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News Room

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Metro Rail will extend service an additional two hours Saturday, Dec. 31, to accommodate passengers attending the Annual New Year's Eve Ball Drop at Roosevelt Square and the downtown First Night Buffalo celebration.

Train service will run continuously, making stops at all stations during the extended service period. Trains will be on 20 minute intervals, with special trains intermingled as needed. It may be necessary to suspend service for a time due to the anticipated large crowd that gathers near the track bed in front of Roosevelt Square.

The last train is scheduled to leave Erie Canal Harbor Station heading outbound to University Station at 2 a.m. Sunday, New Year's Day following the events.

All Metro bus and rail schedules are available at www.nfta.com/metro, in addition to a trip planner that assists customers in determining which Metro routes to use to reach a specific destination.

 

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Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that the sounds of the season returns to downtown Buffalo's bus station (the Metropolitan Transportation Center, 181 St.)

during December, featuring the musical talents of several local schools.

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director said, "The bus terminal is perfect place for a little extra holiday cheer. It is wonderful that our area schools take the time to share their spirit with busy travelers."

The following schools will be participating on the date and time indicated:

Wednesday, Dec. 14

Saint Mary of the Lake - 12:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 16

Akron High School (Roaming Santa's) - 8:30 a.m.

Cardinal O' Hara High School - 11:00 a.m. - with a special appearance by Santa.

Holy Angels Academy - 12:00 p.m. - with a special appearance by Santa.

Saturday, Dec. 17

Woodrow Wilson School - 11:00 a.m.

Monday, Dec. 19

Ambrose Catholic Academy - 12:00 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 20

Lake shore High - 11:00 a.m.

Each performance will feature between 15 and 45 students who will entertain for 30 to 60 minutes. All are welcome to attend.

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NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -Allegiant (NASDAQ: ALGT) today announces new, nonstop jet service between Niagara Falls, N.Y., and Orlando, Fla., via Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB), will begin Feb. 15, 2012. The company, known for its exceptional travel deals, will introduce the new service with fares as low as $79.99* one way.

"We're pleased to expand our brand of affordable and convenient travel options in Niagara Falls," Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant Travel Company President, said. "We are confident that the residents of Niagara Falls and southern Ontario will appreciate flying nonstop to Orlando and take advantage of the great deals we offer on hotels, car rentals and theme park tickets."

"We are extremely pleased that Allegiant is expanding its reach with new service to Sanford, Fla., even before they have had their inaugural flight from our airport," said Henry M. Sloma, acting chairman of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. "Having additional flights coupled with a new destination gives testament to the viability and overall efficiency of operating from the NFIA."

The new flights will operate four times weekly between Niagara Falls International Airport (IAG) and Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB). For flight days and times please visit www.allegiant.com.

With plenty of shopping, dining, outdoor activities and entertainment, Orlando offers vacationers the perfect getaway. Located in the heart of Central Florida, Orlando is home to the world's most exciting theme parks including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld. Orlando's famous International Drive is more than 10 miles long and features more than 100 hotels, 450 stores, several attractions and two major outlet malls. Orlando is also home to more than 175 golf courses, many of which were designed by pro golfers such as Greg Norman, Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.

Allegiant provides low-cost car rental service through its partnership with Alamo Rent a Car.

Allegiant's $79.99* one-way introductory fare is limited, must be purchased by Dec. 21, 2011, and is valid for travel by May 15, 2012. Introductory fares are not available on all flights.

Reservations can be made on the airline's website at www.allegiant.com or by calling the company's travel experts at 702-505-8888.

About the $79.99* one-way fares:

Seats are limited. Fares are one-way and not available on all flights. Must be purchased by Dec. 21, 2011, for travel by May 15, 2012. Prices do not include PFC, segment tax or Sept. 11th security fee of up to $10.70 per segment. A segment is one take-off and one landing. A convenience fee of $10.00 per passenger, per segment is included in the introductory one-way fare. A fee of $14.99 per segment, will apply when purchased through Allegiant call centers. Purchases made at any Allegiant Airport Ticket Office will not incur a convenience or call center fee. For ticket counter hours of operation, please visit www.allegiant.com. When purchased at the time of booking, a checked bag fee of up to $29.99 per bag, per segment will apply for the first two (2) checked bags. If purchased at flight check-in, a fee of $35 per checked bag, per person, per segment will apply for the first two bags checked. Additional higher fees will apply for three or more checked bags. Fare rules, routes and schedules are subject to change without notice. Restrictions apply.

Allegiant, travel is our deal.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Company (NASDAQ: ALGT) has posted 35 consecutive quarters of profitability. The company is focused on linking travelers in small cities to world-class leisure destinations such as Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix-Mesa, Orlando, Fla., and Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla. Through its subsidiary, Allegiant Air, the company operates a low-cost, high-efficiency, all-jet passenger airline offering air travel and hotel rooms, rental cars and other travel-related services. The company ranked ninth this year in Forbes' Best Small Companies. Allegiant was also recently named one of FORTUNE magazine's "100 Fastest-Growing Companies" for the second consecutive year. In 2011 and 2010 Allegiant ranked 64th and 25th, respectively, on FORTUNE magazine's Fastest-Growing Companies list. In 2010, Allegiant was ranked number one for low-cost carriers in Aviation Week's Top Performing Airline study. Receive breaking news from Allegiant by visiting Allegiant's Facebook Fan Page at www.facebook.com/Allegiant or follow Allegiant on Twitter at twitter.com/allegianttravel.

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The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Friday, Dec. 2, starting at approximately 10 p.m. through Saturday, Dec. 3, at 4 p.m., Metro Rail's outbound track will be out of service from Amherst Street Station to LaSalle Station. Maintenance work being performed at the stations necessitates the closing of the outbound track.

As a result of the work, all boardings and departures for these stations will take place on the inbound side of the platform. There may be delays in service in both directions. Riders are advised to plan accordingly.

Metro will have rail supervisors in the system to assist customers, there will be messages posted and public address announcements will be made at the stations to inform passengers of the temporary change in service.

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Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced it will host a Master Plan Update public workshop to present recommendations of future long-term improvements for the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. The workshop will take place Thursday, Nov. 17, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Millennium Hotel, in the Roosevelt Room, 2040 Walden Ave., Cheektowaga, NY. Aviation consultant, McFarland Johnson, along with representatives from the NFTA and BNIA will be available to discuss and answer questions relating to the master plan and proposed long-term improvements for airport property.

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Buffalo, NY . . .

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that the Niagara Falls International Airport has almost doubled the number of parking spaces in Lot 3.

In an effort to accommodate the ever-increasing number of passengers using the NFIA, an additional 500 parking spaces have been added to the 600 that were created this past January, when the overflow lot was first opened.

Lot 3 located just south and across the street from the terminal on Niagara Falls Blvd. is fenced, paved, lighted, has shelters in place to provide protection from the elements and is patrolled by NFTA police.

Free shuttle service to and from the terminal is provided during regularly scheduled flights. The lot is opened after main lots, 1 and 2 become full. Lots 1 and 2 are on airport property, each with 250 spaces, and are accessed via the airport's main entrance.

All of the parking facilities are operated by Standard Parking, under an existing contract that is in place for services rendered at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Parking rates are $5 per day with a maximum weekly rate of $25, which is paid upon entry. The airport now as a total of 1,600 parking spaces.

The terminal is serviced by Allegiant Air (starting Dec. 15), Direct Air and Spirit Airlines. Flight schedules and destinations for all three carriers can be accessed via the NFIA's website at niagarafallsairport.com.

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Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that outbound Metro Rail stations from Allen-Medical Campus to Humboldt-Hospital will be closed between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, due to maintenance work being performed at the stations.

As a result, all boarding and departures in the tunnel between and including those stations will take place on the inbound side of the platform. Delays in service may occur during this time as a result of having only one track operational.

Metro will have a rail supervisor in the system to assist customers, there will be messages posted and public address announcements will be made at the stations to inform passengers of the temporary change in service.

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Myrtle Beach, S.C - Direct Air, an air service with corporate headquarters located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina announced today the reintroduction of seasonal air service from Niagara Falls to West Palm Beach, Florida, located on Florida's east coast in close proximity to Miami-Fort Lauderdale. Nonstop service to and from West Palm Beach will be offered three times per week beginning November 11 throughout the Winter 2011-2012 travel season.

To celebrate the reintroduction of service to West Palm Beach, Direct Air is inviting customers in the greater Niagara Falls area the opportunity to save on Direct Air's current, popular domestic routes, including flights to Lakeland, Florida, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Punta Gorda, Florida. A special promotional fare of "$79 for 79 Hours*" for select flights will be extended to end on Tuesday, November 8th at 11:59 pm Eastern time. Reservations can be booked at www.visitdirectair.com or by calling Direct Air's Reservations Department at 1-877-432-3473.

Ed Warneck, Directing Partner states: "This time of year, people around Niagara Falls know it's time to think about heading for warmer weather fast! With the resumption of our West Palm Beach route around the corner, this is the perfect time to offer the right airfare at the right time for people who might only now be making plans to get out of the cold. We believe that our low fares and nonstop service will make West Palm Beach the destination of choice for winter getaways."

"Florida has always been an attractive Winter destination for folks living in the Niagara Falls area and in Canada, and our flight program here has always been well-received" Mr. Warneck continues. "Last winter, our booking levels to West Palm Beach favored our ability to maintain this route on a seasonal basis. Now, we're pleased to be able to resume offering nonstop service to West Palm Beach, and hope to continue to see increased demand for travel on this route."

"We are starting to see emerging demand for West Palm Beach as a cold-weather destination for travelers from Niagara Falls and other areas" states Directing Partner Judy Tull. "West Palm Beach has always been known as a destination for persons who want to leave their home in the snow country late in the year for a few months. Direct Air's continuing development of the West Palm Beach market has resulted in increasing returns for the company, and more travel options for the flying public".

Ms. Tull goes on to say that, "The partners of Direct Air all agree that Niagara Falls will continue to play a vital role in our program as a core gateway market. Since 2008, Direct Air has flown over 220,000 passengers from Niagara Falls. It is Direct Air's goal to grow the Niagara Falls market through increased frequency and adding new destinations as we have done in our other markets."

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Buffalo, NY . . .

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that the inbound, aboveground Metro Rail stations will be closed from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29 due to maintenance work being performed at the stations.

As a result of the work, all boardings and departures on the surface section will take place on the outbound side or eastside of Main Street. Unfortunately, due to the one-track service, there will be delays in service in both directions.

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director said, "I want to thank our customers for their patience and understanding during this interruption in service. We will work as efficiently as possible to limit any inconvenience to our riders."

Metro will have rail supervisors in the system to assist customers, there will be messages posted and public address announcements will be made at the stations to inform passengers of the temporary change in service.

Rail service is expected to return to a normal schedule after 4 p.m., in ample time to accommodate customers traveling to the First Niagara Center to attend the Buffalo Sabres game.

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Buffalo, NY . . .

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that construction work involving the two-tier roadway at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport is scheduled to start Monday, Sept. 26.

The $1.4 million Airport Improvement Project will involve both the arrivals and departures roadways. The work will consist of installing steel reinforcement to the upper deck roadway, in addition to repairing structural columns and concrete.

During construction the arrivals roadway (lower level) will be closed from 3 to 8 a.m., with lane restrictions at other times. There will be variable message signs in place to direct traffic into the proper lanes for both levels of roadway.

Passengers are advised to allow themselves extra time when using the airport. The recommended time to arrive for a departing flight is 90 minutes prior to departure.

The project will continue as long as the weather permits, with the remaining work to be completed in the spring.

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Niagara FAlls, NY . . .

Allegiant (NASDAQ: ALGT), today announces low-cost, nonstop travel between Niagara Falls, N.Y., and the Tampa Bay, Fla., area via the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport beginning Dec. 15, 2011. The company, known for its exceptional travel deals, is offering its customers fares between the two cities for as low as $79.99* one-way.

"We are pleased to bring an affordable and convenient way for the Niagara and southern Ontario areas to travel to Tampa Bay," Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant Travel Company President, said. "We are confident the Niagara Falls community will appreciate the value of flying nonstop to the Tampa Bay area and the great deals we offer on hotels and car rentals."

"We are extremely pleased that Allegiant will be serving the Niagara and southern Ontario regions from the Niagara Falls International Airport with service to Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla.," Henry M. Sloma, NFTA acting chairman said. "I'm confident this new Florida destination will be very popular with our customers and they will also find favor with Allegiant's low fares and efficient service."

"We are very excited about the addition of non-stop service to the Niagara Falls International Airport. The Niagara Falls & Buffalo Airports are gateways for many Canadians to fly to the US and for Americans to visit the scenic Niagara Falls region. With this addition, Allegiant will now offer non-stop low-fare service to 23 destinations to/from our Airport." said Noah Lagos, A.A.E., Airport Director of the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport.

The new flights will operate twice weekly between Niagara Falls International Airport (IAG) and St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE), with service Thursday and Sunday. Flights will depart Niagara Falls at 6:00 p.m. arriving in the Tampa Bay area at 8:35 p.m. Flights leaving the Tampa Bay area will depart at 2:30 p.m. arriving in Niagara Falls at 5:20 p.m. (all flight times are local). The carrier will utilize a full-size, 150-seat MD-80 jet aircraft on the route. This will serve as the first flight for Allegiant from the Niagara Falls International Airport.

With an average 361 days of sunshine each year, the St. Petersburg-Clearwater area is considered the most popular vacation destination on Florida's West Coast. The area was named among the top beaches in the United States and is one of a few destinations to have received the "Blue Wave Award" from the Clean Beaches Council. In addition to pristine beaches, visitors are within minutes of shopping, amazing golf courses and award-winning resort and dining experiences.

Allegiant is more than an airline, it is a full-service travel company that offers great value to its customers through its hotel and car rental packages. The company partners with 20 of the Tampa Bay area's most exciting hotel properties, including: Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, Barefoot Beach Resort, Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort, Sheraton Sand Key Resort, Alden Beach Resort, Don CeSar Beach Resort and Sirata Beach Resort & Conference Center. Allegiant provides low-cost car rental service through its partnership with Alamo Rent a Car.

Allegiant's $79.99* one-way introductory fare is limited, must be purchased by Oct. 20, 2011, and is valid for travel between Dec. 15, 2011, and Feb. 14, 2012. Introductory fares are not available on all flights.

Reservations can be made on the airline's website at www.allegiant.com or by calling the company's travel experts at 702-505-8888. Allegiant guarantees the lowest price on air and hotel vacation packages through the company's Low-Price Pledge. If the customer finds an air and hotel package for less, Allegiant will credit the difference for use on a future booking. Allegiant is also rewarding customers who book an air and hotel package through the company with an instant $20 savings on roundtrip airfare, making it even more affordable to book an air and hotel package.

About the $79.99* one-way fare: Seats are limited. Fares are one-way and not available on all flights. Must be purchased by Oct. 10, 2011, for travel by Feb. 14, 2012. Offer not available Dec. 24, 2011--Jan. 4, 2012. Prices do not include PFC, segment tax or Sept. 11th security fee of up to $10.70 per segment. A segment is one take-off and one landing. A fee of $14.99 per segment, will apply when purchased through Allegiant call centers. For ticket counter hours of operation, please visit www.allegiant.com. When purchased at the time of booking, a checked bag fee of up to $19.99 per bag will apply per person, per segment. If purchased at flight check-in, a fee of $35 per checked bag, per person, per segment will apply for the first two bags checked. Additional higher fees will apply for three or more checked bags. Fare rules, routes and schedules are subject to change without notice. Restrictions apply. $20 savings based on a two-night, air+hotel purchase; valid at select Allegiant hotels.

Allegiant, travel is our deal. Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Company (NASDAQ: ALGT), is focused on linking travelers in small cities to world-class leisure destinations such as Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix-Mesa, Orlando, Fla., and Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla. Through its subsidiary, Allegiant Air, the company operates a low-cost, high-efficiency, all-jet passenger airline offering air travel both on a stand-alone basis and bundled with hotel rooms, rental cars and other travel-related services. In 2010, Allegiant was ranked number one for low-cost carriers in Aviation Week's Top Performing Airline study and ranked 25 on FORTUNE magazine's Fastest-Growing Companies list. Receive breaking news from Allegiant by visiting Allegiant's Facebook Fan Page at www.facebook.com/Allegiant or follow Allegiant on Twitter at twitter.com/allegiantair.

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Buffalo, NY . . .

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced they have a new comprehensive agreement with Erie Community College to participate in Metro's College University Unlimited Access Pass program.

ECC becomes the fifth local college to have a Metro unlimited access pass program for all of their undergraduate students. The program provides all of ECC's approximately 15,000 undergraduate students with unlimited access to Metro Bus, Rail and Paratransit services seven days a week.

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director said, "We are very excited about having all ECC students participate in Metro's Unlimited Ride program. They will now be able to experience the many advantages of using Metro to travel not only to classes, but at any time they want, to all of the places Metro travels in Erie and Niagara counties."

" I would like to thank the NFTA and their directors for providing all ECC students the opportunity to take advantage of unlimited use of all Metro bus and rail services. This service will give easy access to all three ECC campuses from anywhere in Erie County. A special thank you to NFTA Executive Director Minkel for working with ECC to provide this convenience to our students" said Jack Quinn, President of Erie Community College.

The new one-year expanded agreement includes all undergraduate students taking classes at ECC's three campuses starting Sept.1 through May 31, 2012. The previous agreements, which included primarily City campus students, started in 2007.

Metro will provide ECC with student photo identification cards encoded with a magnetic strip that when swiped through the bus fare box or shown to a Metro Rail ticket inspector will provide convenient, unlimited access. The new agreement calls for each student to pay $30 per semester.

As part of the agreement Metro will offer additional MetroLink Route 211 fixed route open door service, which will operate weekdays between the City campus and both North and South campuses from approximately 7 a.m. to 5:20 p.m. The service will also run Saturdays from City campus to South campus between 10 a.m. and 4:50 p.m., providing access to all shopping areas near the McKinley Mall.

ECC has agreed to provide advertising space for Metro to use that will include a outdoor billboard on Ellicott Street across from the college, campus digital signage, website advertising and inclusion in the their promotional materials.

"We laud ECC for adding the additional two campuses to the program so that the entire undergraduate body will now have unlimited access to the whole Metro system to travel throughout the region," Minkel added.

The Metro Bus and Rail system includes 324 buses and 27 rail cars, generating service for approximately 105,000 people a day in Erie and Niagara counties.

Buffalo, NY . . .

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority commemorated the 30th Anniversary of the Aircraft Rescue Firefighting unit at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport today during a recognition program for active and retired firefighters at the BNIA firehouse. The BNIA ARFF unit got its start in March 1981, when it was created as the Public Safety department by the NFTA board of commissioners to handle both safety and security functions at the then Greater Buffalo International Airport.

In April 1981, the NFTA's Public Safety unit assumed control of the airport's fire department duties from the Buffalo Fire department. The unit assumed control of the safety aspect by staffing four security checkpoints in the east and west terminals with 42 public safety officers and became the fire department for the Greater Buffalo International Airport.

Henry M. Sloma, NFTA acting chairman said, "It has been a distinguished 30 years for the men and women of the department. They have grown from a small unit assigned to public safety, into a multi-functional department capable of responding not only to aviation related emergencies, but to mutual aid calls for assistance combating major off-airport fires in the region."

From its humble beginnings in 1981, the unit has progressed into an elite firefighting department capable of responding to all types of aviation related emergences, in addition to medical emergencies in the terminal such as cardiac arrests. In 2008, members of the department saved two passengers from cardiac arrest in two separate occasions just two months apart.

When Continental Express flight #3407 crashed in Clarence Center, NY in February 2009, the department was one of the first units on the scene with resources, including truck F4 and its fire suppressant foam dispensing capabilities. Members of the department spent the next five days helping secure the crash site.

In addition, in June the department responded to a multiple alarm fire in Depew, NY at the Twin Village Recycling facility, again with truck F4 dispensing fire suppressant foam to quell the hot fire.

Most recently, the City of Buffalo Fire department called upon the BNIA ARFF unit this past July for assistance in fighting a stubborn chemical warehouse fire at Niagara Lubricant. Once again, fire truck F4 was dispatched and assisted in bringing the fire under control by dispensing 400 gallons of fire suppressant foam on the structure.

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director said, "I am extremely proud of the quality and professionalism each man and woman brings to the department. They place their lives at risk each time they respond to a call, which they do without hesitation. This takes dedication, commitment and professionalism of the highest level. I am delighted at what they have accomplished and look forward to what they will achieve over the next 30 years."

The ARFF department now has a complement of 41 firefighters. The unit trains each day in various aspects of firefighting and conducts periodic tabletop exercises and drills at the airfield with area first responders to ensure that when they do work together in the field they are all using the same techniques and methods to maximize their collective efforts.

Chris Putney, Chief of the ARFF unit and a 30-year veteran said, "I am extremely proud of the exemplary work and effort the men and women of the department put forth each and every day to keep the airport safe. Doing so takes dedication, commitment and professionalism of the highest level. I am proud of what we have accomplished as a group and look forward to the challenges that lie ahead."

Rev. Joe Bayne, OFM Conv., Chief Chaplin, Erie County Emergency Services offered a blessing for the firefighters continued safety of the men and women of the department. In addition, a 30th Anniversary commemorative pin was presented to each active and retired member of the department whom were present.

Further, the program featured a tour of the firehouse and a field demonstration of the firefighting capabilities of fire truck F4 affectionately known as the "beast" of the department.

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Buffalo, NY . . .

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today Metro Rail will increase rider capacity for A Taste of Buffalo, Saturday and Sunday, July 9 and 10, to accommodate riders traveling downtown to enjoy the tasty event.

Extra trains will be added to the regular service on both days so that more passengers will be able to travel at one time. Trains will stop at all stations.

Metro schedules and route maps can be found at nfta.com/metro.

Buffalo, NY . . .

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Ms.Vicky-Marie J. Brunette has been named the NFTA's Deputy General Counsel. Brunette, 44, started with the authority in 1994.

In making the announcement, NFTA General Counsel David J. State said, "In addition to handling her current litigation caseload, Brunette will perform General Counsel duties in my absence and play a significant role in implementing compliance initiatives being developed by the authority. This restructuring of the General Counsel's office will improve our ability to serve the authority and the public and I congratulate Vicky on her appointment."

Brunette is a graduate of St. John Fisher College, Rochester, NY and the Cleveland- Marshal College of Law, Cleveland, OH. She is a resident of North Buffalo, NY.

Buffalo, NY . . .

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority will once again offer the Summer Youth Pass to youth 17 yrs. and under. With the SYP passengers can ride as much as they'd like June 24 through Sept. 8, on any Metro bus or Metro Rail.

The Summer Youth Pass is $52.50 and available at participating Tops, Wilson Farms, Budwey's, Parkside Pharmacy and Dash's Markets. The Summer Youth Pass also comes with discounts to several area restaurants, shops, and attractions. Pass holders just have to show their pass at participating merchants to receive their discount. The savings are so good the pass almost pays for itself. Passes will be on sale starting June 13.

For more details, in addition to Metro maps and schedules, visit at nfta.com.

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Buffalo, NY . . .

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Metro will once again provide complementary trolley service for guests staying at participating Niagara Falls motels and hotels beginning Friday, May 13. The 55T Niagara Falls Blvd./Pine Avenue trolley bus will travel between and downtown Niagara Falls, serving Niagara Falls Boulevard and Pine Avenue.

Service will operate weekends May 13 - 31 and Nov. 24 -Dec. 31, and seven days a week from June 1 - Oct. 31. The service will operate from 9 a.m. until midnight and on all holidays during these service periods.

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director, said, "We have two new trolley buses in our fleet this year. They are larger, so we'll be able to better serve our passengers at peak times throughout the year."

Patrons will receive their trolley day passes that are affixed with a sequential number, upon request at participating hotels and motels. The pass, supported by the local bed tax, allows pass holders free access to the trolley service, and the entire Metro Bus and Rail system in Niagara and Erie counties, on the date the trolley pass is punched by the Metro operator.

Individuals without a trolley day pass may ride the service by paying Metro's regular adult fare of $1.75, 75 cents 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 under ride free, limit three children per fare paying adult.

Special Route 55T trolley stop signs along the route indicate where riders can board a trolley. In downtown Niagara Falls, the 55T trolley stops are located at The Aquarium of Niagara, Rainbow Blvd., Michael O'Laughlin Drive, Rainbow Blvd., Main Street and near the Seneca Niagara Casino at Third Street and Old Falls Street.

In addition, stops are located at the City Market on Pine Avenue and 17th Street, the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, The Summit, several motels along Niagara Falls Boulevard and the Como Restaurant in Little Italy on Pine Avenue and 22nd Street.

All Metro route maps and schedules can be found online at nfta.com/metro, including trolley maps and schedules.

 

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Buffalo, NY . . .

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that it has streamlined its Instant Update online messaging program to make it easier for individuals to receive e-mails and text messages regarding NFTA information.

People can sign up at the NFTA's website nfta.com to subscribe to receive status changes for categories such as Metro Bus and Rail service, Metro Rider Alerts for any and all routes, Buffalo and Niagara Falls International Airport updates, Paratransit notices, employment postings and slip holder information from the NFTA Boat Harbor.

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director said, "Utilizing today's cutting-edge technology, we are able to provide our customers with the most current information possible. With Instant Updates, our customers have the ability to receive information important to them in a matter of minutes no matter where they are."

Users of the system have the ability to select categories of interest and designate if they want an e-mail, text message or both, and at what e-mail address and cell phone number they want to receive their updates. There is no cost to subscribe to the program, but wireless providers may charge for each text message a user receives.

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Buffalo, NY . . .

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that they have selected Thomas R. George to be the Authority's new Director of Surface Transportation. Henry M. Sloma, NFTA acting chairman said, "We are pleased to have an individual such as Tom join our team. He possesses strong leadership qualities, knowledge of Metro's operations and the local transportation landscape and is eager to lead Metro at this very important time in its history."

George, 49, was selected after a nationwide search to fill the position that has been vacant since the retirement of Walter D. Zmuda in November 2010. For the last eight years George has been the Executive Director of the Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition.

In his new position George will be responsible for directing the overall Surface Transportation Business Center operation for Metro Bus and Rail and Paratransit services to ensure optimal mobility for the Buffalo Niagara region, in addition to equipment and vehicle maintenance, procurement, financial planning and administration.

As NITTEC's first executive director of the only Canadian - U.S. coalition of its kind, he brought together 14 state, provincial and local transportation agencies in concert with U.S. and Canadian federal authorities to address transportation and mobility opportunities throughout the region and across the international border.

During his tenure at the bi-national agency he oversaw the development of a Regional Concept of Transportation Operations for the Buffalo Niagara region. The multi mode regional operations plan was developed to establish collaboration between all regional transportation agencies.

In addition, he worked with all traffic operations activities throughout the state of New York and Ontario to establish and maintain a consistent approach to traffic management, response protocols, emergency preparedness and traveler information, including the development of integrated systems for data sharing.

He is a graduate of Michigan Technological University where he earned a Bachelors of Science Civil Engineering degree and is a Licensed Professional Engineer.

George will start his new position May 11 at a salary of $125,000. He resides in Akron, NY with his wife and two children.

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Buffalo, NY . . .

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced the Buffalo Niagara International Airport received a Balchen/Post Award for Outstanding Achievement at the recent 45th Annual International Aviation Snow Symposium.

The Northeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives recognized the BNIA's "snow removal team" with a First Place Award in the medium commercial airport category. All categories of airports - Commercial, General Aviation and Military compete for the awards. This is the 35th consecutive year that awards have been presented and the sixth time the BNIA has been so honored, with the last recognition being for the 2007-08 winter.

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director, said, "I am extremely proud of our team of snow removal professionals based on the reliable and consistent job they do in keeping our runways safe and open to accommodate aviation during winter storms."

Nominations for consideration come from airlines, pilots, general aviation officials, hotel owners, corporate pilots and ground transportation operators. An independent selection committee screens the recommendations and makes the selections in various categories based on airport size, which is determined by the number of flights in and out of the airport during the year. In making their selections, the committee considered not only the crew's ability to keep the airport runways free of ice and snow, but also equipment readiness, personnel training, and overall safety awareness.

In spite of 111 inches of snow falling at the BNIA this past winter, runways at the BNIA were never closed. "This speaks volumes about the dedication and ability of our airfield personnel who work around the clock, including being away from their families on holidays and missing family functions while working to maintain our runways," Minkel added.

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Buffalo, NY . . .

The Easter Bunny is making an early trip to downtown Buffalo Thursday, April 21. Riding a specially decorated Metro Rail car, the Bunny will be meeting and greeting his fans, posing for photos and, hopefully, welcoming spring. The train will run between 10:48 a.m. and 5:13 p.m. And remember, Metro Rail is free above ground. The schedule is available here.

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Buffalo, NY . . .

The Buffalo Niagara International Airport is hosting the 45th Annual Snow Symposium April 17-20 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. Organizers expect 350 airport professionals, responsible for runway operations from around the world to attend.

Kimberley A. Minkel, Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, executive director, will address the conference Monday, April 18 at 8:30 a.m. speaking about the economic and safety concerns that make snow, slush and ice mitigation so significant and the importance of developing strategies. In addition, she will speak to the BNIA's successful subsurface-engineered wetland glycol treatment project.

One of the featured speakers will be William R. Vanecek, the director of aviation for the NFTA, where he oversees all business and operational facets of both the Buffalo and Niagara Falls International Airports. Mr. Vanecek will be presenting lessons learned from the airport's role in responding to the crash of Flight 3407 in Clarence Center, NY.

This marks the 26th consecutive year the symposium is being hosted by the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Thomas Dames, symposium chairman said, "The site selection committee continues to be very impressed with Buffalo. The Convention and Visitors Bureau, the area hotels and the NFTA all work together to create an inviting, friendly atmosphere for the guests."

"A snowstorm can cost a major airport more than a quarter of a million dollars in removal alone. The cost of delays compounds that number. None of which compares to the potential safety risks ice and snow can create. The chance for snow removal teams from around the world to exchange ideas and best practices is invaluable," Minkel added.

One of the main events of the symposium is the presentation of the Balchen/Post Awards, which are given to airport snow-control teams that have demonstrated determination and excellence in keeping their respective airport runways open and safe during winter storms. Presentations are scheduled for Wednesday, April 20 as part of the 12:30 p.m. luncheon.

Tom Long, symposium vice chairman can be reached at 412- 953-3677 during the event to address media inquiries. Additional information, including the program can be found at www.snowsymposium.org. The Northeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives organizes the event.

 

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Niagara Falls, NY . . .

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, operator of the Niagara Falls International Airport, announced today that the airport has opened a cell phone lot to assist people waiting to pick up inbound passengers.

The lot is located just south of the entrance to the main lot in front of the new terminal. It provides free parking where people can wait in their vehicle until they receive a call on their cell phone informing them their passengers are ready to be picked up in front of the terminal.

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Niagara Falls, NY . . .

Direct Air, an air service with corporate headquarters located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina announced today it has added two new Caribbean destinations flying from Niagara Falls International Airport. Beginning November 17th, 2011, three NON STOP flights per week departing and returning on Friday, Saturday, and Monday will begin to San Juan, Puerto Rico and Nassau, Bahamas.

Director-General of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism David L. Johnson said "As we seek to develop secondary USA markets to The Islands of The Bahamas, we welcome the opportunity to work with a niche carrier like Direct Air and look forward to building year round services from these new markets to Nassau/ Paradise Island."

Judy Tull, CEO of Direct Air said "Direct Air has built a strong niche service developing underserved markets offering convenient service via smaller, secondary airports as an alternative to high fares and lengthy travel times at big airports. Niagara Falls International Airport is situated just ten minutes from the US/Canadian border, and only a half-hour from Buffalo. This incredible location has benefited thousands of customers in both the US and Canada, and we look forward to strengthening our partnership with Niagara Falls International Airport and the surrounding community."

Direct Air President, Ed Warneck states "The partners of Direct Air all agree that we have been and will continue to be a vital presence in the Niagara Falls area. Since 2007, Direct Air has flown over 200,000 passengers from Niagara Falls. Flights to date have averaged a load factor of 85% to and from Niagara Falls, and that number continues to increase. It is Direct Air's goal to grow the Niagara Falls market through increased frequency and adding new destinations as we have done in our other markets."

Direct Air has been offering non-stop and direct jet flight service since 2007. The company is pleased to add Nassau and San Juan to its current markets: Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Pittsburgh, Pa. ; Newark, N.J.; Lakeland, Fla.; Hagerstown, Md.; Columbus, Oh.; Plattsburgh, N.Y.; Toledo, Oh.; Kalamazoo, Mich.; Worcester, Mass.; Allentown, Pa.; Rockford, Ill.; Springfield, Ill.; Melbourne, Fla.; Orlando-Sanford, Fla.; Punta Gorda, Fla., and West Palm Beach, Fla. All Direct Air flights are public charters operated on Boeing 737-400, 150 passenger jet aircraft by Sky King Airlines featuring 12 First Class and 138 coach leather seating, and on Boeing 737-800 series jet aircraft. Direct Air is very excited to be flying its one-millionth passenger in 2011.

As part of the opening celebration, Direct Air is offering passengers flying to Nassau and San Juan a special promotional fare of "$99 for 99 Hours". However, certain black-out days may apply. This promotion begins with the press conference on April 7th and will end Monday, April 11th at midnight Eastern time. Reservations can be booked at www.visitdirectair.com or by calling Direct Air's Reservations Department at 1-877-432-3473.

Airfares are one-way, subject to availability and subject to change. Fares do include Federal Excise Tax of 7.5%. Fares do not include Federal Flight Segment Tax of $3.70, September 11th Security Fee of $2.50, and Passenger Facility Charges of up to $4.50 per person per direction of travel. Passenger usage fee $13.00 each way, APHIS fee $5.00, Immigration user fee $7.00, U.S. departure tax $16.30 each way, BS passenger processing $6.00, BS departure tax $20.00, BS Airport facility fee $20.00, Bahamas security charge $21.50. A convenience fee of $15 per direction will be assessed for customers who book at visitdirectair.com or via the call center. Reservations booked by calling Direct Air's Reservations department will cost an additional $20 per person each way, reflecting Convenience fee and $5.00 call center fee. Puerto Rico and Bahamas Flights may include arrival in the US inspection fees up to $17.50, Passenger Facility Charges (PFC) up to $18.00 per round trip passenger in local airport charges, and other government taxes and fees(including U.S. government excise tax) of up to $100.00 per round trip. Additional taxes, fees, and airport charges may apply up to 22% of the fare value per country. See Operator-Participant Agreement for full disclosure.

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Niagara Falls, NY . . .

Direct Air, an air service with corporate headquarters located in Myrtle Beach, SC, announced today it will add another new destination from Niagara Falls International Airport by providing nonstop jet service to the Orlando West and Tampa region of Florida beginning June 24, 2011.

As part of the opening celebration, Direct Air is offering passengers flying between these new markets a special introductory fare of "$79 for 79 Hours." This promotion begins with the press conference on Wednesday, March 30 and will end Saturday, April 2 at midnight. Direct Air will begin with three flights per week, Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays, beginning June 24. Reservations can be booked at www.visitdirectair.com or by calling Direct Air's reservations department at 1-877-432-3473.

Stan Rydelek, Sales Director of Direct Air said, "We are excited to be expanding our presence in Central Florida with the introduction of Lakeland Regional Airport. We are very excited with this addition to the currently served cities of Myrtle Beach, Ft. Myers/Punta Gorda, Melbourne, and West Palm Beach."

Henry M. Sloma, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority's acting chairman said, "We are extremely pleased that Direct Air is expanding its reach with new service to Lakeland, Florida."

Judy Tull, CEO of Direct Air said, "Direct Air has built a strong niche service developing underserved markets offering convenient service via smaller, secondary airports as an alternative to high fares and lengthy travel times at big airports." Ed Warneck, President of Direct Air believes the Lakeland Region will be attractive to travelers because of its strategic location situated between Orlando and Tampa / St. Petersburg on Florida's west coast. Passengers will find it as convenient and an economical alternative to the busy and stressful larger airports in Orlando and Tampa. The quick convenient one and a half hour flight will allow more time to enjoy their vacation."

Direct Air has been offering non-stop and direct jet flight service since 2007. The company is pleased to add Lakeland, FL, and Hagerstown, MD to its current markets: Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Newark, N.J.; Niagara Falls, N.Y.; Columbus, Oh.; Plattsburgh, N.Y.; Toledo, Oh.; Kalamazoo, Mich.; Worcester, Mass.; Allentown, Pa.; Rockford, Ill.; Springfield, Ill.; Melbourne, Fla.; Orlando-Sanford, Fla.; Punta Gorda, Fla., and West Palm Beach, Fla. All Direct Air flights are public charters operated on Boeing 737-400, 150 passenger jet aircraft by Sky King Airlines featuring 12 First Class and 138 coach leather seating. Direct Air is excited to be flying its one-millionth passenger in 2011.

Airfares are one-way beginning at $99 each way and increase in increments based on availability. First Class seats are available for a $100 upgrade each way. Seat assignments in advance require a $10 purchase per person. There is an additional charge for baggage and surcharges may apply for excess/overweight-checked baggage. A convenience fee of $15 each way will be accessed. Air fares do not include Federal Segment Fee of $3.50 per segment (A segment is defined as one take off and one landing), Passenger Facility Charges (PFC) up to $4.50 and September 11 Security Fee of $3.70 per departure.

Contact:

Direct Air Media Relations

Kelsey Dunn

kdunn@myrtlebeachdirectair.com

(843) 916-9700

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Buffalo, NY . . .

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that the General Counsel Selection Committee has unanimously selected David J. State as its new General Counsel.

Henry M. Sloma, NFTA Chairman said, "Today's selection was extremely difficult. The committee had before it four well qualified individuals who all possessed impressive credentials, but after a lengthy deliberation David was our collective choice."

State, 48, is currently an assistant state attorney general, a position he has held since Aug. 2007. Prior to that he was an administrative law judge with the New State Office of Temporary Disability and a JAG Officer (Major) for the Trial Counsel, 42nd Infantry Division.

Howard A. Zemsky, committee chairman said, "I want to thank my fellow commissioners for their time and commitment through the entire vetting process. As a result of their combined efforts, we were able to unanimously agree on an extremely talented and well qualified individual."

State has previous experience as legal counsel to numerous boards and agencies including the Buffalo Common Council, Preservation Board, Elevator Safety Review Board and the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority.

An Iraq veteran, he served from May 2004 to Jan. 2006 when he was mobilized to active duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and served with the Army Judge Advocate General Corps in Iraq. In addition, he holds faculty positions at the University of Buffalo where he teaches Urban Development Law and Policy and at Erie Community College where he instructs on Business Law I and II.

Upon learning of his selection State said, "I am extremely pleased to have been selected from such a talented group of individuals. I am looking forward with great anticipation to working at the NFTA as it gives me an opportunity to continue my involvement in public service, which has been such a big part of my life."

State will be starting his new position in April at a salary of $125,000. He resides in Buffalo with his wife and two daughters.

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Buffalo, NY . . .

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that the hospitality ambassadors at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport will celebrate their 11th anniversary Tuesday, March 15 during an 11:30 a.m. luncheon at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Historical Site, 641 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY.

Approximately 80 volunteers ranging in age from 20 to 80, act as regional "goodwill ambassadors" by providing friendly assistance and helpful information to passengers and guests of the BNIA. The ambassadors, clad in their distinctive blue blazers, assist with directions to local and regional attractions, lodging details, information regarding public transit and in general, act as "liaisons" of goodwill for the region.

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director said, "Our ambassadors are one of the reasons why our airport is deemed to be so user friendly. While the design of the airport has won awards, in the final analysis, it is our people who create the positive difference in the operation. The ambassadors have become essential in our efforts to be one of the best airports in the country."

Henry McCartney, Executive Director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara, will address the group on the significance of the National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference, which is coming to Buffalo in October will have on the Buffalo Niagara region. "The ambassadors will play a key role in helping ensure visitors feel welcome and create a dynamic lasting first impression of our community," McCartney said.

While many airports have volunteer programs, the Buffalo airport ranks in the top 10 for the number of hours volunteered. In 2010 over 8,900 hours of volunteered service was provided, which has an economic value of approximately $108,000. Each volunteer who qualifies will be awarded a President's Volunteer Award from the Points of Light Institute as part of the national program recognizing and celebrating the importance of volunteer service.

Several new Ambassadors will be singled out for reaching the Bronze level in the Presidential Points of Light recognition program. This level is achieved by donating 100-249 hours in a calendar year.

Individuals interested in becoming a BNIA volunteer hospitality ambassador can contact Bev Halligan at 630-6072 Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. or online at Beverly_Halligan@nfta.com.

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Buffalo, NY . . .

"With gas prices higher than ever and financial concerns affecting everyone, now is the time to save money and ride Metro Bus and Rail," suggests Kimberley A. Minkel, Executive Director of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.

Nationally, nearly 2.5 billion trips were taken on public transportation in the third quarter of 2010, according to the American Public Transportation Association. As gas prices continue to approach $4 per gallon, people are looking for ways to reduce their commuting costs and riding Metro provides the easiest way to reach that goal.

Locally, Metro Bus and Rail combined had 27.3 million boardings last year, its highest total since 2008. As gas prices rise, more people are using public transportation as a means of reducing their daily commuting costs as is validated by a 3 percent increase in ridership over the past four months. Switching from driving to riding Metro for even a few of their trips is a proven way for individuals to cut monthly and yearly transportation costs.

Metro can now answer the question many people are asking . . . How much can I save by using public transit? Metro's website at nfta.com/metro features a user-friendly calculator that lets people insert their commuting data such as distance traveled to work each day, cost of gas, number of days commuting to work, cost of parking, mileage obtained by one's car and with the click of the mouse the program will compute the yearly savings that can be realized by taking Metro.

Using average variables for a daily roundtrip commute to work (40 miles), mpg (23), cost of gas ($3.70 gal), and parking ($7 per day) the person would pay approximately $3,493 per year to drive to work. Using a Metro $4 Day Pass, the person would pay $1,040, achieving a yearly savings of $2,453 according to the calculator.

An additional savings of approximately 30 percent can be achieved by using Metro's Advantage Plan to purchase a monthly systemwide Metro pass. Full details on how to participate in the Advantage Plan can be found online at nfta.com/metro.

"As uncertainty in other parts of the world persists, and Americans continue to suffer economic woes, making the change to public transit today gives individuals the opportunity to lower their transportation costs, and at the same time reduce their carbon footprint, which benefits everyone," Minkel said.

In addition, the website has a Carbon Savings Calculator that will help people estimate the potential reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in terms of pounds one can achieve by switching part or all of their travel to public transportation.

Commuting by public transportation reduces carbon emissions by 20 lbs per day, 4,800 lbs. per year, which is more than if you weatherized your home, converted to fluorescent bulbs and replaced an old refrigerator combined.

To assist people who might be new to Metro they can go online and use Metro's trip planner to assist in planning their trip using the bus or rail, in addition to showing all Metro schedules and route maps that are easy to download and print for future use.

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Buffalo, NY . . .

A special meeting of the Board of Commissioners of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority will be held Thursday, March 10, 2011, at 9:30 a.m. in the sixth floor boardroom at the Metropolitan Transportation Center, 181 Ellicott St., Buffalo, NY.

The agenda for the meeting will be:

1. NFTA General Counsel candidates

2. Outer harbor property

It is expected that the agenda will be discussed in executive session.

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Buffalo, NY . . .

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that in light of the increased activity taking place in downtown Buffalo Sunday, Feb. 13, Metro Rail will be providing additional service during the day.

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA Executive Director said, "As a result of Winterfest, the Auto Show, the Pond Hockey Tournament and an afternoon Sabres game all taking place downtown Sunday afternoon, Metro Rail will be beefing up its service to accommodate people attending these events."

All normal Metro boarding fares will apply during the weekend in spite of published reports to the contrary.

All Metro schedules and route maps are available online at nfta.com/metro.

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Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority

Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority   |   181 Ellicott Street   |   Buffalo, New York 14203
NFTA 716-855-7300   |   NFTA-Metro Customer Care 716-855-7211   |   TTY/Relay 711 or 800-662-1220
Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Metro Bus & Rail Buffalo Niagara International Airport Niagara Falls International Airport