News Room

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that the Board of Commissioners approved a resolution to adopt recommended service adjustments and a simplified fare structure for Metro Bus and Rail in conjunction with its Service Restructuring and Fare Analysis/Strategic Assessment Study.

Over the past year, consultants from Transportation Management & Design, Inc., together with Metro's service planning department, conducted a comprehensive strategic assessment of how Metro delivers its service and conducted numerous public informational meetings and hearings to obtain suggestions from the community. The final recommendations reflect findings from the inclusive study and stakeholders' comments on how to make Metro easy and more efficient.

Eunice A. Lewin, NFTA commissioner and chairwoman of the Surface Transportation Committee said, "The service and fare analysis assessment is one of the most meaningful projects Metro has undertaken. When implemented, the restructuring of our service deliverables will offer more options to riders, an uncomplicated fare structure and improve overall operational efficiency, resulting in a more economically sustainable Metro system."

SIMPLIFIED FARE STRUCTURE

Changes to Metro's fare structure will take effect Sept. 1, 2010. The new simplified format maintains the current boarding fare at $1.75, eliminates fare zone charges and bus-to-bus transfers. As a result of eliminating the zones, the cost of a system-wide monthly pass will be reduced from $77 to $64. A system-wide Day pass will continue to be sold for $4.

The sale of bus tokens will cease Sept. 1, except to social service agencies, but will continue to be accepted through August 2013.

Paratransit fares will still be twice the adult cash fare, however, paratransit eligible riders will now be able to travel free on all of Metro's fixed route service. Further, the price of a system-wide PAL 10 and 20-trip pass will be reduced to $29 and $58 from $39 and $79.50 respectively.

In addition, reduced fares will continue to be offered to disabled and Medicare passengers with proper ID, senior citizens 65 and older and children 5-11 yrs. Children four and under ride free with a paying adult, limit three children per paying adult.

SERVICE MODIFICATIONS

The resolution also calls for the restructuring of various Metro routes and route segments to commence Oct. 31, 2010. The major points of change are:

- Reallocation of service to improve frequencies on 15 of Metro's most used routes, with service to operate at a minimum of every 15 minutes during the weekday

- Establish new or renamed and numbered suburban feeder routes

- Extended Metro Rail service on Sunday

- Discontinuance of three routes; 51 Military Summit, 56 River Rd. and the 207 Elmwood Circulator, in addition to segments of other routes, all of which have a history of very low ridership

- The current Paratransit service area and level of service, which is based on Metro's current fixed route system, will remain in effect for 12-months subsequent to any service changes that start Oct. 31

Also, staff has been directed to seek funding to implement another key study recommendation to initiate ridership estimation, basic feasibility and cost benefit analysis of three high level transit investment corridors: Airport/Broadway, Amherst/UB North Campus and Delaware Avenue/Elmwood Avenue emerged as viable candidates for future major transit investment. "The execution of these changes will simplify our Metro system, making it easier to use, thus increasing ridership opportunities for our customers and provide a more user-friendly public transportation system going forward," Lewin said.

A complete review of all of the service and fare changes will be available online at nfta.com/metro in mid-July.

-30-

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that a portion of Metro Rail service will be suspended on Thursday evenings starting June 10.

In anticipation of large crowds attending the popular Thursday at the Square concerts June 10 through August 12, Metro Rail service will be suspended in the immediate area of the concerts inbound between Lafayette Station and Church Street Station and outbound between Church Street Station and Fountain Plaza Station from approximately 7 to 9 p.m. on each of the 10 dates.

Lawrence M. Meckler, NFTA executive director said, "The Thursday concerts have become very popular, attracting large numbers of people and as a result, warrant precautionary measures. The safety of our customers, employees and the general public is our number one concern."

Metro will provide free shuttle bus service for its customers between Main Street at Church Street (Church Street Station) and Main Street at Chippewa Street (Fountain Plaza Station) where customers will be able to make a rail connection in each direction.

Regular rail service will operate between Erie Canal Harbor Station and Church Street Station and between Lafayette Station and University Station during the suspended periods.

-30-

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that it has erected a bus shelter in the LaSalle Center to accommodate passengers using its new Metro service into the plaza.

The placement of the new shelter coincides with Metro starting to serve the Walmart Supercenter in the LaSalle Center located at 1540 Military Rd. in Niagara Falls as of April 16.

Metro's Route 55, Pine Avenue bus has been rerouted to directly operate to the Walmart store parking lot via the main plaza entrance driveway and exit the parking lot to Niagara Falls Blvd., via 80th Street.

Presently the 55 bus has 68 weekday, 25 Saturday and 19 Sunday trips to the Walmart site to accommodate employees and customers.

Metro schedules and route maps can be found at nfta.com/metro, in addition to a Metro Trip Planner that helps customers plan their trips using the Metro system.

-30-

Walmart Bus Shelter

Click to download high resolution photograph

Pictured: NFTA Acting Chairman Henry M. Sloma; Walmart Assistant Manager Kathy Denny; NFTA Executive Director Lawrence M. Meckler; Local NAACP representative Michael Majors; Director of Surface Transportation Walter D. Zmuda; NFTA Commissioner Eunice A. Lewin.

Buffalo, NY… The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority will host a luncheon at the Protocol Restaurant in Williamsville, Sunday, May 16 at 1 p.m., to recognize the outstanding safety records of Metro vehicle maintenance workers and Bus and Rail operators. In additional, the Authority will salute employees who reached 25-years with the NFTA.

This year seven operators will be recognized for more than 30-years of safe driving. Fourteen Metro Bus and Rail operators and five maintenance employees will be congratulated for either a 10, 20 or 30-year safety record. In addition, 57 NFTA employees will celebrate a silver anniversary.

Acting NFTA Chairman, Henry M. Sloma said, "These men and women have dedicated a quarter-century 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."

Lawrence M. Meckler, executive director of the NFTA said, "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."

-30-

Note . . .. Awards presentation is scheduled to begin at approximately 2 p.m., but interview opportunities will be available at any time after 1 p.m.

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 14. The 55T trolley bus will travel between the Niagara Falls Airport and downtown Niagara Falls, serving Niagara Falls Boulevard and Pine Avenue.

Service will operate weekends only May 14 - May 31 and October 1-11, including Memorial Day and Columbus Day, and expand to seven days a week from June 1 - Sept. 30. Service will operate 9 a.m. until midnight.

Lawrence M. Meckler, NFTA executive director said, "This is a great opportunity for the men and women at Metro to show off the quality, economical transportation we provide here every day, to visitors from around the world."

Patrons will receive their trolley Day Passes upon request at participating motels and hotels. The 2010 trolley passes will be sequentially numbered in the upper right hand corner. 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 pass is validated 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 (five to 11 years), seniors (65 years and over), disabled and Medicare clients with valid I.D. All other valid Metro passes are accepted as well. Exact change is required on trolleys and buses.

The trolley service operates on the hour, starting at 9 a.m., with the last trolleys leaving the Niagara Falls Airport and The Aquarium of Niagara at midnight. 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. and Michael O'Laughlin Drive, Rainbow Blvd. and 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.

-30-

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that it is ready to open its 1,005-slip marina to slip holders and the public two weeks ahead of the anticipated opening date.

The NFTA-Boat Harbor at 1111 Fuhrmann Blvd., less then three miles from Downtown Buffalo will open the 2010 season Saturday, May 1 to accommodate slip holders and boaters who want to get an early start at docking or launching their boats at the marina. This is the first time that the facilities have ever been able to open prior to the traditional May 15 opening.

Peter G. Demakos, NFTA commissioner and chairman of the NFTA's Property Committee said, "As a result of Mother Nature providing us with a stretch of nice weather and the dedication and hard work of our employees, we are able to give our customers a head start on the boating season this year."

During the off-season, refurbishing work was completed on A, B, C, D, part of G, and H docks, completing a $726,381 two-year project to upgrade all 339 steel docks. Further, the main pier has been rebuilt. During the winter an additional $130,000 was invested to reinforce the structure with new pilings and it has been given a face-lift by way of new decking. Parking in the marina's main lot was increased to 200 with the addition of 40 new spaces.

Two mainstays at the marina, Dug's Dive and Bill's Boat Works will also be opening May 1, and will be ready to serve customers fine food and beverage and provide boating services respectively.

An added customer service this season will be provided to boaters who want to file a float plan. Boat captains leaving the marina for one or more days/nights (not necessary for short trips) may file a float plan with the dock master before casting off. This form is available online at www.nftaboatharbor.com or the dock office. Having this information on hand may prove valuable in the event an emergency occurs.

Though rentals for the 2010 season are well a head of last year, there are still slips available to rent for this boating season. Slip rental information can be obtained at 828-0027 and online at nftaboatharbor.com.

Buffalo, NY . . . The Buffalo Niagara International Airport is hosting the 44 Annual Snow Symposium April 24-28 at the downtown Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. Organizers expect almost 350 airport professionals, responsible for runway operations from around the world.

Lawrence M. Meckler, NFTA executive director, will open the conference, highlighting the economic and safety concerns that make snow, slush and ice mitigation so significant, and the importance of successful strategies.

Meckler said, "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 the snow removal teams from around the world to exchange ideas and best practices is invaluable."

This year's featured speaker is Captain Al Haynes. Haynes was born in Paris, Texas and raised in Dallas. He attended Texas A&M College before joining the Naval Aviation Cadet Training program in 1952. He was released from the service in 1956 after serving as a Marine Aviator. He joined United Airlines that year as a flight engineer and served in that capacity until his promotion to first officer in 1963. He flew the DC-6, DC-7, DC-8, Boeing 727, and DC-10. He was promoted to captain in 1985 and flew the Boeing 727 and DC-10 up to his retirement in August 1991, accumulating over 27,000 hours of flight time.

This is the 25 consecutive year the symposium is being hosted by the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Event chairman, Thomas Dames said, "The site selection committee continues to be impressed with Buffalo. The Convention and Visitors Bureau, the area hotels and the NFTA all work together to create an inviting atmosphere for the guests."

The feature event of the symposium is 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.

The Northeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives organizes the event. Chairman Dames can be reached at 512-0564 during the event. Additional information can be found at www.snowsymposium.org/cfiles/home.php.

-30-

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that starting Friday, April 16, Metro will begin serving the Walmart Supercenter in the LaSalle Center located at 1540 Military Rd. in Niagara Falls.

Metro's Route 55, Pine Avenue bus will be rerouted to directly operate to the Walmart store parking lot via the main plaza entrance driveway and exit the parking lot to Niagara Falls Blvd., via 80th Street.

Presently the 55 bus has 68 weekday, 25 Saturday and 19 Sunday trips to the Walmart site to accommodate employees and customers.

Metro schedules and route maps can be found at nfta.com/metro, in addition to a Metro Trip Planner that helps customers plan their trips using the Metro system.

-30-

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that starting Monday, March 15 food items will be available for sale at various Metro Rail stations. Johnnyуs Hot Diggity Dogs of Buffalo will operate vending carts at University, LaSalle, Utica and Allen-Medical Campus Metro Rail stations from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. They will also be on-site during downtown events such as Sabres and Bisons games, in addition to other special community events. Eunice A. Lewin, NFTA commissioner said, Ñ€Our desire is to elevate the overall experience our customers encounter when using Metro. Having customer amenities like food and beverage on site will improve the overall atmosphere at the stations and make them more user friendly.Ñ Customers will be able to purchase hot dogs, Polish and Italian sausage, hamburgers, bags of snacks and cold beverages while at the station. Metroуs policy of no eating or drinking when using the bus or rail system remains in effect.

-30-

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that four public informational meetings have been scheduled in conjunction with Metroуs Service Restructuring and Fare Analysis/Strategic Assessment Study.

The public is invited to attend the meetings to learn the details contained in a draft report prepared by consultants from Transportation Management & Design, Inc. The firm was commissioned to conduct a comprehensive strategic assessment of how Metro delivers its service and recommend ways to better meet the mobility needs of the region, thus making it easier to access jobs, schools, entertainment, medical and social services using Metro.

Lawrence M. Meckler, NFTA executive director said, рThis service and fare analysis is one of the most significant projects Metro has undertaken. These informational meetings will provide our riders with an opportunity to learn and offer comments regarding the proposed service modifications and simplified fare structure.

Public informational meetings will be conducted from 6-8 p.m. Monday, March 15 at the Cheektowaga High School, 3600 Union Rd; Tuesday, March 16 at Erie Community College, City Campus Auditorium at Ellicott and South Division Streets and Wednesday, March 17 at Metroуs Portage Rd. Transit Center, 1124 Portage Rd., Niagara Falls. In addition, a meeting will be held at Erie Community College, South Campus Thursday, March 18 in Building 5, Room 5102 from 7-9 p.m.

The draft plan can be viewed online on the NFTAуs Web site at nfta.com/metro. In addition to comments offered at the meetings, written comments may be sent to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, Robert Gower, Manager of Planning, 181 Ellicott St., Buffalo, NY 14203 or e-mailed to transitstudy@nfta.com. Comments must be received by April 2 to be included in the final analysis.

Additional public meetings will be conducted this summer to rollout the final Metro service and fare structure program to riders and community stakeholders prior to its implementation in September.

-30-

Buffalo, NY . . . Friday, Feb. 12, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Metro Rail will host a Valentine's Day Celebration at the LaSalle Metro Rail Station, on Main St. one block north east of Hertel Avenue. A popular Park & Ride, parking is always free at LaSalle station. Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Commissioner Eunice A. Lewin said, "Metro wants to make this a new tradition in the neighborhood and keep the LaSalle Station active in the University District." This Celebration at the Station will feature flowers, candy, jams, jellies, crafts and more, just in time for Valentine's Day. Music will be courtesy of WUFO - 1080 AM, broadcasting live.

With free parking for over 700 cars, LaSalle is a convenient place to catch Metro Rail when heading downtown for a sporting event at HSBC Arena, an evening at the theatre or for dinner.

-30-

Volunteers to be Recognized with President's Points of Light Award

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that the hospitality ambassadors at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport will celebrate their 10th anniversary Wednesday, Feb. 3 during a 1 p.m. luncheon at the Hearthstone Manor in Cheektowaga, NY.

Approximately 70 volunteers ranging in age from 16 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.

Lawrence M. Meckler, 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."

While many airports have volunteer programs, the Buffalo airport ranks in the top 10 for number of hours volunteered. This past year 7,150 hours of volunteered service were provided, which has an economic value of approximately $105,000. As such, 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.

In commemoration of the 10-year anniversary, former ambassadors have been invited to attend the luncheon. Of the "original" six who began in 1999, four still participate in the program.

Edward J. Healy, V.P., Marketing for the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau will be giving an overview of CVB operations and speaking about upcoming events. "The ambassadors play a key role in welcoming individuals and groups to the region and help create a dynamic first impression for visitors to the region," Healy said.

The ambassadors are committed to ensuring that a visitor's first impression of our community is positive. "You only get one chance to create a good first impression, so we'd better get it right on the first try," Meckler added.

Individuals interested in becoming a BNIA hospitality ambassador volunteer 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. -30-

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Metro Rail will extend service an additional two hours Thursday, 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. Friday, 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 . . . Good News for those traveling in and out of Niagara Falls, NY. The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that the inaugural flight from its new $31.5 million terminal at the Niagara Falls International Airport will take place today, Friday, Dec. 18.

History will be made today when Direct Air's MD-83 aircraft operated by Falcon Air departs the new terminal at 6:15 pm destined for Punta Gorda/Ft. Myers, Fla. with all 155 seats occupied. The first flight to Myrtle Beach, SC departs shortly thereafter at 6:30 p.m. on a USA Jet DC-9.

Henry M. Sloma, NFTA acting chairman said, "This is truly a memorable day for the Niagara community, the airport, and Direct Air. Today's initial flight signifies the beginning of a bright future for the terminal and provides a gateway landmark in which we can all take great pride."

"We are confident the new facility will enhance the exceptional service we provide to the thousands of passengers from the U.S. and Canada to Myrtle Beach, Ft Myers / Punta Gorda, and soon to be ... Melbourne, Fla.," said Direct Air Managing Partner Ed Warneck. "We look forward to strengthening our relationship with the Niagara community as well as increasing frequency and additional destinations to and from the Niagara Falls International Airport."

"The new facility conveniences and state of the art processing will greatly appeal to our passengers," said Judy Tull, Direct Air Managing Partner. "We are extremely pleased to have played a vital role and influence in the development and launch of the new Niagara Falls International Airport."

The airport's two-gate facility provides for efficient, customer oriented passenger processing, curbside check-in, a two level layout for jet bridge boarding, free Wi-Fi, food and beverage concessions, convenient free on-site parking, a federal inspection station, in-line baggage screening, eight stationary ticket counter stations, ATM, tourist information counter, car rental and a Metro transit center, for convenient access to public transportation.

The NFIA is now capable of simultaneously processing international and domestic flights and fully accommodating 747 and 757 aircraft. The innovative, and scalable, split-level holdrooms provide all passengers with an outstanding level of customer service regardless of aircraft size.

To help celebrate this special occasion, 23 dignitaries and media staff from Myrtle Beach traveled on the last flight to the old terminal in Niagara Falls. A special luncheon hosted by NFIA welcomed the invited guests.

"Direct Air is taking advantage of this opportunity to introduce the communities to each other and follow up with strategic marketing summits designed to share ideas and opportunities to help grow their markets," Warneck said. "The same group from Myrtle Beach will take a quick jaunt to see the magnificent Falls, before boarding the first flight to Myrtle Beach."

Direct Air commenced service at the NFIA in March 2007 with nonstop service to Myrtle Beach. During the past two and a half years, featuring low fare nonstop service to Myrtle Beach and Florida, the airline has attracted over 90,000 passengers to the Niagara Falls terminal, a large percentage coming from Canada, who are attracted by low fares, an easy access airport and savings with international fees for Canadian travelers.

Direct Air presently operates flights Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday to Punta Gorda/Ft. Myers and increases to daily service except Tuesdays beginning February 2010.

Managing Partner, Judy Tull said, "Our marketing budget has limited our growth to Myrtle Beach, however, our goal for 2010 is encouraging the communities to help find marketing funds to allow us to increase to daily frequency. We know the audience is there, we simply need to reach them through targeted advertising." Complete information regarding Myrtle Beach flights can be found at www.visitdirectair.com.

Beginning Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010, Direct Air will add a new route and begin twice weekly flights from the NFIA to Melbourne International Airport and then continue on to Port Charlotte Airport in Punta Gorda/Ft Myers. These flights will operate on Falcon Air MD-83, 155 passenger aircraft configured with 12 first class and 143 coach seating.

Staring Sunday, Dec. 27, Metro buses will begin serving the terminal's transit center with daily bus service via Routes 55 and 56, in addition to Monday through Friday coverage via MetroLink Route 200. Metro bus routes, maps and additional information can be found at www.nfta.com/metro.

Wheels Up for Direct Air from the New Terminal
Buffalo, NY . . . Good News for those traveling in and out of Niagara Falls, NY. The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that the inaugural flight from its new $31.5 million terminal at the Niagara Falls International Airport will take place today, Friday, Dec. 18.

History will be made today when Direct Air's MD-83 aircraft operated by Falcon Air departs the new terminal at 6:15 pm destined for Punta Gorda/Ft. Myers, Fla. with all 155 seats occupied. The first flight to Myrtle Beach, SC departs shortly thereafter at 6:30 p.m. on a USA Jet DC-9.

Henry M. Sloma, NFTA acting chairman said, "This is truly a memorable day for the Niagara community, the airport, and Direct Air. Today's initial flight signifies the beginning of a bright future for the terminal and provides a gateway landmark in which we can all take great pride."

"We are confident the new facility will enhance the exceptional service we provide to the thousands of passengers from the U.S. and Canada to Myrtle Beach, Ft Myers / Punta Gorda, and soon to be ... Melbourne, Fla.," said Direct Air Managing Partner Ed Warneck. "We look forward to strengthening our relationship with the Niagara community as well as increasing frequency and additional destinations to and from the Niagara Falls International Airport."

"The new facility conveniences and state of the art processing will greatly appeal to our passengers," said Judy Tull, Direct Air Managing Partner. "We are extremely pleased to have played a vital role and influence in the development and launch of the new Niagara Falls International Airport."

The airport's two-gate facility provides for efficient, customer oriented passenger processing, curbside check-in, a two level layout for jet bridge boarding, free Wi-Fi, food and beverage concessions, convenient free on-site parking, a federal inspection station, in-line baggage screening, eight stationary ticket counter stations, ATM, tourist information counter, car rental and a Metro transit center, for convenient access to public transportation.

The NFIA is now capable of simultaneously processing international and domestic flights and fully accommodating 747 and 757 aircraft. The innovative, and scalable, split-level holdrooms provide all passengers with an outstanding level of customer service regardless of aircraft size.

To help celebrate this special occasion, 23 dignitaries and media staff from Myrtle Beach traveled on the last flight to the old terminal in Niagara Falls. A special luncheon hosted by NFIA welcomed the invited guests.

"Direct Air is taking advantage of this opportunity to introduce the communities to each other and follow up with strategic marketing summits designed to share ideas and opportunities to help grow their markets," Warneck said. "The same group from Myrtle Beach will take a quick jaunt to see the magnificent Falls, before boarding the first flight to Myrtle Beach."

Direct Air commenced service at the NFIA in March 2007 with nonstop service to Myrtle Beach. During the past two and a half years, featuring low fare nonstop service to Myrtle Beach and Florida, the airline has attracted over 90,000 passengers to the Niagara Falls terminal, a large percentage coming from Canada, who are attracted by low fares, an easy access airport and savings with international fees for Canadian travelers.

Direct Air presently operates flights Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday to Punta Gorda/Ft. Myers and increases to daily service except Tuesdays beginning February 2010.

Managing Partner, Judy Tull said, "Our marketing budget has limited our growth to Myrtle Beach, however, our goal for 2010 is encouraging the communities to help find marketing funds to allow us to increase to daily frequency. We know the audience is there, we simply need to reach them through targeted advertising." Complete information regarding Myrtle Beach flights can be found at www.visitdirectair.com.

Beginning Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010, Direct Air will add a new route and begin twice weekly flights from the NFIA to Melbourne International Airport and then continue on to Port Charlotte Airport in Punta Gorda/Ft Myers. These flights will operate on Falcon Air MD-83, 155 passenger aircraft configured with 12 first class and 143 coach seating.

Staring Sunday, Dec. 27, Metro buses will begin serving the terminal's transit center with daily bus service via Routes 55 and 56, in addition to Monday through Friday coverage via MetroLink Route 200. Metro bus routes, maps and additional information can be found at www.nfta.com/metro.

-30-

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Friday, Dec. 18, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Metro Rail will host its first Holiday Celebration at the LaSalle Metro Rail Station, on Main St. one block north east of Hertel Avenue. A popular Park & Ride, parking is always free at LaSalle station.

NFTA Commissioner Eunice A. Lewin said, "The holidays are a great time to invite people in. LaSalle Station is a part of this community, but we're working to make it a bigger and better part."

The Celebration at the Station will feature a holiday market for that perfect last minute gift or maybe a treat for yourself. Visit with Santa and his elves, noon to 2:30 p.m., and enjoy the sounds of the season during the WUFO - 1080 AM, live broadcast.

With free parking for over 700 cars, LaSalle is a convenient place to catch Metro Rail when heading downtown for a sporting event at HSBC Arena, an evening at the theatre or for dinner.

Visit Metro's Web site at nfta.com for additional information.

- 30 -

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that it will be necessary to suspend Metro Rail service between Fountain Plaza Station and Church Street Station for a portion of the day Wednesday and Thursday Dec. 16 and 17, with Friday being a possible alternate date.

As a result of scenes for the movie Henry's Crime, starring Keanu Reeves being filmed in Metro Rail's track bed at Main and Huron Sts., service will be suspended between the two stations each day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Shuttle service will be provided to take passengers to the next station both inbound and outbound each day.

Trains will operate in both directions between Erie Canal Harbor Station and Church Street Station and from University Station to Fountain Plaza Station. As a result of the logistics involved, it is necessary to adjust the time between trains from 12 minutes to approximately 20 minutes during the 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. period.

Regular rail service will be provided before and after the suspension period each day.

-30-

Buffalo, NY. . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that the sounds of the season returns to the bus station downtown Buffalo (181 Ellicott St.) during December, compliments of musical ensembles from five local schools.

Lawrence M. Meckler, NFTA executive director said, "The bus terminal bustles this time of year, so we are happy to help bring a little cheer and good will to the holiday travelers."

The following schools will be participating on the date and time indicated:
December 2 1 p.m. Burgard High School
December 9 1 p.m. Holy Angels Academy
December 16 12 p.m. Ambrose Catholic Academy
December 16 2 p.m. Hutchinson Technical High School
December 17 10 a.m. Herman Badillo School #76

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

-30-

Buffalo, NY . . . Friday, Nov. 20, from 1 to 6 p.m. Metro Rail will host its first ever Fall Festival at the LaSalle Metro Rail Station, on Main St. one block north of Hertel Avenue. A popular Park & Ride, parking is always free at LaSalle station

Direct Air keeps promise with addition of non stop, low fare service to Melbourne
Service between Niagara Falls, and Melbourne, Florida strengthens leisure appeal with cruice and popular theme park opportunities

NIAGARA FALLS, NY

Last week, Ed Warneck , President and Managing Partner of Direct Air, attended and spoke at the tourism summit put together by NY Sate Senator George Maziarz whose hope is to find ways to attract more service through their new terminal. As promised by Warneck during the summit, Direct Air today announced at a press conference in Melbourne, Florida the start of new air service from Melbourne Regional Airport to Dulles Airport (Washington DC) and Melbourne to Niagara Falls International Airport (Niagara Falls, NY).

 

Beginning February 4th, Direct Air will add the new route and begin twice a week flights to Niagara Falls International Airport to Melbourne International Airport and then continue onto Port Charlotte Airport in Punta Gorda/Ft Myers. These flights will operate on Falcon Air MD83, 150 passenger aircraft configured with 12 first class and 143 coach seating. In addition non-stop flights from Niagara Falls International will continue no less than two additional days based on seasonality.

Today’s announcement is good news for the Niagara Falls airport and the region,” said Warneck of Direct Air. “We are committed and focused to work together with the communities to promote the airports in a manner that maximizes its future potential to generate economic growth and opportunity.”

Direct Air plans are synonymous with Niagara Falls Transit Authority to reverse market from the destinations serviced by Direct Air to Niagara Falls. Their goal is to increase traffic and economic impact to Niagara Falls community. Travelers on Direct Air from Melbourne will soon be able to visit the nearby destinations of Niagara Falls, NY including Niagara, Buffalo, Rochester, Ontario, Toronto and other Canadian destinations. This opportunity will soon be enhanced with the introduction of quality vacation packages in both directions by Direct Air.

Direct Air Managing Partner, Kay Ellison said, “We already have a strong Canadian passenger base.” “The opening of an east coast Florida market will only attract and appeal to more passengers who are interested in ‘fly and cruise vacations’ and the already popular family vacations that include visiting the renowned theme parks of Disney, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, Sea World and others.” Although an announcement of vacation packages is not yet been determined, Direct Air partners are confident the package program will occur in the first half of 2010.

Bill Vanecek, NFTA Director of Aviation said, “We are excited with Direct Air’s announcement and continued commitment to expand service, especially at a time many aviation businesses are reducing service and parking aircraft.” “With this addition, more flights will bring more revenue and opportunities that will mutually benefit the destinations, Direct Air, and our community.”

“Direct Air has built a strong niche service in developing secondary airports,” said Judy Tull, CEO / Managing Partner of Direct Air. “We’re confident that we can we can build popular flights from Melbourne Regional Airport with our service featuring direct flights, nonstop service, low fares and convenient departure times.”

“Our business model is built around taking the stress out of flying,” said Bob Keilman, Direct Air CFO. “Direct Air flights reduce travel time and eliminate connections with long layover delays.”

“When you add the benefits of convenience and easy pass through terminals offered by the secondary airports we choose to fly between, it easy to see why our business continues to grow and appeal to communities like Melbourne and Niagara Falls.” Keilman went on to say, “The partners of Direct Air this as a good fit and are anxious to grow business, employment, and economic benefits to the region.”

Direct Air currently provides non-stop service between Myrtle Beach, S.C. and Columbus, OH; Newark, N.J., Niagara Falls, N.Y., Plattsburgh, N.Y., Pittsburgh, PA, Springfield, IL, and Worcester, MA. Additional cities are being considered for early 2010. Direct Air also provides non-stop service to Punta Gorda and Sanford, Florida from Allentown, PA, Chicago/Rockford, Kalamazoo, MI, Toledo, OH, Worcester/Boston, MA, Nigara Falls, NY/Toronto, Plattsburgh, NY/Montreal and Myrtle Beach. Direct Air and has carried more than 500,000 passengers since the start of operations in March 2007. The company will begin offering airfares to Melbourne beginning at $99 each way. Direct Air plans to offer special introductory rates to all who register online a Direct Air newsletter announcing special events and sales. Tickets can be purchased by going to www.visitdirectair.com or by calling 1-877-432-DIRECT (3473). The Direct Air Corporate Headquarter is located at 1600 Oak St., Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29577.

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority will host an open house at the new, state-of-the-art $31.5 million passenger terminal Wednesday, Sept. 2 from 1 to 7 p.m. The whole community is invited to view the new facility first hand, including the customer-oriented passenger processing areas, a two level layout for jet bridge boarding and other advancements.

Military and private vintage aircraft will be on display. A fly-over by the Navy’s Blue Angels is scheduled for 5 p.m. Free parking is available at the terminal, or at The Summit on Williams Rd. Metro Bus will provide free roundtrip shuttles until 7:30 p.m.

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority dedicated its state-of-the-art $31.5 million passenger terminal today. It is the major component of an overall $42.5 million NFIA Airport Improvement Project that includes $11 million in apron and landside improvements. At 69,430 square-feet, it is efficient, user-friendly and ready to meet the sophisticated needs of 21st century aviation.

Henry M. Sloma, NFTA chairman said, “Airports are more than transportation facilities. They are gateways. They are a visitor’s first, and last, impression of a region. This new terminal makes such a great impression, it stands as a tribute to the people of this community. This is a landmark in which we can all take pride.”

The creative design of the new terminal reflects the grandeur of the Niagara region, and the wonder in its care. Functionally, the design adheres to guidelines established by the Federal Aviation Administration and International Air Transport Association. Further, the terminal incorporates ‘green design’ for the roof, windows and climate control systems, making it highly energy efficient and environmental friendly. Aesthetically, the roll of the Niagara rapids can be seen throughout the design. Flow – in terms of water, air and passengers – is the central theme.

Lawrence M. Meckler, NFTA executive director, said, “This airport is the culmination of hard work, leadership and foresight of individuals across the region. This terminal is designed for today’s traveling public and anticipates tomorrow’s. As the area continues to grow and prosper, so to will this airport.”

Support for the project came from a number of sources. State Senator George D. Maziarz, Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte, former Congressman Thomas M. Reynolds, the Niagara County Economic Development Fund, City of Niagara Falls, Niagara County, the National Fuel Gas Company, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.

NFTA Commissioner and Aviation Committee chairman, Carmen A. Granto said, “Two things are driving economic development in Niagara County: Low cost power and this new airport.”

Thanks in large part to Direct Air, and charter flights, the Niagara Falls Airport generates an estimated $1.5 million economic impact for the region. The improvement project itself generated $120 million in economic activity and helped spur further development in the surrounding area. The airport’s two-gate facility provides for efficient, customer oriented passenger processing, curbside check-in, a two level layout for jet bridge boarding, free Wi-Fi, food and beverage concessions, a federal inspection station, in-line baggage screening, eight stationary ticket counter stations, car rental and a transit center, for convenient access to public transportation. Other amenities include access roads, on site parking, a circulatory road and walkways. The terminal is geared up for big planes and big loads of passengers.

The NFIA is now capable of simultaneously processing international and domestic flights, and fully accommodating 747 and 757 aircraft. The innovative, and scalable, split-level holdrooms provide all passengers with an outstanding level of customer service regardless of aircraft size. The new terminal was designed by Stantec Inc., whose portfolio includes airports in Vancouver, Edmonton, Chicago O’Hare and others. Construction of the terminal was the task of Walter S. Johnson Building Company, a local firm started in 1923. They count renovation of the Crown Plaza Hotel and the Seneca-Niagara Casino and Hotel as two of their most recent achievements.

“Creating this reality was a challenge taken up by the trades people of Western New York,” Sloma said. “The men and women who built this airport have outdone themselves. I hope each enjoys a moment in the future when they point to this terminal and tells a child or grandchild, I helped make that.”

The terminal’s dedication ceremony included the placement of a time capsule, an open house for the general public, a display of military and private vintage aircraft, and a fly-over by the Navy’s Blue Angels. The Niagara Military Affairs Council, who works on behalf of our local military troops from all service branches, lent support to the event. The Ira G. Ross Aerospace Museum arranged for aviation artifacts showcasing the foundation of aerospace history in Niagara Falls. In addition, essay contest winner Brittany Mezhir, a seventh-grader at Lew-Port Middle School, was honored for her Look into the Future of Aviation. Matthew Buerger, senior at Lewiston-Porter High School, was awarded a Space Camp scholarship by the NIMAC. Located within 500 miles of 55 percent of the U.S. population and 62 percent of Canada’s population – and just 15 minutes from the Falls itself – the Niagara Falls International Airport is indeed ready for take off.

The NFTA and Niagara Gazette are sponsoring an essay contest to celebrate the new Niagara Falls International Airport terminal, opening September 2. The last 50 years in aviation history has brought us everyday jet travel, men on the moon and robots and mars. What will the next 50 years bring? Tell us in a 100-150 word essay.

Essays will be judged in two categories: Ages 6-12 and 13-18. Submissions must be typed. All entries should be sent to the Niagara Gazette, 310 Niagara St., Niagara Falls, NY 14303. They must be received by July 15.

Chosen essays will be placed into a time capsule during the dedication of the new Niagara Falls terminal and opened in the summer of 2059. Winners will each receive a $100 United States savings bond and have their essay published in the Niagara Gazette’s commemorative publication.




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