FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 12, 2021
BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority recorded its best safety performance year ever during 2020.Recordable Injuries decreased by 16%, lost workday injuries decreased by 11%, and days away due to injuries decreased by 37%. All NFTA employees contributed to this achievement, and demonstrates the unwavering attention that our employees devote to keeping themselves and our customers safe every day. “The health and safety of the NFTA’s employees and our customers is our top priority,” said Kim Minkel, NFTA executive director. “We are proud of this remarkable accomplishment, especially during these difficult times.”
Every NFTA and Metro location reported a significant decline in employee injury rates, showing their dedication to upholding high safety standards.
Highlights of 2020 Achievements:
● Recordable Injuries decreased by 16%
● Lost Workday Injuries decreased by 11%
● Days Away Due to Injuries decreased by 37%
PHOTO/VIDEO OPPORTUNITY & PRESS RELEASE
Renovated Main/Seneca Metro Rail Stations
to be Unveiled March 29
Merchants Insurance Group invites you to the ribbon cutting for the recently renovated Metro Rail stations at Main near Seneca streets.
What: Unveiling of Renovated “Merchants Insurance Group” Metro Rail Stations,
Main Street @ Seneca
When: Date: Monday, March 29, 2021
Times: 9 A.M.—Registration & Availability for Media Questions
10 A.M.—Event Begins
Where: Merchants Insurance Group, 250 Main Street, Buffalo, N.Y.
Parking: Main-Seneca Parking Lot
Embargoed Until March 29, 2021
Merchants Insurance Group helps the NFTA, the city and the local economy with renovation work on Main/Seneca street Metro Rail stations.
Buffalo, N.Y. — March 29, 2021— Merchants Insurance Group, partnering with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA), unveiled the enhanced Main/Seneca Metro Rail stations in downtown Buffalo, New York outside of Merchants’ corporate headquarters. The occasion was marked with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting by Merchants’ President and CEO Robert M. Zak, and Kim Minkel, Executive Director at the NFTA.
“This block of Main Street has been the home for Merchants’ headquarters for more than 90 years” commented Zak. “Our objective in completing this project is to contribute to the ongoing resurgence of downtown Buffalo.”
"It's imperative that we continue to see strong investment throughout our transportation corridors, and this partnership with Merchants Insurance Group is a demonstration not only of their commitment to the City of Buffalo, but to the transit riders that use these networks every day," said Senator Tim Kennedy, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.
"This partnership illustrates Merchants Insurances’ commitment to the Western New York Community,” said Minkel. “We are so appreciative because this beautiful, improved station provides us with a new creative source of revenue and helps us continue to maximize public transportation to better connect people within our community.”
The work on the stations, which are located on the northbound and southbound Metro Rail lines on Main Street between Seneca Street and Swan Street, has been in process for more than a year. The stations were designed to complement the Merchants headquarters building and were rejuvenated with Merchants’ branding through logo wraps and signage, as well as fresh paint in “Merchants Maroon.”
Merchants’ logo signage adorns the top of each station. Scaled-down versions of Merchants’ iconic vertical sign on the front of its headquarters were installed on the side of each station. The signs will be illuminated by solar panels designed and installed by Western New York-based Solar Liberty Energy Solutions Inc., through National Grid. Merchants’ use of an environmentally friendly power source is a continuation of its efforts to reduce its eco-footprint through a variety of initiatives including solar panels on its headquarters’ roof and digitizing insurance transactions.
As a small business insurer, working with local businesses for this project was a priority for Merchants, especially given the COVID-19 pandemic. Buffalo-based branding, advertising, and digital marketing firm Abbey Mecca provided the creative design and project management. Work progressed successfully despite the pandemic, and Merchants and Abbey Mecca worked with several local businesses including Solar Liberty, RW Painting Inc., Streamline Designs, and ASI Signage Installations.
Merchants’ local sourcing for this endeavor is in line with its deep-rooted value of community. Founded in downtown Buffalo more than one hundred years ago in 1918, Merchants values its longstanding role in the Buffalo and Western New York community. The company employs local businesses as frequently as it can on undertakings such as the Metro Rail station renovation, its recent reproduction of its historic vertical blade sign, and its rooftop solar paneling. Merchants also regularly participates in local philanthropic causes and local nonprofit sponsorships.
Merchants’ focus on rejuvenating the train stations is in keeping with other nearby businesses who have worked to improve the foot of Main Street in downtown Buffalo, including Douglas Development, Crowley Webb, Priam Enterprises, and Buffalo Place. These five entities funded the removal of the windscreen from the east side of the 200 block of Main St. near the Metro Rail stations
Merchants Insurance Group’s Buffalo, N.Y. corporate headquarters office supports the local economy by employing more than two hundred colleagues in the area.
About Merchants Insurance Group
Merchants Insurance Group is composed of Merchants Mutual Insurance Company, Merchants Preferred Insurance Company, and Merchants National Insurance Company. The companies offer personal and commercial insurance through a network of more than 1,000 independent insurance agents throughout the Northeast and North Central United States, with corporate headquarters and regional operations located in Buffalo, and Hauppauge, N.Y.; Mount Laurel, N.J.; and Bedford, N.H. www.MerchantsGroup.com
The NFTA is a regional multi-modal transportation authority responsible for airport and surface transportation in Erie and Niagara counties. NFTA/NFTM businesses include a bus, rail and paratransit system, the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, and the Niagara Falls International Airport. In 2018, a J.D. Power study ranked the Buffalo Niagara International Airport number one in customer satisfaction for medium sized airports in North America. www.NFTA.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 5, 2021
In keeping with the guidance and directives of local, state, and national health authorities including the Centers for Disease Control relating to COVID-19 and pursuant to Executive Order No. 202.1, issued by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s (the “NFTA”) Board of Commissioners meeting scheduled for March 25, 2021, at 12:30 p.m. will be held telephonically by conference call. Only the Executive Director, Chair (or Acting Chair), Commissioners of the NFTA, and essential staff of the NFTA will be permitted to be present in-person for the meeting. The public will have the ability to view and listen to the meeting by accessing the NFTA’s website at www.nfta.com. The meeting will be recorded and later transcribed.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 26, 2021
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority has agreed to purchase 10 battery-electric buses to be delivered in 2022 from New Flyer of America Inc., at a cost of $10.1 million dollars. The Agreement includes an option to purchase up to 140 additional buses over a five-year period.
This is a major milestone in New York State’s and the NFTA’s ongoing effort to improve air quality for all.
“The purchase of the buses will help reduce Western New York’s carbon footprint,” said NFTA Executive Director Kim Minkel, this is a major step forward for us and a move in alignment with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s ongoing commitment for statewide clean energy. We are grateful to our elected officials, like Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Senator Tim Kennedy, Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, the entire WNY delegation along with our business and community partners for their help to make this happen.”
Senator Chuck Schumer:
Thanks to federal resources I fought hard to secure Western New York commuters who can now ride on a fleet of clean, electric, zero-emission electric buses,” said Senator Schumer. “I remain steadfast in my commitment to secure funding for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority and other Upstate transit agencies to reduce dirty fossil fuels and ensure safer, faster and cleaner rides and better access for all.”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand:
“I have long fought for funding for the NFTA, which provides essential transportation services for Western New Yorkers. Not only will these electric buses help support the local economy, but it will contribute to efforts to combat climate change.”
Congressman Brian Higgins:
“The NFTA’s actions to expand the deployment of environmentally friendly busses, with the help of $5 million in federal funding, represents a continued commitment to delivering thoughtful public service. Adding to the NFTA’s clean and green fleet furthers efforts to build a healthier community and world.”
The New York Power Authority will oversee the installation of state-of-the-art overhead motorized depot pantograph charging inside the Cold Springs garage. Drivers will be able to park a bus inside the garage and automatically the ceiling-mounted pantograph arm will electrically connect to the roof of the bus to charge its battery overnight.
The electrification initiative is part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s nation-leading plan to increase the number of electric buses in the state to mitigate climate change, create healthier communities, improve air quality, and boost access to clean transportation in underserved communities. NFTA has committed to having 25 percent of its buses electric by 2025 and 100 percent by 2035. Taking diesel-powered vehicles out of service reduces greenhouse gas emissions and improves air quality in support of New York’s clean energy and climate goals in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
NYPA President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones
“As one of the largest transit systems in New York State, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s decision to begin electrifying its buses speaks volumes about the importance of improving air quality in heavily trafficked areas. NYPA is pleased to collaborate on modernizing the fleet to help decarbonize the transportation sector and help the state reach its clean energy goals. Decreasing emissions produced by diesel will combat climate change by developing cleaner, quieter, transportation that will lead to a more sustainable future.”
National Grid Regional Director Ken Kujawa
“National Grid is proud to support the NFTA as they electrify their bus fleet,” as we strive to achieve New York State’s goals of expanding the number of electric vehicles and charging stations, we’re committed to supporting the NFTA as well as all of our customers who aspire to bolster their fleets with zero emission vehicles.”
The Niagara Sierra Group, Zero Emission Bus Committee
The Sierra Club applauds the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority for taking this crucial step towards a clean transportation future for communities across Western New York. An investment in electric buses is an investment in public health and climate action, and electrifying our dirtiest buses is a critical step forward to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and unhealthy air pollution especially in the hard-hit communities of color. We look forward to continuing to work with NFTA to ensure an economically resilient, sustainable, and 100% pollution-free bus fleet."
BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Niagara Frontier Transit Metro System is the winner of the 2020 Bus and Rail Safety and Security Gold Excellence Award. The high honor is from the American Public Transportation Association.
APTA recognized Metro with the top honor gold award for the implementation of a new light rail/streetcar contractor safety and security program. The program includes revised policies on right-of-way and blue flag signal protection training, flagman procedures, compliance inspections, updates to lockout/tagout procedures, and personal protective equipment compliance. The execution of this comprehensive initiative has led to increased safety awareness for contractors performing work within Metro’s light rail system and significantly fewer reportable on-the-job incidents.
“The implementation of these initiatives demonstrates the NFTA’s ongoing commitment to pursuing the highest level of safety and security for Metro passengers, employees, and our community for which this recognition is appreciated,” said Tom George, Director of Public Transportation at the NFTA.
The APTA Bus and Rail Safety and Security Excellence Awards recognizes public transit providers for their pioneering and proactive safety and security programs. Nominations are evaluated on four criteria: effectiveness, benefit level, innovation, and transferability. These awards help to benchmark winning programs across the transit industry so other systems can implement improvements based on the successes of their peers.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 9, 2021
NFTA Board Meeting on February 25, 2021
In keeping with the guidance and directives of local, state, and national health authorities including the Centers for Disease Control relating to COVID-19 and pursuant to Executive Order No. 202.1, issued by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s (the “NFTA”) Board of Commissioners meeting scheduled for February 25, 2021, at 12:30 p.m. will be held telephonically by conference call. Only the Executive Director, Chair (or Acting Chair), Commissioners of the NFTA, and essential staff of the NFTA will be permitted to be present in-person for the meeting. The public will have the ability to view and listen to the meeting by accessing the NFTA’s website at www.nfta.com. The meeting will be recorded and later transcribed.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 27, 2021
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, in partnership with Magnusmode, launched a free app that assists NFTA- Metro riders as well as air travelers at the Buffalo Airport with cognitive disabilities. It’s called, MagnusCards, it’s a free app now featuring NFTA card decks.
The NFTA card decks increase travel accessibility for those with cognitive disabilities by using digital guides to help people access the airports, bus, and rail. Magnus, an interactive character, acts as the guide providing the user with reassurances and reinforcing routine. The card deck uses pictures along with plain language text to offer step-by-step travel instructions.
“MagnusCards allow us to help all of our riders and air travelers experience the exceptional customer service at our airports, and Metro bus and rail,” said Kim Minkel, executive director of the NFTA. “This is another step in our ongoing efforts to make mobility as inclusive as possible in the Western New York Community.”
“Airports, and transit systems are busy and complex environments,” said Nadia Hamilton, Founder and President of Magnusmode. “It can all be overwhelming for people with cognitive special needs and their families. By making activities more predictable and manageable – for example, going through security screening – MagnusCards reduce the stress and anxiety that often accompanies air travel.”
Magnusmode founder Nadia Hamilton is a past 43 North winner, having this innovative tool available for Western New Yorkers is important for the community first organization.
“43North is excited to see Magnusmode’s technology on full display around our region,” said Colleen Heidinger, President of 43North. “We’re proud that the NFTA cares about making mobility more inclusive in this community and think this partnership will also serve as an example for other sectors to see the impact of Magnusmode’s innovation.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 13, 2021
In keeping with the guidance and directives of local, state, and national health authorities including the Centers for Disease Control relating to COVID-19 and pursuant to Executive Order No. 202.1, issued by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s (the “NFTA”) Board of Commissioners meeting scheduled for January 28, 2021, at 12:30 p.m. will be held telephonically by conference call. Only the Executive Director, Chair (or Acting Chair), Commissioners of the NFTA, and essential staff of the NFTA will be permitted to be present in-person for the meeting. The public will have the ability to view and listen to the meeting by accessing the NFTA’s website at www.nfta.com. The meeting will be recorded and later transcribed.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 13, 2021
BUFFALO, N.Y.,- The Buffalo Niagara International Airport has been recognized by USA Today as one of the best small airports in the country. But we all know it is the absolute best. You can help make it number one. Voting is open at www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-small-airport-2020/ and anyone visiting the site is welcomed to vote once a day, now through noon February 1.
USA Today praises the Buffalo Airport, and other nominees, for friendliness, ease of use, amenities and flight offerings. It classifies “small” as any facility serving under 10 million passengers annually, which only makes it small relative to super airports like O’Hare and LAX. A previous J.D. Power winner, the Buffalo Airport is proud that another group has noticed how nice it is flying out of Buffalo.
If you are proud of your hometown airport, you can show it too. Vote and vote often. This is our year Buffalo!
ABOUT THE NFTA
The NFTA is a regional multi-modal transportation authority responsible for airport and surface transportation in Erie and Niagara counties. NFTA/NFTM businesses include a bus, rail, and paratransit system, the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and the Niagara Falls International Airport.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 16, 2020
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Every year, hundreds of students come to the Buffalo Airport’s Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) facility to get a firsthand look at operations and learn about fire prevention. This year, however, due to COVID-19 concerns, in-person visits are no longer possible, so the ARFF’s fire-fighting team made a video (a virtual “Open House”). This video is available for students throughout Western New York, online 24/7. The “Open House” video gives a behind the scenes look at the Buffalo Airport firefighting team, its facility, and provides valuable fire prevention tips to help keep families safe.
“It’s another way to reach the community,” Kim Minkel, Executive Director, NFTA said. “We are making the video available for students in an effort to keep fire prevention and safety top of mind.”
“The virtual, Open House highlights fire prevention information including important kitchen safety tips.” says ARFF fire chief William Major. “With more families at home working, learning, and cooking, it is important to stay alert and practice vigilant household fire safety.”
The virtual “Open House” is available at this link, https://youtu.be/-5GAAahZFTM.
ABOUT THE NFTA
The NFTA is a regional multi-modal transportation authority responsible for airport and surface transportation in Erie and Niagara Counties. NFTA/NFTM businesses include a bus, rail and paratransit system, the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, and the Niagara Falls International Airport. In 2018, a J.D. Power study ranked the Buffalo Niagara International Airport number #1in customer satisfaction for medium sized airports in North America. A June 2017 survey from the Greater Buffalo-Niagara Regional Transportation Council of more than 9,500 transit riders indicated that 90 percent of NFTA-Metro customers said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the bus and rail system.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 7, 2020
NFTA Board Meeting on December 10, 2020
In keeping with the guidance and directives of local, state, and national health authorities including the Centers for Disease Control relating to COVID-19 and pursuant to Executive Order No. 202.1, issued by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s (the “NFTA”) Board of Commissioners meeting scheduled for December 10, 2020, at 12:30 p.m. will be held telephonically by conference call. Only the Executive Director, Chair (or Acting Chair), Commissioners of the NFTA, and essential staff of the NFTA will be permitted to be present in-person for the meeting. The public will have the ability to view and listen to the meeting by accessing the NFTA’s website at www.nfta.com. The meeting will be recorded and later transcribed.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 7, 2020
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. - The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) and the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area (NFNHA) are seeking an artist to create a public art mural inside the NFTA’s Portage Road Transportation Center (PRTC). The goal of the project is to enhance the atmosphere of the public indoor waiting area by creating a beautiful work of art. The Transportation Center is located in the heart of the City of Niagara Falls, and sees more than 2,000 boarding’s per week, with services to and from Buffalo and Niagara County.
“This project is a great way to enhance our transit center to create an environment that the community will be proud to use while accessing our system” said Tom George, director of public transportation, NFTA. The artwork will provide a friendlier, more inviting atmosphere, while also offering a glimpse into the rich history and unique characteristics of the surrounding neighborhoods, positively to the daily experience of the many people who use the NFTA-Metro services.
“By creating a vibrant artwork at the NFTA’s Portage Road Transportation Center, our hope is that the experience will generate feelings of comfort, safety and pride for riders and community members”, said Ally Spongr, project director, NFNHA. The mural at the PRTC will join a collective of new public art murals being created in the City’s North End that focus on the history and culture of local communities.
Artists are invited to submit their qualifications for consideration online at discoverniagara.org/blog. Any artist residing in Western New York is welcome to apply. The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, December 15.
NFTA-Metro serves 24 million people each year in Erie and Niagara counties, and is made up of 1,000 employees including operators, planners, mechanics, technicians, and specialists responsible for delivering service, and working diligently to make it easy for our customers to experience the highest level of public transportation. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) awarded NFTA-Metro with the top gold award in its 2020 Bus and Rail Safety & Security Excellence Award, which is given to organizations with the best overall safety or security programs.
The Niagara Falls National Heritage Area (NFNHA) is one of 55 National Heritage Areas in the United States. Designated by the United States Congress in 2008, its mission is to preserve, protect and promote the historic, natural and cultural resources of the area stretching from Niagara Falls to Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown, New York. The NFNHA works through a network of partners who seek to make interpretive, environmental, economic and social improvements that benefits residents and visitors alike. Major projects of the NFNHA include the Discover Niagara Shuttle, NF Murals and the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center. Learn more at discoverniagara.org.
Notice is hereby given that a public hearing will be held by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) on Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. This hearing will be held at the office of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.
In order for the hearing to be conducted in an orderly manner and to assure maximum public participation, those who wish to speak should register with the Authority by November 30, 2020. Please provide your name, address, email address, telephone number and name of organization (if applicable) to NFTA:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (716) 855-7300 (ext. 7238)
Upon confirmation of registration, you will be provided with telephone and Microsoft Teams access code information for the hearing.
The purpose of this hearing is to receive public comment and testimony on the proposed Operating and Capital Budgets for NFT Metro System, Inc. for fiscal year ending 2022.
NFTA will afford the opportunity for all interested persons to be heard. Evidence and comments may be submitted telephonically or in writing.
Copies of the NFT Metro System, Inc. budget will be available on November 23, 2020 at the Buffalo and Erie County Main Library, Lafayette Square, Buffalo, New York and at the Niagara Falls Public Library, 1425 Main Street, Niagara Falls, New York.
This document will be available for examination at the offices of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, Second Floor, Metropolitan Transportation Center, Buffalo, New York, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on November 23-December 2, 2020.
To facilitate an orderly procedure during the public hearing, the following rules will be in effect:
Those who wish to speak must file their registrations with the offices of the Authority by November 30, 2020.
Any individual may speak on the subject of the meeting for themselves or, if authorized in writing, for any group, organization, committee, association or firm. Any speaker representing more than one civic group, organization, club or association will be permitted to speak on behalf of all organizations represented.
Each speaker must limit his/her telephonic presentation to five (5) minutes. Speakers will be allowed to use their time to the best advantage without interruption. The presiding officer may ask a speaker for clarification at any time. Relinquishing of time from one speaker to another will not be permitted.
A prepared statement may be submitted in writing, prior to the hearing. Such written material must be legible on normal business size paper (81⁄2” x 11”).
After all registered speakers have been heard, the presiding officer will allow additional telephonic statements by other persons (identification required) between 10:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 25, 2020
NFTA Partners with FeedMore WNY to Fight Hunger Amid Pandemic
Agency Reaches Out to Community to Collect Food Donations for Those in Need
BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (“NFTA”) announced today that it is partnering with FeedMore WNY to help collect food for those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NFTA launched its holiday food drive on November 23, just before Thanksgiving. The goal is to collect as many canned goods and non-perishables as possible. This year, putting food on the table is a struggle more than ever for many families, and especially as we go into the holiday season.
If you would like to help those in need in our community, you can provide a contactless donation through YouGiveGoods.com/drive-nfta. Items may also be dropped off at the following locations:
- NFTA Metro Customer Service Center, Downtown Bus Station, 181 Ellicott Street (14203)
- Buffalo Airport Fire House, 120 Amherst Villa Rd. (14225)
- FeedMore WNY, 91 Holt St. (14206)
FeedMore WNY exists to make sure our hungry community members of all ages, backgrounds and circumstances have enough nutritious food to eat. However, FeedMore WNY cannot fulfill its mission without the support of the community. Prior to the pandemic, FeedMore WNY served as many as 135,000 individuals in any given month. Since COVID-19 hit Western New York in March, thousands more people have been reaching out for food assistance.
“We are thrilled to partner with FeedMore WNY in collecting food donations to support our community, which is facing such significant challenges brought about by the pandemic.” said Kimberley Minkel, Executive Director, NFTA.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 health crisis has greatly increased the need for food assistance in Western New York. As many as one in six people in FeedMore WNY’s four-county service area may struggle with hunger due to the pandemic.
“We are grateful to our friends at the NFTA for holding this important food drive to benefit our struggling community members, and we encourage everyone to donate online or at the designated drop off locations to support our neighbors in need,” said Tara A. Ellis, President and CEO of FeedMore WNY.
Local businesses are welcome to participate, either by collecting food donations or submitting online financial donations. COVID-19 protocols are in place to ensure participant safety remains the top priority throughout the campaign.
ABOUT THE NFTA
The NFTA is a regional multi-modal transportation authority responsible for airport and surface transportation in Erie and Niagara Counties. NFTA/NFTM businesses include a bus, rail and paratransit system, the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and the Niagara Falls International Airport.
In 2016, a J.D. Power study ranked the Buffalo Niagara International Airport second highest in customer satisfaction for medium sized airports in North America.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 23, 2020
BUFFALO, N.Y. NFTA - This is the time of year to give thanks, and with all the challenges of 2020, NFTA-Metro wants to show its appreciation to riders who continue to be diligent in their mask-wearing. Wearing a mask while on the bus and rail is a powerful deterrent in the spread of COVID-19.
#MaskUpMetro is a campaign that NFTA-Metro is launching in an effort to continue to encourage mask-wearing and show appreciation to the vast majority of riders who wear masks on public transit. According to NFTA-Metro audits, 97% of bus riders are wearing masks. It is not surprising that Western New Yorkers are showing their support and respect for each other’s health and wellbeing. To show its appreciation, NFTA-Metro has started a thank you campaign. The first 20 riders who share a mask selfie while riding the bus or rail with us on social media, using the hashtag, #MaskUpMetro, and tagging @nftametro will win a day pass.
"The goal is for 100% universal mask compliance," said Kim Minkel, executive director, NFTA. "This campaign is about saving lives and showing our appreciation to our riders and the entire community."
"The majority of Western New Yorkers are doing a great job when it comes to maintaining safe distances and wearing masks in the system," said Tom George, Director of Public Transit, NFTA. "This campaign is a way to thank our riders, and to illustrate the importance of mask-wearing. I also want to give kudos to our operators and the entire NFTA-Metro staff for doing a fantastic job and staying vigilant.”
Everyone in New York State is required to wear a mask or face covering in public – with a few caveats – as part of the state’s ongoing effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo issued an executive order on April 17, putting the mandate in place.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) recommends appropriate masks to be worn by all passengers and by all personnel operating the public transportation vehicles. The CDC has provided guidance to support state and local health authorities in this effort.
NFTA-Metro serves 24 million people each year in Erie and Niagara Counties, and is made up of 1,000 employees including operators, planners, mechanics, technicians, and specialists responsible for delivering service, and working diligently to make it easy for our customers to experience the highest level of public transportation. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) awarded NFTA-Metro with the top gold award in its 2020 Bus and Rail Safety & Security Excellence Award, which is given to organizations with the best overall safety or security programs.
MEDIA ADVISORY November 16, 2020
Please be advised there will only be a budget meeting this month on November 19, 2020, at 11:00 a.m.
Only the Executive Director, Chair (or Acting Chair), Commissioners of the NFTA, and essential staff of the NFTA will be permitted to be present in-person for the meeting. The public will have the ability to view and listen to the meeting by accessing the NFTA’s website at www.nfta.com. The meeting will be recorded and later transcribed.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 12, 2020
What and Who: Join leaders from the NFTA, as well as civic, business and government officials at the Buffalo Airport for an open house and unveiling of the new baggage carousel. The completion of the carousel is a major construction milestone in the airport enhancement project. There will be a demonstration that will highlight the major improvements that travelers will experience and tours to show the public the progress in the enhancement project.
Where: Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Guests should park in the short-term parking lot and bring in your ticket for validation.
When: Friday, November 13, 2020, at 10:00 a.m.
***All event procedures will follow proper social distancing and all guests are asked to wear face coverings.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 13, 2020
BUFFALO, N.Y. NFTA- Metro values its riders and the community and is always looking at ways to improve and innovate. We are thrilled to announce that riders can now buy a NFTA Metro pass through the smartphone apps “Moovit” and “Transit.” These apps help riders plan and pay for their trip, all in one spot. There are a number of additional trip planning tools to help riders get where they are going, including Google Maps, the NFTA Trip Planner, and NFTA Smart Traveler Plus. Visit https://metro.nfta.com/schedules/plan-your-trip for all the options. Riders can still buy tickets and passes in Token Transit, 30-day passes are now available.
“We are always looking at new ways to improve the rider experience,” said Tom George, Director of Public Transit, NFTA-Metro. “We hear from our riders frequently that having the latest technology is extremely valuable.”
Moovit and Transit, two public transit apps available in Western New York, let the user plan public transportation trips throughout the area, and all over the world. These apps work with just about any kind of mobile device and integrate a ticketing feature from Token Transit, so a rider can pay their fare with a click and without leaving the app.
Both mobility apps add to the choices already available at Metro.nfta.com, providing riders with even more choices. Metro continues to offer Where’s My Bus, Stop ID Lookup, Smart Traveler, Google Transit and the Trip Planner. Each feature provides information on how to use Metro, how Metro is functioning and how best to take advantage of bus and rail services.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 8, 2020
NFTA Board Meeting on October 22, 2020
In keeping with the guidance and directives of local, state, and national health authorities including the Centers for Disease Control relating to COVID-19 and pursuant to Executive Order No. 202.1, issued by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s (the “NFTA”) Board of Commissioners meeting scheduled for October 22, 2020, at 12:30 p.m. will be held telephonically by conference call. Only the Executive Director, Chair (or Acting Chair), Commissioners of the NFTA, and essential staff of the NFTA will be permitted to be present in-person for the meeting. The public will have the ability to view and listen to the meeting by accessing the NFTA’s website at www.nfta.com. The meeting will be recorded and later transcribed.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 09, 2020
NFTA Board Meeting on September 24, 2020
In keeping with the guidance and directives of local, state, and national health authorities including the Centers for Disease Control relating to COVID-19 and pursuant to Executive Order No. 202.1, issued by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s (the “NFTA”) Board of Commissioners meeting scheduled for September 24, 2020, at 12:30 p.m. will be held telephonically by conference call. Only the Executive Director, Chair (or Acting Chair), Commissioners of the NFTA, and essential staff of the NFTA will be permitted to be present in-person for the meeting. The public will have the ability to view and listen to the meeting by accessing the NFTA’s website at www.nfta.com. The meeting will be recorded and later transcribed.
Cobblestone District Business Group Partners with Albright-Knox and NFTA to Begin New Murals at DL&W Terminal
Buffalo, NY – The Cobblestone District Business Group has partnered with the Albright-Knox’s Public Art Initiative and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) to produce a series of new murals at the NFTA’s DL&W terminal. Artists will begin working this week on what will become a destination-making public art project that will further enhance downtown, especially the neighboring Cobblestone businesses and the site of the annual Cobblestone Live festival.
The South Park Avenue side of the NFTA train depot (DL&W) presents a unique opportunity for public art, with a large, low wall that will naturally welcome a series of thirteen painted mural panels. One panel will act as a didactic space and the remaining twelve panels will each be painted by a different artist, ranging from local to national. The work will be completed over the course of two summers, with six panels being completed this summer and six next summer.
The selection of artists for this year is Obsidian Bellis (American, born 1993), Jason Bramer (American, born 1974), Lauren McKenzie, aka Lady Noel (American, born 1988), Ellen Rutt (American, born 1989), James Moffitt, aka Yames (American, born 1987), and Bradd Young, aka SALUT (American, born 1994). This selection of artists includes three regional artists, three female artists, and three Black artists within the group of six. The additional artists will be selected and announced next year.
“We are thrilled to be part of this exciting public art project,” said NFTA Executive Director Kim Minkel. “These murals will enhance the neighborhood and promote interest in the DL&W by adding vibrancy and community pride. It is amazing how art can uplift us all.”
“The Cobblestone Commons is truly an expression of what it means to be part of a ‘community,’” said Cory Muscato, owner of Lockhouse Distillery and member of the Cobblestone District Business Group. “The idea to collaborate to create public art in this space was born out of the annual Cobblestone Live Music & Arts Festival, held each summer for the past three years along the same strip of South Park Avenue. The businesses in our neighborhood share a strong sense of cooperation and seek to further distinguish our district beyond the many street festivals, sporting events, and concerts that have made it a destination for hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. I am very proud to see so many businesses come together with the Albright-Knox and NFTA to give birth to such a meaningful and large-scale mural for the City of Buffalo and its communities.”
The Albright-Knox’s Public Art Initiative is an innovative partnership between the museum and the County of Erie established in 2013 to enhance our shared sense of place and cultural identity in the urban and suburban landscapes of Western New York. The City of Buffalo joined the partnership in 2014. The goal of the initiative is to create spaces of dialogue where diverse communities have the ability to socially engage with, actively respond to, and cooperatively produce great public art that is capable of empowering individuals, creating stronger neighborhoods, and establishing Western New York as a critical cultural center.
This project was made possible by the NFTA, Ferguson Electric, Labatt USA, Buffalo Iron Works, Lockhouse Distillery, Pegula Sports and Entertainment, Port X Logistics, Savarino Companies, Watts Architecture & Engineering, Abbey Mecca, CPL: Architecture.Engineering.Planning, ECIDA, RP Oak Hill Building Company, Inc., Gilbane Building Company, and Julia Spitz. Additional support has been provided by C2 Paint and Red Disk.
Obsidian Bellis is an artist and DIY organizer born and raised on the East Side of Buffalo. After traveling and living in other places on the East Coast and in the Midwest, Bellis now resides on Buffalo’s West Side. Bellis sees her creative drive as a method to bring something new and novel into existence. Finding inspiration from such wide-ranging sources as magical illustrations found in fifteenth to nineteenth–century Coptic prayer scroll amulets and Ethiopian illuminated manuscripts to mythology to Afrofuturism, Bellis’s signature style is a mixture of illustrative and mystical forms often incorporating spectacular natural elements with fantastical figures.
Jason Brammer is a Chicago-based visual artist known for his murals, site-specific installations, distinctive paintings, and mixed-media hand-painted assemblages. Brammer’s murals also veer into fantastic worlds but utilize a more formal trompe l'oeil style that pierces otherwise solid forms and allows viewers to envision a portal to another place. He has received commissions from prominent clients such as LinkedIn, Hulu, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Shedd Aquarium, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the band My Morning Jacket.
Brammer’s art has also been exhibited in numerous prestigious venues, including the Hangaram Design Museum in Seoul, South Korea; 751 D-Park in Beijing, China; the Union League Club of Chicago; La Luz De Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles; Linda Warren Projects in Chicago; Rockford Art Museum in Illinois; Governors State University in Chicago; SCOPE Miami Beach; and Museo Internazionale Italia Arte in Turin, Italy.
Lauren McKenzie-Noel, aka Lady Noel
Cleveland-based artist Lauren McKenzie-Noel creates a vast variety of work that focuses on diversity and bridging the black and white halves of her identity. Originally from West Palm Beach, Florida, the artist spends most of her time either in her studio or working on murals in her community that create conversations around identity, race, and womanhood. Using an array of materials and hues to highlight the beauty of people of color in her life, most of her work features portraits of either individuals she personally knows or are derived from her own imagination as though from a melting pot of faces. McKenzie was the first Black woman to paint a mural in the City of Cleveland.
Ellen Rutt is a Detroit-based interdisciplinary artist whose work utilizes an abstract lexicon of layered shapes and primary colors that results in improvisational and evocative installations. She facilitates conversations between materiality and movement, between place and process. Her site-specific installations, mixed-media paintings, and textiles examine notions of belonging and exclusion that expose a divide between nature and culture in the American experience.
Rutt graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan. She has exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit Institute of Arts, the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art Grand Rapids, East Hawaii Museum of Contemporary Art, and pt. 2 Gallery in Los Angeles. She has completed murals and installations in locations around the world including France, New York, San Francisco, Canada, and Hawaii, among others. She has been featured in Juxtapoz, Forbes, W, alive, LOAM, and was recently named one of twenty-four changemakers in 2020 by Hour Detroit Magazine.
James “Yames” Moffitt
James “Yames” Moffitt is a Buffalo native and co-founder of Pine Apple Company, an artist collective and gallery located in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood. Having formally trained at the Pratt Institute, Yames is a multidisciplinary graphic artist who specializes in hand-painted signs, typography, illustration, murals, and more. You can find his work on businesses throughout Buffalo, including Hydraulic Hearth, Sato Brewpub, Larkin Square, and the National Grid Terminal B on Niagara Street. Though this will be Yames’s first mural with the Public Art Initiative, he has assisted on numerous other projects for the Initiative.
SALUT is the visual-arts moniker of the Rochester-based artist Bradd Young. Young studied graphic design and studio art in Virginia where he began doing pop-up exhibitions that would eventually lead him to open a studio in Western New York post-graduation. It was then that Young began to develop a color pallet of soft pastels and a style merging his loves of cartoonish surrealism and fine art.
Young has displayed work in Virginia and at several venues in both Western New York and New York City. In 2018, he was the only local muralist featured in the eleventh annual WALL\THERAPY project in Rochester. In February 2019, Young was celebrated as one of the exciting talented artists at the Memorial Art Gallery’s MAG social. In spring 2019, he designed several labels for Trophy Brewery Company in North Carolina. In 2020, he was selected by Memorial Art Gallery to design the posters, cards, and pamphlets for the promotion of the museum’s annual fundraiser, An Artists’ Affair at the MAG.
Young is a featured artist of the Rochester-based gallery UUU Art Collective, which acts as a venue to both curate upcoming young artists and musicians and promote community activism. Currently, SALUT paintings are displayed throughout businesses in the downtown Rochester area.
The Albright-Knox Art Gallery is recognized as home to one of the world’s leading collections of modern and contemporary art. With more than 7,000 works in its collection and a dynamic series of exhibitions and public programs, the Albright-Knox continues to grow and to fulfill its mission to acquire, exhibit, and preserve the art of our time in an environment that engages and empowers growing audiences and encourages life-long learning and discovery. In 2019, the museum broke ground on the AK360 Campus Development and Expansion project, which will create a new work of signature architecture on the north end of its historic campus. Upon completion of AK360, the museum will reopen in 2022 as the Buffalo AKG Art Museum.
The Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s annual operations are supported, in part, by public funds from the County of Erie and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by the generosity of our members.
BUFFALO, N.Y. NFTA-Metro values its riders and the community we serve and are always looking at ways to improve. During this unprecedented time, we wanted to hear directly from riders and respond to their input. Metro Bus and Rail conducted an online survey, from June 8 to June 22 to seek feedback from the public about our COVID-19 response and to learn how to help riders feel safe on the system in the future. The survey was targeted both to people riding during the pandemic and people who are not riding during the pandemic. Here are some of the highlights from the survey.
- 58% of riders who responded are essential workers
- Most common jobs: healthcare, retail
- Most common reason for riding: commuting to work
- Most common reason for not riding working from home
- Most respondents were satisfied with Metro’s COVID–19 response, especially about rear door boarding, free fares, and requiring face coverings
- Requiring face coverings and providing hand sanitizer were the two most important ongoing interventions, according to survey respondents.
We have already acted on several suggestions and feedback we have received:
- We added 30 day passes on Token Transit, and now almost all fare options are available on Token Transit, which is a “no touch” fare payment option.
- Barriers have been or will be installed on all buses to separate drivers and bus riders.
- Hand sanitizer was installed on all buses but then the manufacturer recalled the product. We will work to re-install as soon as possible.
- Face coverings are universally required on NFTA Metro services and buildings.
- We will continue to provide chases buses as much as we can. We are limited in our ability to add frequency because we don’t always have extra buses or drivers.
- We added Metro PCS to the list of carriers available for texts from our Instant Update service.
A total of 323 took part in the on-line survey. 47% people who have been riding, and 53% who have not been riding. This link will provide further details on the survey findings.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 08, 2020
NFTA Board Meeting on July 23, 2020
In keeping with the guidance and directives of local, state, and national health authorities including the Centers for Disease Control relating to COVID-19 and pursuant to Executive Order No. 202.1, issued by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s (the “NFTA”) Board of Commissioners meeting scheduled for July 23, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. will be held telephonically by conference call. Only the Executive Director, Chair (or Acting Chair), Commissioners of the NFTA, and essential staff of the NFTA will be permitted to be present in-person for the meeting. The public will have the ability to view and listen to the meeting by accessing the NFTA’s website at www.nfta.com. The meeting will be recorded and later transcribed.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 30, 2020
What and Who: Join the NFTA along with civic, business and government leaders, including NYS Assembly Majority Leader Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes and Senator Tim Kennedy for a traditional Topping Out event at the Buffalo Airport. Wednesday is the day the final piece of steel will be hoisted into place, marking that the project on the west end has reached its maximum height. This is a tradition that goes back hundreds of years, symbolizes good luck and is highly visual.
Where: Buffalo Niagara International Airport Outside, West End, past the Southwest curbside
check in at the overhang.
When: Wednesday, July 1, 10:00 a.m.
**Please park in daily parking at the top level (it will be closest to the topping out location and bring in your ticket in for validation)
The Buffalo Niagara International Airport and Niagara Falls International Airport continue to work with national, state, and local health care partners to collectively create the safest environment for our travelers during this health care crisis. The recently announced joint travel advisory issued by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (along with Connecticut, and New Jersey) does not limit or restrict air travel to and from states with high corona virus infection rates, it does require individuals traveling from those areas to self-quarantine for 14 days. We recommend contacting your air carrier about any possible restrictions or procedures. The link below provides detailed information on the travel guidelines. We will update you as more information becomes available.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 19, 2020
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. - The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced its seasonal launch of Metro’s Trolley Service to guests staying at participating Niagara Falls hotels and motels beginning Friday, June 19. Metro’s Niagara Falls Trolley buses will serve Niagara Falls Boulevard, Pine Avenue, the Niagara Falls International Airport and downtown Niagara Falls, USA.
Special Trolley stop signs along the route indicate where riders can board a Metro trolley.
In downtown Niagara Falls, stops include the Aquarium of Niagara Falls, the Seneca Niagara Casino, and across from the Niagara Falls USA Official Visitor Center at First and Rainbow. Service will also be provided to hotels and shops along Third Street, Rainbow Blvd. and Buffalo Avenue. In addition, stops are located along Pine Avenue, at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, several motels along Niagara Falls Boulevard and Little Italy.
Patrons receive their free 2020 trolley day passes upon request at participating hotels and motels. The trolley pass, supported by the local Niagara Falls bed tax, allows pass holders free access to the trolley service and the entire Metro Bus and Rail system in Niagara and Erie counties. Passes must be validated in Niagara County and may be used anytime on the date the pass is punched by the Metro operator.
“We are excited to once again partner with the NFTA-Metro on a critical service for the tourism industry in Niagara Falls, USA. Metro’s trolley serves hotels, motels, and attractions throughout Niagara Falls, making it easy for visitors to travel around the city. Although we are dealing with a new normal, we are excited about the opportunity to restart our businesses in Niagara Falls and welcome tourists back to our world class destination,” said Frank Strangio, President, Niagara Falls Hotel Association.
“Metro’s trolley provides access for tourists to destinations within the City of Niagara Falls and throughout Western New York. This has been a challenging year, but we are looking forward to working with our partners in the City of Niagara Falls to support the transportation needs of the community during the upcoming tourism season,” said Tom George, NFTA Metro’s Director of Public Transit.
Operation hours are from 9 a.m. until midnight as follows: June 19 - Sept. 27 (Daily) and Oct. 2-31 (Fri-Sun). All trolley route maps and schedules can be found online at nfta.com/metro, #NFTrolley, or upon visiting the Niagara USA Visitors Center at 10 Rainbow Blvd.
Those without a trolley day pass can ride the trolley by paying Metro's regular adult fare of $2, $1 for children (5-11 yrs.), seniors (65 yrs. and over), disabled and Medicare clients with valid I.D. All other Metro passes are also valid. Children four and younger ride free, limit three children per fare paying adult.
BUFFALO, N.Y, - Starting on Monday, June 29, 2020, we will resume fare collection and front-door boarding on all transit services, including buses, rail and our paratransit vehicles.
At the end of March, we suspended fare collection payment and required our riders to board through the rear-doors to support social distancing between operators and customers. Enhanced safety measures, which include protective driver barriers have been installed on all buses, and will provide a shield between operators and passengers, making fare collection possible while minimizing contact. Our riders are encouraged to use the Token Transit contactless mobile ticketing app.
Additionally, we are intensively cleaning and disinfecting our vehicles.
And while we are all making progress around the country, and here in Western New York, as more businesses are opening, we require all passengers to wear a face covering on our vehicles and in our stations. We will continue daily disinfecting of high-touch areas in our vehicles, including railings, seating, and operator area.
We are asking our passengers to exercise the following measures:
- Do not ride if you are sick.
- A face covering must be worn while on the bus, rail and in our stations.
- Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds before and after riding the bus/rail.
- Maintain six feet of social distance at bus stops, and aboard the bus/rail when possible.
- If there are too many people at a bus stop, consider taking the next bus. In instances of overcrowding, our operators will call into dispatch to deploy another vehicle to the affected route when possible.
We want to extend our appreciation for your patience and support during these challenging times.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 21, 2020
BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority took part in the Sound the Horn: Supporting Public Transit Workers event, on May 21st, at 3:00 PM. Agencies throughout New York state, and New Jersey, sounded their horns from a variety of vehicles to honor public transit workers during the COVID-19 crisis.
After the success of the first Sound the Horn event on April 17, transportation authorities across the state participated today.
Through the use of the hashtags #HeroesMovingHeroes and #SoundTheHorn community members were able to support and promote the event on social media so that the hard work of those providing essential transportation is recognized.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Local rap artist Conway the Machine is showing his gratitude to the women and men of NFTA’s Metro Bus and Rail by buying them breakfast. On Friday, May 15, Conway is sending the most important meal of the day to each of Metro’s three bus garages, and rail yard.
He is making a visit to Cold Spring Garage, 1547 Michigan Ave., at 10 a.m., to personally thank the drivers, mechanics, cleaners and other staff. A life-long Buffalonian, he recognizes the hard work it takes to make sure this community has reliable access to healthcare, jobs, groceries and other essential services everyday – work made even hard under these remarkable circumstances.
Conway the Machine is a co-founder of Griselda Records, which signed a deal with Enimem’s Shady Records in 2017, and founder of Drumwork Music Group. He has been performing for close to a decade.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s Metro Bus and Rail is making several changes in response to the COVID-19 impact on our operations. Beginning Sunday, May 24, Metro will temporarily eliminate routes 7-Baynes Richmond, 29-Wohlers, 54-Military, 68-George Urban and 79-Tonawanda. Each route has alternative service available for riders. Resources devoted to these routes will be used to support other Metro service. None of these adjustments will affect access to our paratransit service area or availability.
Transit ridership has declined by 75% here in Western New York, across the country and worldwide, but the need for social distancing space on buses and trains has increased. To deal with these new challenges, Metro is reallocating buses, drivers and support from routes that are little used to routes that are critical to the region. These changes allow Metro to add vehicles at peak times in order to prevent crowding and maintain public access to healthcare, jobs and groceries.
Metro has reduced the number of bus routes strategically; each route that has been discontinued has other routes available to fill in the gaps.
7-Baynes-Richmond has alternative service on 3-Grant and 20-Elmwood.
29-Wohlers has alternative service on 8-Main, 18-Jefferson, 22-Summer Best and Metro Rail.
54-Military has alternative service on 50-Main Niagara, 52-Hyde Park and 55-Pine Ave.
68-George Urban has alternative service on 24-Genesee, 46-Lancaster and 47-Youngs.
79-Tonawanda has alternative service on 20-Elmwood
The women and men of Metro Bus and Rail remain committed to providing the best and safest transit service possible throughout this current emergency and into the future. We have detailed information on the service adjustments on our website at www.nfta.com.