Law Enforcement community.  ASIS International is the leading organization for security professionals worldwide.  Founded in 1955, ASIS is dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and
productivity of security professionals by developing
educational programs and materials.