Buffalo, NY . . . New nonstop flights to West Palm Beach, Fla. from the Buffalo Niagara International Airport were announced today by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.
Starting Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, AirTran Airways will depart the BNIA each day at 10 a.m., arriving in West Palm Beach at 1 p.m. There will be a daily return flight leaving West Palm at 2 p.m., arriving in Buffalo at 4:55 p.m. All flights are nonstop. Flights will operate through February 13, 2013.
Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director said, "Anytime we can offer our customers a new destination, especially a warm one during the winter, it's extremely good news."
Seats can be booked now at airtran.com. Flights will be on Boeing 717's, which have a 117 seat dual class configuration.
Buffalo, NY . . . The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council and The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority today announced that Phase I of a $8.09 million improvement project to expand the Long Term B parking lot at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport by 1,000 spaces is ready to move forward. The project is in the first stages of the $6,867,811 award it received as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Regional Council initiative. This capital improvement project, which also received $1,226,419 from the BNIA, will accommodate current customer demand for low-cost, on site parking and anticipated increases in passengers in the future.
The additional 1,000 much needed parking spaces will be added to the Long Term B lot that runs along Holtz Drive north of Genesee Street. Once completed, the B lot will have a total of 2,901 spaces.
"I am very thankful for the financial assistance and extensive cooperation we received from the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council that has allowed us to move this project forward," Howard A. Zemsky, NFTA chairman said. "Growth at the BNIA has and will lead to commercial development of the surrounding area, increasing the tax base as private investors continue see the value of being near the airport, thus adding job opportunities, which benefit our entire region."
"The Buffalo Niagara International Airport plays an essential role in the development of business and tourism in the Buffalo Niagara region, which is why the Western New York Regional Council is pleased to award the NFTA funding to move ahead with this critical project," said Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair Satish K. Tripahi. "The increased passenger usage at our airport is a positive sign for our region, as airports are economic drivers, creating employment, acting as business gateways and serving as a impetus for tourism growth."
Based on increased demand, especially during the holidays and spring break, the airport has been forced to lease off-site property in order to handle the parking overflow, especially from Canadian customers who year-to-date represent 47 percent of the airport's long term parkers. This expansion will prevent that from being repeated once the project is completed.
The BNIA has a daily average of 110 flights with nonstop service to 23 airports. In 2011 the BNIA served 5.1 million passengers, the sixth straight year of 5 million or more passengers. Originally, that milestone was not expected to be achieved until 2020. The BNIA benefits the entire state; even people who have never use air travel. For example, as a result of 805,462 cars parking on site in 2011, of which almost 50 percent were Canadian visitors, $1.57 million in tax revenue was collected and passed on to benefit the state and Erie County.
An Economic Impacts Study of Aviation in New York State conducted in 2009 by the Federal Aviation Administration and the NYS Department of Transportation revealed that 12,827 full- and part-time jobs and more than $620.5 million in expenditures are the direct result of on-airport businesses, including airport sponsor expenditures, and visitor spending at the airport. Including indirect expenditures, the total impact for Buffalo Niagara International Airport was (2009) $1.07 billion, supporting 16,628 jobs.
Starting in mid-November, Metro Contracting & Environmental, Inc. of Niagara Falls, NY will commence with the demolition and remediation of three structures on the property in preparation for site construction. The contract is for a not-to-exceed amount of $48,340.
Urban Engineers of New York, P.C. has been awarded a $407,142 contract for design services as part of Phase II. This portion is scheduled for the design to proceed through the fall and winter leading up to bid documents being advertised in late winter, for construction to start in early summer 2013. When completed, the BNIA will have a total of 7,877 or 14.5 percent more spaces on site to serve its customers.
Senator Tim Kennedy said, "This strategic investment in our local transportation infrastructure will boost the economic competitiveness of our state and help create jobs for Western New Yorkers. More people are flying out of the Buffalo-Niagara Airport, and this expansion project aims to capitalize on the growth. It will empower local businesses with new economic opportunities and further strengthen the economic bonds between Western New York and Canada. I applaud Governor Cuomo and our Regional Council for targeting the right opportunities to grow our economy."
Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak said, "Since my days as Cheektowaga Town Supervisor, I have seen the Buffalo-Niagara Airport expand to become the major transportation hub it is today. I know firsthand the economic impact that the airport has on Western New York as well as the potential for growth in tourism and job creation this expansion will usher in. I applaud the NFTA, the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, Governor Cuomo and my colleagues in the legislature for taking initiative in projects such as this to help our region."
Since taking office in January 2011, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has targeted the revitalization of the Buffalo and Western New York economy as a top priority that will contribute to the overall strength and vitality of New York State. The Governor's commitment to Buffalo and Western New York is evidenced in his unprecedented $1 billion pledge to reinvigorate the city's and region's economy, leverage additional private sector investment and create a sustainable economy today and for generations to come. Additionally, the Governor's creation of the statewide Regional Economic Development Council's resulted in the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council's successful 2011 submission that will bring $100.3 million in state funding to key development projects in eight industry sectors that are essential to Buffalo's future growth and development: health and life sciences, advanced manufacturing, energy, higher education, professional services, agriculture, bi-national logistics and tourism.
Last year, a total of $785 million was awarded through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for job creation and community development projects consistent with each region's strategic plans. As part of that process, the NFTA and BNIA was awarded $6,867,811 from the New York State Department of Transportation and Empire State Development.
To learn more about each regional council and their economic development plans, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov. For information on how the New New York is working for business, please visit www.thenewny.com.
Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that Metro's new enhanced weekday express service will commence on Routes 60, 64, 69, 72 and 204 Tuesday, Sept. 4.
The new enhanced express service is designed to get people to their destination faster, as a result of making few stops than regular service along the route. Free Wi-Fi is available to all customers on these five routes as an additional benefit. A 50 cent surcharge does apply to all enhanced express trips. Metro's reduced fare policy for eligible riders does apply to the surcharge.
Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director said, "We are providing this new enhanced service in response to comments from our customers. It is important that we listen to them and respond to meet their needs so Metro can be as user friendly as possible."
In addition to local express service, Routes 69 and 72 will each offer one early morning and afternoon enhanced express trip that was implemented as a result of collaborating with the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. This new service allows workers to arrive at the BNMC by 7 a.m. in order to accommodate their early start time and will help reduce parking congestion on campus.
All trips via Routes 60, 64 and 204 will feature enhanced express service.
Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that based on data released by The Brookings Institution, its Metro Bus and Rail service ranks near the top 10 percent for job coverage and is in the top third for providing access to jobs when compared to 371 transit providers in the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas. The report: Where the Jobs Are: Employer Access to Labor by Transit, released in July, finds that Metro provides transit coverage to 86.9 percent of the jobs in the metropolitan area, ranking it 11th in providing access to available employment. The report shows 100 percent coverage in cities and 82.2 percent in the suburbs.
In addition, the survey concluded that Metro had a labor access rate of 29.1 percent, ranking it 31st. This is the share of the metropolitan population that can reach the typical job in 90 minutes via Metro service. Cities have 51.9 percent and suburbs have 18.6 percent access.
Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director said, "The survey shows that Metro's core service does a good job of providing access to jobs, but the shifting of jobs from the cities to the suburbs obstructs our ability to connect workers to opportunities and jobs in the outer suburban communities. As elected officials and community leaders continue to grapple with limited financial resources, it is critical for transit investment decisions to simultaneously address suburban coverage gaps, as well as disconnected neighborhoods."
The report ranks Metro higher in each category than comparable transit agencies in New York State and ahead of communities such as Detroit, Indianapolis, Pittsburg and Cleveland.
Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that detectives from the NFTA Transit Police department have solved the case of a Jan. 7, 2012 shooting involving a Metro bus.
While on the corner of Kensington Avenue and Bailey Avenue, a Metro bus was struck on the passenger side by a single gunshot from an unknown suspect. As a result of viewing videos from the bus, businesses in the vicinity of the shooting and interviewing witnesses at the scene, NFTA detectives Christopher DiPasquale and David Wayne were able to obtain several images of persons of interest.
George Gast, NFTA Chief of Police said, "This is a perfect example of tenacious police work that ultimately led to the arrest of the individual responsible for recklessly endangering the safely of Metro riders and others in the vicinity of the shooting."
The Detective Bureau was able to identify several subjects from video evidence and conducted interviews with the subjects. With the assistance of the FBI Task Force and utilizing video evidence, detectives were able to obtain a possible identification of the suspect involved with the bus shooting. After obtaining an identification of a possible suspect, Detective DiPasquale and Lt. John Heritage interviewed and received a handwritten statement from the suspect, of his involvement in this incident.
The suspect voluntarily reported to NFTA Police Headquarters, with his legal guardian and was charged with Criminal Possession of a weapon 2nd, Reckless Endangerment 1st, and Criminal Mischief 3rd. Due to the suspect's age (15) at the time of the incident, the suspect was charged in Erie County Family Court, which is where the matter is currently being handled.
The Buffalo Police department also assisted in the investigation.
Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority will host a luncheon at the Protocol Restaurant, 6766 Transit Rd., Williamsville, Sunday, April 22 at 1 p.m., to recognize the outstanding safety records of Metro vehicle maintenance workers and bus and train operators. In additional, the authority will salute employees who reached 25-years of employment with the NFTA.
This year 29 Metro operators will be recognized for safely operating their vehicle for 10 or 20 years, and eight maintenance employees will be congratulated for having a 10-year safety record. In addition, 37 NFTA employees celebrated a silver anniversary.
Further, Metro Rail operator Jose Ramirez will receive a special recognition for his quick actions in activating his train's emergency braking system as it approached two men in the track bed at the Utica Street Station April 5.
Acting NFTA Chairman, Henry M. Sloma said, "These men and women have dedicated a quarter-century of their lives to helping the people of Western New York get to work, school, church, a doctor's appointment or visit loved-ones. It is an honorable achievement in an honorable profession."
Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director, "There is no way to understate the importance of safety in this business, so it is a pleasure to thank the men and women who have been able to maintain such incredible safety records."
Buffalo Airport Plays Host for 27th Consecutive Year
Buffalo, NY . . . The Buffalo Niagara International Airport is hosting the 46th Annual Snow Symposium April 16-18 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. Organizers expect a record attendance of 550 airport professionals, responsible for runway operations from around the world to attend.
Much of the draw centers on an impressive display of snow fighting equipment (runway plows, broom trucks, snow blowers) and vehicles that will fill 64,000 square feet of the convention hall. Manufactures are using the show as a promotional event for the launch of many new lines of equipment.
Astronaut Randy Bresnik (available for media before or during the event) will address the audience Tuesday, April 17 at a 12:30 p.m. luncheon relating the similarities between snow operations at airports and space flight. He will speak about his experiences in space and the value of establishing a training plan, conducting rehearsals and building contingencies into airport operations. A U.S. Marine, Colonel Randy Bresnik, was a crewmember aboard STS-129 (Nov. 16-29, 2009), which was the 31st shuttle flight to the International Space Station. During the mission the crew delivered two Express Logistics Carriers to the International Space Station, about 30,000 pounds of replacement parts for systems that provide power to the station, keep it from overheating, and maintain proper orientation in space.
Bresnik performed two space walks for a total of 11 hours and 50 minutes. While he was in orbit, his wife Rebecca gave birth to their daughter, Abigail Mae Bresnik Nov. 21. The STS-129 mission was completed in 10 days, 19 hours, 16 minutes and 13 seconds, traveling 4.5 million miles in 171 orbits, and returned to Earth bringing back NASA Astronaut, Nicole Stott, following her tour of duty aboard the Space Station.
Colonel Bresnik is an F/A-18 fighter pilot and has logged over 5,000 hours in 80 types of aircraft. He holds an Airline Transport Pilot Rating and an Unlimited Piston Engine Letter of Authorization.
This marks the 27th consecutive year the symposium is being hosted by the BNIA. Thomas Dames, the BNIA's airfield superintendent and symposium chairman said, "The snow symposium committee is grateful for all the wonderful work the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the area hotels, and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority do to help make the event so successful. The hospitality the region offers makes it easy to find a solution that will benefit the Symposium and the region."
Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director said, "Bringing experts from the Snow Belt regions together helps the industry advance its best practices and collective knowledge so everybody benefits." Minkel will address the conference's opening session Monday, April 16 at 8:30 a.m.
One of the symposium's main events 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 18 as part of the 12:30 p.m. luncheon.
Thomas Dames can be reached at 716-512-0564 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.
File photos of Colonel Bresnik and his space walk can be downloaded at www.nfta.com/Bresnik/
Buffalo, NY:The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that a $1.4 million Airport Improvement Project, involving construction to the two-tier circulatory roadway system at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport is scheduled to start Tuesday, April 10.
Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director said, "These structural improvements are an investment that ensures the successful operation of the terminal's infrastructure for many years to come and provides for the safety of our customers."
Work on the departures roadway (upper level) will consist of milling the deck surface, joint repairs, curb replacements, paving, striping and sidewalk repairs. Traffic will be reduced to one lane for the duration of the project.
The arrivals roadway (lower level) work consists of having steel reinforcement beams installed to the upper deck, roadway milling and overlay improvements, in addition to repairing structural columns and concrete. During construction, traffic will be restricted to one lane from 1 to 8 a.m. each weekday.
To assist passengers using the terminal there will be variable message signs in place to direct traffic into the proper lanes for both levels of roadway.
To lessen traffic on the terminal's roadways, people coming to the airport to pick up arriving passengers are advised to use the Cell Phone Lot on Holtz Drive, where they can wait in their car for a cell call notifying them their passenger has their luggage and is ready to be picked up.
In addition, use of the airport's radio system is advised for people heading to the BNIA. Construction and parking updates will be available by tuning the car radio to 1580 AM. The signal is best within three miles of the airport. The airport's website buffaloairport.com will also be used to communicate timely information as necessary.
Passengers are advised to allow themselves additional time when using the airport during the construction period. The recommended time to arrive in the terminal for a departing flight is 90 minutes prior to departure.
The project is scheduled to be completed in August.
Buffalo, NY:The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that they have reached a licensing agreement with Funtime After Dark, LLC, to be the NFTA's waterfront concert promoter for the 2012 summer season.
NFTA Commissioner Howard A. Zemsky said, "We are excited about this opportunity to increase public access to the waterfront, and the selection of a designated promoter will free up staff time, allowing them to fully focus on our core mission of serving the transportation needs of our customers."
Chris Ring, a Funtime partner said, "It's always exciting to bring great concerts to Buffalo, but what's even more special is the fact that we get to be a part of the bigger picture, which is to get more people downtown and enjoy the beautiful Buffalo waterfront. We hope that these concerts will help do just that."
Peter G. Demakos, NFTA commissioner and chairman of the authority's Property Risk Committee said, "We are pleased to have come to an agreement with experienced promoters who will provide top notch entertainment for people to enjoy at one of the best venues in our community."
Funtime plans on using the seven acre site located on the outer harbor in the vicinity of the former Pier Restaurant, to hold concerts from a variety of musical genres including alternative, Canadian, southern and folk rock. Ticket prices will be range from $30 pre-sale to $100 for a VIP ticket. Parking charges will range from $5 to $10.
The agreement allows Funtime After Dark, LLC, (Chris Ring, Artie Kwitchoff and Donnie Kutzbach) to hold up to four concerts this summer at the outer harbor, with the possibility of conducting added concerts. In addition to the $20,000 licensing fee, the NFTA will receive 20 percent of all parking revenues, approve in advance the promoter's security/safety plan and receive an additional security deposit to ensure a thorough clean up of the site following each performance.
Buffalo, NY: The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Metro will be showcasing its first two newly rebuilt rail cars and placing them into service Friday, March 9 after a brief inaugural ride ceremony.
Rail cars 114 and 123, the first two of 27 rail cars that will each receive a $1.5 million top to bottom transformation, carried passengers for the first time today from LaSalle Station to Theater Station, where celebratory remarks were offered in the lobby of Shea's Performing Arts Center.
Henry M. Sloma, NFTA acting Chairman commented, "We are fully committed to providing our customers with the safest and most modern rail cars possible. These rebuilt vehicles accomplish that goal and our investment will add 25-years to the life of each car."
Eunice A. Lewin, Chairwoman of the NFTA's Surface Transportation Committee said, "I am definitely very pleased that our beautiful new cars are operating and serving our customers. We can now move forward with plans to provide our over 6 million annual rail customers with one of the most modern light rail systems in the nation."
The two cars have undergone a complete reconstruction in Dansville, NY, where AnsaldoBreda Inc. a unit of AnsaldoBreda S.p.A of Italy has been making wholesale improvements to the cars.
Giancarlo FantappiÃ¨, AnsaldoBreda President and CEO commented, "We are very happy that this achievement is being met with the cooperation of the entire Rehabilitation Team; NFTA, AnsaldoBreda, suppliers, etcâ€¦ As we move forward with the work on the remaining vehicles, we remain fully committed to the continued cooperation and successful completion of this project."
Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director said, "Metro Rail provides the most environmentally efficient, pocketbook friendly and reliable mode of transportation for thousands of people traveling in and out of Buffalo each and every day. We are pleased to be able to provide these rebuilt rail cars so our riders can enjoy a safe and comfortable ride on Metro Rail for many years to come."
Each vehicle is equipped with a host of new safety features, passenger amenities and mechanical upgrades as part of the $45 million project. Enhanced passenger features include new colored seats and shells, HVAC components, interior emergency audio system, brighter energy efficient overhead lighting, anti-slip coating on door thresholds and interior/exterior LED signage. All cars will become uniform in appearance as the current orange and brown color scheme transitions to an all white background accented with silver and blue trim.
Americans with Disabilities related improvements include flashing lights at all doors, new gong sounds to signal the opening and closing of doors and automatic passenger stop announcements/LED displays to assist hearing and visually impaired passengers
The approximately 22,880 riders who use Metro Rail each weekday may not notice the myriad mechanical and safety improvements that each vehicle has received, but they are equally as significant to the project. Each car is now equipped with new suspensions, rebuilt gearboxes, air compression system, improved breaking system, overhauled traction motors, refurbished trucks with new wheels and 35,000 feet of new electrical wiring.
The operators' compartment has also been retooled with a new ergonomic design, improved HVAC system, enhanced electric window wipers and side window along with a new seat design for operator comfort.
A third rebuilt rail car is expected to be delivered in approximately seven months and will be required to undergo testing and 600 miles of commissioning, which is expected to take three to four months. There will be four rail cars in the rebuild cycle, starting a process whereby one completed car will be sent to Buffalo with Metro sending an additional car to Dansville until all remaining 25 cars are rebuilt. All cars are required to be completed within 36 months from the date of accepting the first two.
There will be formal remarks inside Shea's Performing Arts Center following the arrival of the train at Theater Station
Media is of course welcome to ride the train from LaSalle Station . . . no tickets will be required
WHO: Giancarlo Fantappie, President & CEO, AnsaldoBreda, Inc.; Kim Minkel, NFTA Executive Director; Acting NFTA Chairman, Henry Sloma; Eunice Lewin, Chairwoman NFTA Surface Transportation Committee, elected officials, Metro staff and winners of Metro's Inaugural Ride Contest
WHERE: Metro Rail LaSalle Station, 3040 Main Street, Buffalo, NY
WHEN: Friday, March 9 at 10 a.m. The train will depart LaSalle at 10 a.m. sharp.
Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that five public hearings will be held in Erie and Niagara counties regarding proposed service reductions to Metro Bus and Rail service.
The public is invited to attend and voice their comments during the public comment portion of the hearing, which will be preceded by an opportunity to speak with Metro personnel while viewing Metro service charts and a brief presentation by NFTA Executive Director Kimberley A. Minkel and Thomas George, the authority's Director of Surface Transportation.
The NFTA will stream live video of the Wednesday, Feb. 1, hearing starting at 12-noon from the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. The video will be available on the authority's website at nfta.com.
The schedule of hearings is as follows:
Monday, Jan. 30, 6 p.m. ECC North Campus, Bldg. B, Bretschger Hall, Room 401
Tuesday, Jan. 31, 6 p.m. Niagara Falls City Hall Chambers
Wednesday, Feb. 1, Noon and 6 p.m. Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Auditorium
Thursday, Feb. 2, 6 p.m. ECC South Campus, Building #5 Cafeteria
Comments can also be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, 181 Ellicott St., Buffalo, NY 14203, Attention: Metro Service Planning. Comments must be received by Thursday, Feb. 2, to be included in the public record.
Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Metro Rail will operate modified service Sunday, Jan. 22, from approximately 7 p.m. through the end of the day due to maintenance work being performed in this segment of the system.
The outbound track will be out of service between Erie Canal Harbor Station and Humboldt Hospital Station. As a result, all service either inbound or outbound in this section will be provided from the inbound side.
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 customers of the temporary change in service.
There may be minimal delays; customers are advised to please plan accordingly.
Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that the Buffalo Niagara International Airport is providing passengers' FREE wireless Internet access throughout the terminal.
The BNIA has entered into a three-year agreement with Advanced Wireless Group, LLC, to provide free high-speed Internet service to its customers. Advance Wireless, a leading provider of Wi-Fi wireless and wired high-speed Internet access has airport installations across the country including Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Indianapolis, Omaha and San Francisco.
Carmen A. Granto, NFTA commissioner and chairman of the authority's Aviation Committee said, "Staying connected and productive while away from the office or home has become essential to today's traveler. We are pleased to now be able to provide our customers with free connectivity. Passengers can sit down, relax, enjoy a meal, all while downloading files, sending e-mails, or checking the status of their connecting flight from their laptop or PDA at no cost to them."
"We are delighted to be associated with the Buffalo Niagara International Airport," said Scott Phillips, President of Advanced Wireless Group. "The airport is a first class addition to our network of airports and we look forward to a great working relationship."
Users of the system receive unlimited high-speed Internet access in 45-minute log- in sessions. Each free session requires the user to watch an approximately 30-second advertisement or fill out a brief survey prior to gaining each free connection. Technical support can be obtained 24/7 by calling toll free 1-877-294-9434. Access to high-speed Internet service is possible at almost any point within the departure level (upper level) and in the baggage claim area (lower level). Travelers are now able to surf the Internet, check e-mail, stock portfolios, stay on top of the latest news and weather or access corporate networks while sitting in a restaurant, an airline waiting area or retrieving their luggage.
About the Buffalo Niagara International Airport
Averaging 110 daily flights with nonstop service to 23 airports, the BNIA generates an overall economic impact of $1.07 billion in the Buffalo Niagara region. This past year the BNIA provided service to 5.2 million passengers and is committed to providing "first class" service to its customers each and everyday.
About Advanced Wireless Group, LLC
Founded in 2004, Advanced Wireless Group, LLC, headquartered in Miami, Fla., installs, manages and integrates wireless Internet networks into airports, municipalities, colleges and other large venues. For airport operators, AWG creates a new revenue stream by coupling public Wi-Fi Internet access with advertising, sponsorship, and media content, reaching key demographics through new media in a controlled setting.
Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that two of its Transportation Security Administration-certified Explosive Detection K-9 teams will be attending the Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C.
At the request of the United States Department of Homeland Security; the NFTA Transit Police Department will be sending two of its TSA-certified Explosive Detection K-9 teams to support the Jan. 21 Presidential Inauguration by working with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and the District of Columbia, Metro Transit Police Department.
NFTA Transit police officers Robert L. Bove and David A. Capretto, along with their K-9's Cora and Gino are set to depart Wednesday, Jan. 16 for Washington, D.C. They are two of 12 K-9 teams from across the country that will be assisting the TSA in providing addition security during inauguration proceedings.
George W. Gast, Chief of the NFTA Transit Police Department said, "I am extremely proud that our department will be represented during this high profile event. That we were considered speaks volumes about the capabilities and professionalism of our K-9 program and our officers."
The additional canine teams will be specifically used throughout the WMATA transportation system for the purpose of security related to the event. The use of the extra teams is proportionate to the overall increase in security and awareness during the inauguration, which draws thousands of visitors to our nation's capital.
All assisting law enforcement officers will be duly deputized as Federal Officers by the U.S. Marshall's Service for the requested period of service.
The TSA National Canine Program will be responsible for direct reimbursement for expenses relating to lodging and travel costs for both officers and their canine companions.
This is the second time the NFTA Police have sent a K-9 team to the inauguration. In 2008, one team was deployed to provide additional transit security coverage.
In addition, Metro Rail will add four early morning trips in each direction as follows:
Outbound from Erie Canal Harbor Station at 6, 6:30, 7 and 7:30 a.m.
Inbound from University Station at 6:30, 7, 7:30 and 8 a.m.
All Metro bus and rail schedules and Rider Alerts can be found online at nfta.com.
Buffalo, NY . . . The purpose of today's special meeting of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority's Board of Commissioners was to review and discuss the joint proposal submitted by the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation and the City of Buffalo to acquire the NFTA's real estate holdings on the Buffalo waterfront.
"Upon a thorough review of the proposal, the NFTA Board of Commissioners provided staff with guidance and direction on how to proceed in negotiating what hopefully will be a timely and mutually beneficial agreement," said Howard A. Zemsky, NFTA Chairman. "It is our intention to set up a meeting with all parties as soon as possible," he added.
Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that the identifying names of the parking facilities at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport are in the process of being changed.
Changes are being made to airport signage, websites and promotional material this month and are expected to be completed by Feb. 1.
The names will be changed as follows . . .
CURRENT - NEW
Short Term (garage) - Daily/Hourly Garage
Preferred Lot - Preferred Parking Lot
Long Term A - Long Term Parking Lot
Long Term B - Economy Parking Lot
Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director said, "After consulting with our parking vendor and having received comments from customers; the names of the individual on site parking options are being changed to more accurately convey the differences between our various parking selections."
All of the BNIA parking lots offer convenient, free shuttle service to and from the terminal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.