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News Room

Buffalo, NY . . . Garth Brooks is coming to the First Niagara Center Thursday, March 5 through Sunday, March 8 and Metro Rail is extending service to accommodate customers attending the concerts.

Metro Rail service will be extended 30 minutes after the Thursday and Sunday concerts and 90 minutes after the conclusion of the Friday and Saturday shows.

Parking is free at both the University and LaSalle Park & Rides. Rail service will transport passengers to within steps of the front door of the FNC in only 22 minutes from University Station to the Special Events Station.

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Transit Police honored Ms. Ashley Schanley Thursday, Feb. 5, for her unselfish act of kindness when she came to the aid of a woman who had fallen while using the escalator at the Allen-Medical Campus Metro Rail station.

While using the escalator Friday, Jan. 30, Ashley witnessed an elderly female (86 yrs.) lose her balance on the escalator and fall back hitting the back of her head, causing a deep laceration. The woman was unable to get up from her fall.

Ashley, 22, a Level One nursing student at Erie Community College City Campus not only offered first aid to the victim, but pulled her out of harm's way, preventing further injury. Her unselfish attitude and professional composure gave the woman comfort until medical personnel and NFTA Transit police arrived on the scene.

Kimberley A. Minkel NFTA executive director said, "Ashley gives real meaning to Buffalo the City of Good Neighbors and is the perfect definition of a Good Samaritan. She saw an opportunity to assist a woman in need of first aid and put her nursing skills to good use."

Surpasses 100,000 Enplanements for the First Time

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that the Niagara Falls International Airport serviced a record number of passengers in 2014.

For the first time in its 87 year history, the NFIA surpassed 100,000 enplanements in one calendar year. 2014 saw the enplanement number rise to 105,273, an increase of 8.14 percent over 2013. In total, 207,597 (outbound & inbound) passengers utilized the NFIA during the year.

Kimberley A. Minkel NFTA executive director said, "These record passenger totals are very gratifying. We are optimistic and excited about the future growth potential of this airport as we embark into a new year."

The airport continues to be a big draw for Canadians, who regularly account for 88 percent of its customer total.

The airport is served by Spirit and Allegiant airlines carrying passengers to warm weather destinations via seasonal flights. In 2014, Allegiant carried 55,383 outbound passengers to Orlando/Sanford, Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg and Punta Gorda/Fort Myers, while Spirit carried 49,890 passengers to Fort Lauderdale and Myrtle Beach.

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that its board of commissioners has authorized a new eight year collective bargaining agreement between the NFTA and the Police Benevolent Association for the period April 1, 2011 through March 31, 2019.

Under the terms of the agreement members of the bargaining unit will receive no increase in the first three years, a 2.25 percent increase in year four, a 2 percent increase in each of the remaining four fiscal years, plus a one-time $750 signing bonus. The PBA represents 71 officers who are responsible for day-to-day law enforcement at all NFTA facilities.

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA Executive Director said, "I am pleased that we have reached accord on a mutually beneficial agreement that provides both annual increase to the dedicated officers who risk their lives each day to keep our customers, employees and facilities safe, while helping to ensure the financial stability of the authority moving forward."

Save 50 Percent on Admission to The Ice at Canalside

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Canalside is now participating in their Metro Xtras discount program with a Buy One Get One Free Admission to the new open-air 33,000 square foot ice rink The Ice at Canalside, presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. The Ice, which is the largest outdoor rink in New York State, is situated almost adjacent to the Erie Canal Harbor Metro Rail station.

The discount admission offer is valid Monday through Thursday (excluding skate rental). To receive the 50 percent discount valued at $5, a valid Metro proof of fare e.g., monthly pass, day pass or rail ticket must be presented at the rink box office.

Traveling to Canalside is as easy as parking FREE at University or Lasalle Metro Rail stations and taking the 22 minute train ride downtown. All standard Metro fares apply. For more information on skate times go to canalsidebuffalo.com.

The complete list of all the discount offers available through Metro Xtras can be viewed at NFTA.com or sign up for Instant Updates.

Immediate Openings Available

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that it is seeking qualified bus operators for its MetroLink division of Metro Bus and Rail. Positions offer steady employment, good starting pay with guaranteed increases, and a clean, safe working environment, along with a comprehensive benefit package.

Interested individuals should attend an Open House, Wednesday, Jan. 21 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Metro's Frontier Station, 1000 Military Rd., Buffalo NY.

Candidates must be at least 21 years old with a high school diploma or GED, a New York State commercial driver's license Class B with passenger and air-brake endorsements, or a permit and ability to obtain the necessary qualifications within eight weeks of starting employment.

Applications and job descriptions can be viewed and downloaded at nfta.com.

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that the jolly old elf himself will be visiting Amherst Sunday, Dec. 21, and he's going to use a Metro bus to see just how well everyone is behaving this holiday season.

Santa and his helpers will ride Metro Route 34 from the Boulevard Mall (the Metro bus stop in front of TGIF's restaurant) to University Station and back. Santa will be handing out trinkets and candy canes along the way. His schedule is as follows:

11:04 a.m. from the Boulevard Mall to the University Station
11:25 a.m. from University Station to Boulevard Mall
11:34 a.m. from the Boulevard Mall to the University Station
11:55 a.m. from University Station to the Boulevard Mall

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that commencing with the start of service Saturday, Nov. 22 through Sunday, Nov. 23, the above ground section of the Metro Rail system will be shutdown from Lafayette station to Erie Canal Harbor station due to work related to the replacement of overhead catenary contact wire that will require both tracks be closed in order to replace the wire safely.

During this period, Metro Rail will continue to transport customers in both directions between University and Lafayette stations.

In lieu of above ground rail service, Metro will operate circulator bus service from Lafayette station to Exchange Street for customers traveling along this section of Main Street. Shuttles will operate in each direction approximately every 15 minutes.

Directional signs will be in place at Lafayette station and bus stop passenger alert signs will be posted at all stops along Pearl Street and Washington Street noting where shuttle buses will stop.

Inbound, buses will travel between Lafayette Station and Exchange Street by way of Pearl Street. All inbound customers will be picked up or let off along Pearl Street, a block west of the inbound stations.

Outbound, circulators will operate from Exchange Street to Lafayette station by way of Washington Street. All outbound customers will be picked up or let off along Washington Street, one block east of the outbound stations.

The full length of the rail line will reopen with the start of service Monday, Nov. 24.

Buffalo, NY . . . Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Transit Officers arrested two individuals Wednesday evening at the University Metro Rail Station for attempting to sell expired Metro rail passes to Metro customers.

Undercover officers Richard Lewis and David Krzemien under the direction of Lt. Michael Garrity arrested James Smith, 51, of Buffalo and Michael A. Thompson, 31, of Buffalo after they approached several Metro customers and offered to sell them expired rail tickets and a monthly bus pass at a discount.

Both defendants were charged with trespassing and also issued a Notice of Violation for Criminal Nuisance. They were each issued an Appearance Ticket to appear in city court Nov. 19.

Full Service Will Accommodate Fans Attending the Canisius College Hockey Game at HARBORCENTER

Buffalo, NY . . . Metro Rail will be back on track utilizing both the inbound and outbound tracks the entire length of the system when service starts Friday, Oct. 31, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today.

"I am pleased to say, and I know our customers will be glad to learn, there is now light at the end of the proverbial Metro Rail tunnel," said Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA Executive Director. "It will be 10 Again, as Metro Rail returns to normal, regular service, with peak weekday morning and afternoon intervals of only 10 minutes between trains and 12 minutes off-peak during the midday," she added.

Rail service has been restricted to "single tracking" - alternating service from the inbound to outbound side since March 30, due to construction related to the city of Buffalo's project to return cars to Main Street.

Metro has simultaneously worked to replace 30-year old rail, track foundation and associated subsystems in the 500 block, with new track and pre-fabricated concrete panels to greatly enhance the Metro Rail experience. In addition, the Fountain Plaza Station has been completely rebuilt with a sleek, modern design.

It's important to note that the return to full Metro Rail service coincides with Canisius College hosting Ohio State University Friday at the HARBORCENTER for the first hockey game to be played in the new facility. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:35 p.m.

A free Metro mobile app is available from the App store (search nfta-metro) that provides Metro schedules, service maps, Where's My Bus? real-time information, a Trip Planner and more Metro related information.

Above Ground Section to be Shutdown from Lafayette Station to Erie Canal Harbor Station

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that commencing at 9 p.m. Friday, October 24 through Sunday, Oct. 26, the above ground section of the Metro Rail system will be shutdown from Lafayette station to Erie Canal Harbor station due to work on the overhead catenary wires related to the ongoing project to return cars to Main Street. During this period, Metro Rail will continue to transport customers in both directions between University and Lafayette stations.

In lieu of the above ground rail service, Metro will operate circulator bus service from Lafayette station to Exchange Street for customers traveling along this section of Main Street. Shuttles will operate in each direction approximately every 15 minutes.

Directional signs will be in place at Lafayette station and bus stop passenger alert signs will be posted at all stops along Pearl Street and Washington Street noting where shuttle buses will stop.

Inbound, buses will travel between Lafayette Station and Exchange Street by way of Pearl Street. All inbound customers will be picked up or let off along Pearl Street, a block west of the inbound stations.

Outbound, circulators will operate from Exchange Street to Lafayette station by way of Washington Street. All outbound customers will be picked up or let off along Washington Street, one block east of the outbound stations. The full length of the rail line will reopen with the start of service Monday, Oct. 27.

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced it will host a public informational meeting Wednesday, Oct. 22, at the Riverside Institute of Technology, 51 Ontario Street, Buffalo from 6 to 8 p.m. to provide information regarding the Niagara Street Bus Priority and Corridor Design Project.

The evening will open with a brief presentation, after which attendees will have an opportunity to comment and provide feedback. The purpose of the meeting is to present recommendations for the replacement of four new bus shelters in the project area and the relocation of five existing bus shelters. The proposed bus shelter locations are based on ridership analysis and the feasibility of the intersections. The NFTA and the consultant team from Bergmann Associates and Highland Planning, will be seeking input from the public on the elements of a new neighborhood compact transit center, site amenities and the potential for site programming at the center.

"The consultant team has reviewed existing conditions along Niagara Street, including bus stop ridership and the existing bus shelter locations," said Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA Executive Director. "The four new bus shelters will include amenities such as lighting, Next Bus informational signs, advertisements and wireless network analysis. We look forward to engaging the community as we collaborate to develop a "high quality transit corridor" along Niagara Street."

Moving forward, the NFTA will start to install new shelters, relocate existing shelters, finalize the neighborhood transit center design, and commission an art component for the compact transit center starting in 2015.

The Niagara Street Bus Priority and Corridor Design Project is funded by a $4.47 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration.

Metro Rail to Operate Modified Service

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Saturday, Oct. 11, the entire above ground section of the Metro Rail system will be shutdown due to required train control modifications being made as part of the City of Buffalo's project to return cars to Main St. During this period, Metro Rail will continue to transport customers between University and Allen Medical Campus stations.

In lieu of above ground rail service, Metro will operate circulator bus service from Allen Medical Campus station to Exchange Street for customers traveling along this section of Main Street. Shuttles will operate in each direction approximately every 15 minutes.

Directional signs will be in place at Allen Medical station and bus stop passenger alert signs will be posted at all stops along Pearl Street and Washington Street noting where shuttle buses will stop.

Inbound, buses will travel between Allen Medical Campus and Exchange Street by way of Pearl Street. All inbound customers will be picked up or let off along Pearl Street, a block west of the inbound stations.

Outbound, circulators will operate from Exchange Street to Allen Medical Campus station by way of Washington Street. All outbound customers will be picked up or let off along Washington Street, one block east of the outbound stations.

The full length of the rail line will be reopening with the start of service Sunday, Oct. 12.

Immediate Openings Available

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Metro is currently looking to add to its workforce by hiring qualified mechanics who are seeking steady employment, good starting pay with guaranteed increases, a clean, safe environment, along with a comprehensive benefit package.

Interested individuals should attend an Open House, Saturday, Oct. 4 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Metro Cold Spring Bus Maintenance Office, 1581 Michigan Avenue, 2nd floor. A Comprehensive Skills Test will be administered promptly at noon for interested applicants.

Applications and job descriptions can be viewed and downloaded at nfta.com.

Opportunity for Review and Comment

Buffalo, NY . . .An informal, informational workshop to outline the progress of the Transit Options Amherst-Buffalo Analysis will take place Tuesday, Sept. 30 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Allen Hall, Room 100, University at Buffalo South Campus, 3435 Main Street, Buffalo, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today.

Transit Options Amherst-Buffalo is a study to assess and improve transit connections between Amherst and Buffalo. The community is invited to attend anytime between 4 and 8 p.m. to review display materials and provide comment on various public transportation alternatives for the area connecting Buffalo and Amherst that are being presented. The evaluation criteria being used, along with the screening process and the results achieved thus far will also be on display.

"New bus service, rail extensions, bus rapid transit or something else altogether are all on the table," said Kimberley A. Minkel, the NFTA's Executive Director. "Now is the perfect time in this process for people to learn, question and make their comments known."

Enhanced access to the building is available on the Main Street side of the facility. Metro riders can use Routes 5, 8, 12, 13, 19, 44, 47, 48, or Metro Rail to attend the program.

Information on the analysis can be found online at to.nfta.com and comments can be emailed to the NFTA at to@nfta.com. Also follow the process on Facebook.

Immediate Openings Available

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that its Metro Bus division is sponsoring an Open House Wednesday, Sept. 10, in an effort to recruit individuals interested in full-time employment as a MetroLink bus operator.

Metro is currently looking for qualified bus operators seeking steady employment, guaranteed wage increases, along with a comprehensive benefit package.

Candidates must be at least 21 years of age, possess a high school diploma or equivalent, a NYS commercial driver's license, Class B minimum with passenger and air break endorsements or a permit for same with the ability to obtain a full license within eight weeks of employment.

The Open House will take place from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at Metro's Babcock Station, 721 New Babcock Street, Buffalo, NY.

Interested individuals may download an application at nfta.com or during the Open House.

New Flex Service to be Introduced on Route 57

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that its Board of Commissioners has approved the enactment of service adjustments to Metro Routes 27 and 57, which will commence Sunday, Aug. 31 and Tuesday, Sept. 2 respectively.

Two public hearings were held to gauge public response to proposals to eliminate Route 27 Wende service based on a history of low ridership and replacing Route 57 Tonawandas with a fixed route flex service pilot program to more effectively serve this specific area.

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA Executive Director said, "The public hearing process gave us the opportunity to listen to our customers before any changes were made. In each case, based on feedback we received, modifications were made to our original proposals that address the concerns expressed for each route. As a result, we now have a better product going forward."

ROUTE 57 FLEX TONAWANDAS
The vast majority of the comments regarding the proposal to eliminate the current route structure and replace it with fixed route flex pilot service were favorable and supportive of the proposed new innovative service.

The new flex service will provide the reliability of a fixed route schedule, coupled with the convenience of curb-to-curb service for Paratransit customers. One pre-scheduled Flex trip (travels off route) to accommodate Paratransit customers can be made within a three-quarter mile radius of the fixed route. Only one Flex trip will be scheduled per regular trip. Per Metro policy, Paratransit riders ride fixed route service free. Requests for curb-to-curb Route 57 Flex service can be made starting Saturday, Aug. 30 by calling 855-6399. Service commences Tuesday, Sept. 2.

The expanded route will serve a Walmart Supercenter, DeGraff Memorial Hospital, two Tops Markets, Main & Niagara Metro Transit Center, affordable housing locations, Mid-City Plaza, Niagara Falls International Airport, city halls, libraries and schools in Tonawanda and North Tonawanda.

ROUTE 27 WENDE
Concerns were expressed at the hearings and in writing regarding the complete elimination of Route 27 and the adverse impact on accessing jobs, inmate visits and the release process at the Erie County Correctional facility.

In response to those concerns, rather than eliminating the route completely, the board approved a reduction from five to three round trips to continue serving the correctional facility and will extend the route to serve Transit Road between Genesee Street and Main Street to accommodate requests of Metro customers commuting to work.

Both routes will be evaluated through February 2015, as part of Metro's annual performance review process and will be discontinued if ridership or productivity guidelines are not met.

Complete details on these route changes and all Metro routes and schedules can be found at nfta.com.

Buffalo Airport to Host Aviation Conference Economic Impact Pegged at $600,000

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that the Northeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives will hold its annual gathering at the Adam's Mark Hotel, 120 Church St., Buffalo, NY August 9-13.

The Buffalo Niagara International Airport will play host to the 56th Annual NEC/AAAE Conference aptly named "Wings Over Buffalo." The conference, which is expected to attract close to 300 participants, provides for professional development and sharing of industry knowledge. It includes a half dozen educational sessions featuring leading airport and aviation executives and senior FAA officials. The gathering will also include floor exhibits representing airport suppliers and manufactures.

William R. Vanecek, BNIA Aviation Director, said, "We are extremely proud to be hosting this meaningful aviation conference in Buffalo for the first time. It provides an opportunity to showcase our region's cultural, architectural and historic gems to visitors from all over the country at a time when downtown is bursting with development and excitement."

Scott McMahon, NEC/AAAE President said, "The Northeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives is excited to be bringing its membership to the City of Buffalo for its annual conference. As the long time host of the chapter's International Aviation Snow Symposium in April every year, we are thrilled to come back and experience everything the city and region have to offer our members in the summer. After the winter that the northeast experienced this past year, we could not have picked a better venue to bring our membership together, to share lessons learned and discuss the current state of aviation in our region."

Sunday, Aug. 10, starting at 1 p.m. Vanecek will welcome the attendees at the opening ceremony and present a proclamation from the Erie County Legislature proclaiming the week of August 10-15 as NEC/AAAE Week in Buffalo.

General sessions , conducted by leading airport and aviation experts commence Sunday, Aug. 10. The sessions will cover topics such as providing an update on related FAA topics, New Technologies and Innovations within the Aviation Industry, Industry Trends/What to Expect in the Short Term, Efficiencies in Running Airport Operations, Talent Management and an Update on SMS rule making/Panel of Airport Pilot Program Participants/Implementation Strategies.

The Keynote speaker of the conference will be Ted Black , President, Buffalo Sabres. He will address the group at the Corporate Appreciation Luncheon Tuesday, Aug. 12, starting at 12:15 p.m. in the hotel's Grand Hall. Mr. Black is expected to speak at 1:30 p.m.

Exhibitors attending this year's conference will include Oshkosh Corp., Wausau Equipment Company, Inc., Signature Flight Support, MB Companies, Sherwin Industries, McFarland Johnson, Team Eagle, LTD, Transystems Corp., Zodiac Aerospace, ProDIGIQ, SES, Inc., Everbridge, Systems Atlanta, Infax, Inc., Green Beans Coffee, Baltimore Washington International Airport and Tymetal Corp.

Founded in 1928, AAAE is the world's largest professional organization for airport executives, representing thousands of airport management personnel at public-use commercial and general aviation airports. AAAE's members represent some 850 airports and hundreds of companies and organizations that support airports. AAAE serves its membership through results-oriented representation in Washington, D.C. and delivers a wide range of industry services and professional development opportunities including training, meetings and conferences, and a highly respected accreditation program.

The Northeast Chapter of American Association of Airport Executives is the first regional chapter of the AAAE. It was formed to assist in the further development of the AAAE and to foster a better understanding of airport related problems within the geographical confines of the chapter. It is made up of managers, commission and board members, engineers and others interested in the development and operation of airports located in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Canadian Provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec.

Ralfa Musialowski, BNIA Marketing Manager will be the media contact during the conference. The media is welcome to attend any of the programs. She can be reached at 716-870-3431 or via email at ralfa_musialowski@nfta.com to assist in arranging interviews or to answer questions.

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Metro buses will provide service to the Erie County Fair & Exposition August 6-17, via the 14 Abbott and 16 South Park routes.

Weekdays, Route 14 buses start departing for the fair from Mohawk and Washington, starting at 7:55 a.m. with departures from the fair starting at 9:20 a.m. and ending at 11:05 p.m.

Saturdays, the first 14 Abbott departs downtown at 7:30 a.m. with departures from the fair starting at 9:32 a.m. and ending at 11:05 p.m.

Sundays, Route 14 departures leave downtown starting at 8:30 a.m. and begin leaving the fair at 9:35 a.m. and ending at 11:05 p.m.

Weekdays, Route 16 buses start leaving from Mohawk and Washington, starting at 12:45 p.m. with departures from the grounds starting at 2:17 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m.

Saturdays, the first Route 16 departs downtown at 8 a.m. and begin departing the grounds at 8:29 a.m. and ending at 6:58 p.m.

Sundays, Route 16 starts departing downtown at 10 a.m. with departures from the fair starting at 11:04 a.m. and ending at 5:04 p.m.

In addition, Route 36 Hamburg will operate regular weekday and Saturday service with extended trips via McKinley Parkway that will service the McKinley Parkway entrance.

All Metro route maps, schedules and fare information can be found at www.nfta.com.

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today the above ground portion of its Metro Rail system will be shutdown July 18-20. The City of Buffalo will be relocating overheard catenary cables to new poles near Fountain Plaza, as work continues to return cars to Main Street.

During this period, Metro Rail will continue to carry customers between University station and Allen Medical Campus station. In lieu of above ground rail service, Metro will operate circulator bus service from Allen Medical Campus station to the Erie Canal Harbor station for customers traveling along this section of Main Street. Shuttles will operate in each direction approximately every 15 minutes.

Directional signs will be in place at Allen Medical station and bus stop passenger alert signs will be posted at all stops along Pearl Street and Washington Street noting where shuttle buses will stop.

Inbound, buses will travel between Allen Medical Campus and Erie Canal Harbor stations by way of Pearl Street. All inbound customers will be picked up or let off along Pearl Street, a block west of the inbound stations.

Outbound, circulators will operate from Erie Canal Harbor station to Allen Medical Campus station by way of Washington Street. All outbound customers will be picked up or let off along Washington Street, one block east of the outbound stations.

The full length of the rail line will be open with the start of service Monday, July 21. At this time, single tracking operations will be moved from the inbound track to the outbound side to facilitate the continuing work being done to return cars to Main Street.

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Metro Rail will operate a Sunday schedule and extend service Friday, July 4 to accommodate people attending the festivities at the Central Wharf of the Erie Canal Harbor.

Metro Rail will extend service up to one hour after the conclusion of the fireworks, which are anticipated to start at 10:15 p.m. Train service will run continuously, making stops at all stations during the extended service period, unless determined otherwise by a Metro supervisor.

Metro bus and rail schedules can be accessed online at nfta.com.

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is seeking public comment June 25 and 26 on proposals to adjust Metro bus service on Route 27 Wende and Route 57 Tonawandas. The hearings will focus on replacing existing Route 57 Tonawandas with fixed route flex pilot service to improve performance levels and discontinue Route 27 Wende as a result of historically low ridership. This process allows Metro to continually evaluate its service delivery in an effort to provide the most efficient public transit network possible. The public hearings are scheduled as follows:
Wednesday, June 25 at 6 p.m.
Cheektowaga Central High School Cafeteria
3600 Union Rd., Cheektowaga, NY

Thursday, June 26 at 5 p.m.
North Tonawanda City Hall Council Chambers
216 Payne Ave., North Tonawanda, NY

Comments or emails received no later than Thursday, June 26 will also be considered. Comments should be sent to NFTA, 181 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, NY 14203, Attn: Service Planning Department or emailed to planning@nfta.com.

Buffalo, NY . . . As gas prices approach $4 a gallon and with environmental concerns on people's mind, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Metro is joining with other public transportation systems nationwide in promoting the Ninth Annual Dump the Pump Day, Thursday, June 19.

Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association, Dump the Pump Day is a call to action to encourage people to ride public transportation, thus reducing the consumption of gasoline and reducing their carbon footprint.

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA Executive Director said, "Metro bus and rail play a vital role in helping to reduce harmful emissions by reducing the number of cars on our highways and lessening the cost of transportation for thousands of people in our community each day. People can help make a difference by riding Metro and encouraging their friends and family to do so as well."

To encourage people to leave the cars keys on the table Thursday, Metro personnel with assistance from Citizens for Regional Transit and the Sierra Club Niagara offered morning Metro commuters a free USA Today newspaper, and a Metro Extra's Card redeemable for discounts at over 20 local establishments, in additional to various pieces of Metro rider information will be available throughout the day.

Each weekday Metro bus and rail provides 110,000 boardings, which help people arrive safely at school, work and medical appointments or to just visit family. The past 12-months there have been 26 million boardings on Metro buses and trains. With the build out of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, the new Harbor Center at Canalside, the construction of the new UB Medical School being built atop Metro's Allen Medical station and people opting to live downtown, Metro will play an even larger role in the development of our city going forward.

Muhammed Sam Sumbundu, a Student Council Representative at Buffalo State College who enjoys using Metro to get to and from school said, "I take Metro because it's convenient and it gets me to school and work a lot quicker than when I drive. Plus, I love having the opportunity to interact with the great people of our city."

People are coming onboard and finding favor with Metro services each and every day. Bonita R. Durand, NFTA Commissioner and Chairwoman of the NFTA's Public Transit Committee said, "If we are going to make a lasting impact on reducing our dependency on foreign oil, then we all must commit well past today to get out of our cars and use alternative methods of travel in a sustainable way going forward."

Lynn Magdol, a loyal Metro customer from Buffalo said, "I don't have to search for parking or use my gas. The bus leaves me near the library, the bank or a place for lunch and shopping."

Pauline Bentkowski, from Angola buys her monthly pass through the Metro Perk program from her employer. She takes Route 76 to work each day and says, "My Metro pass saves me over $3,000 annually in fuel and parking, not to mention reducing wear and tear on my car."

Metro has 18 Park & Rides, allowing riders to park free and ride all day. Full-service transportation centers in both downtown Buffalo and Niagara County mean easy transfers. Metro also offers 16 express routes, which make fewer stops, resulting in quicker trips. Used as a system, Metro stretches across Erie and Niagara Counties.

Buffalo resident Debbie Bowers, a Paratransit customer commented, "PAL provides me with an opportunity to get around. Because of PAL, I don't have to walk in the snow, which helps prevent me from a possible injury."

Public transportation reduces overall greenhouse gas emissions without reducing the mobility so vital to our nation's economic health and our citizens' quality of life. The increasing cost of fuel makes driving private vehicles even more prohibitive for many. According to APTA's Transit Saving Report, a two-person household can save, on the average, more than $10,174 a year by downsizing to one car.

By reducing the growth in vehicles miles of travel and supporting more efficient land use patterns, public transportation can reduce harmful CO2 emissions by 37 million tons annually. One person with a 20-mile round trip commute who switches from driving to public transit can reduce their daily carbon emissions by 20 pounds or more than 4,800 pounds in a year.

As part of the NFTA's Go Green initiative, 98 hybrid electric buses are currently carrying passengers throughout Buffalo Niagara. The two-mode hybrid system produces 90 percent less hydrocarbon, 90 percent less carbon monoxide emissions, 50 percent less nitrogen oxides than conventional diesel buses, and lowers particulate emissions (tiny pieces of soot and dust) by up to 90 percent.

Metro's hybrids are achieving 5.5 miles per gallon, compared to 2.9 miles per gallon for buses they are replacing, a 90 percent savings and a 30 percent improvement when compared to the fleet's average.

Commissioner Durand added, "Metro was always clearly a bargain, but as the price of gas increases with each passing day, it's becoming even more clearly the wise economic choice. People don't have to pay $3.85 plus for one gallon of gas when they can buy a Day Pass for $5 and ride Metro bus and rail all over Erie and Niagara Counties all day long and reduce their carbon footprint at the same time."

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that, it is extending its Metro CRAM Pass program into the summer this year to accommodate current college participants through a new pilot program.

Students enrolled in summer classes at Buffalo State and Canisius College are now eligible to purchase a summer Metro pass, which provides unlimited access June 1 through Aug. 22, 2014.

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA Executive Director said, "We are pleased to extend our college program to assist the many students who depend on Metro during the summer for their transportation."

The $60 summer CRAM pass is now available from administrative offices at participating colleges. Students can use their summer CRAM pass to commute to school, work or anywhere else Metro services without having to pay additional fees. Valid college photo college ID is required for use with the summer pass.

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

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is inviting residents from local communities to attend the first public meeting to review details of the Niagara Falls International Airport Sustainable Master Plan, Wednesday, June 4.

The workshop will be held in the Niagara Falls International Airport, 2035 Niagara Falls Blvd., on the lower level from 6-8 p.m. Free parking will be available in the general passenger lots for those attending the meeting. Refreshments will be served.

William R. Vanecek, NFTA Director of Aviation said, "We welcome the opportunity to work with the Niagara community to help craft a Master Plan that ensures the airport will increase its positive economic impact for the region, while simultaneously creating a positive experience for all users of the facility.

McFarland Johnson, the NFIA Master Plan consultants, along with representatives from the NFTA will be present to host the interactive workshop and discuss the draft findings to date.

This interactive workshop will provide an opportunity for interested citizens from neighboring communities to learn about and contribute feedback regarding potential future development at the airport. Materials for the 20-year planning horizon will include an overview of existing facilities, forecasts of aviation activity, facility requirements and environmental findings.

This will be the first of two public meetings associated with this project. A second meeting will occur in the fall of this year.

For additional information contact Mark Clark, NFTA Sr. Aviation Planner at 630-6133 or via email at mark_clark@nfta.com.

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that they are one of six rail and mass transit agencies from across the nation to earn the Transportation Security Administration's highest rating of "Gold Standard" on their 2013 Baseline Assessments for security enhancement for their dedication to building a strong security program.

The BASE program is designed to establish a security standard for individual system security programs and assess progress. This voluntary comprehensive review of transit agency security programs focuses on multiple categories identified by the transit community as fundamentals for a sound transit security program. They include a review of topics such as an agency's security plans, security training, drills/exercise programs, public outreach efforts and background check programs. The BASE program analyzes the security program for each transit system and identifies opportunities to further enhance security.

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA Executive Director said, "I am extremely proud of our dedicated team who work each day to ensure our Metro transit system and facilities are safe and secure for our customers and employees. This honor recognizes and validates the extent of their collective efforts."

These agencies are to be commended for their commitment and hard work that this level of achievement requires and for their continued dedication to ensure the security of travelers nationwide," said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole.

These agencies were reviewed in 2013 and attained high scores across all categories. TSA considered this caliber of performance as reaching a "Gold Standard" and recognized them for having strong security programs. The TSA continues to work with all transit agencies across the country to develop and implement robust security practices system-wide.

In addition to the NFTA, the other five agencies recognized for achieving the Gold Standard in 2013 are: Sound Transit (Seattle, WA), Hampton Roads Transit (Hampton, VA), South Florida Regional Transportation Authority/Tri-Rail (Pompano, FL), Valley Metro (Phoenix, AZ) and Capital District Transportation Authority (Albany, NY).

In addition to these six agencies, there have been 37 others that have previously earned the Gold Standard Award level of security since 2010.

The BASE program was developed to increase domain awareness, enhance prevention and protection capabilities and further response preparedness of transit systems nationwide. BASE is aimed at meeting the requirements in the 9/11 Commission Act's security assessment section, which directs TSA to identify critical assets, infrastructure and systems and their vulnerabilities and assist bus and public transportation authorities to address their security programs.

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Metro will once again provide complementary trolley service to guests staying at participating Niagara Falls motels and hotels beginning Friday, May 16. Route 55T trolley buses will serve Niagara Falls Boulevard, Pine Avenue, Niagara Falls International Airport and downtown Niagara Falls, USA.

Service will operate Friday-Sunday, May 16 - 31 and Monday through Sunday, June 1 - Oct. 31. The service will operate from 9 a.m. until midnight and on all holidays.

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director, said, "We are pleased to once again be collaborating with Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster and the Niagara Falls Hotel Association to offer transportation passes to people visiting the Cataract City. The trolleys will easily connect people to the many wonderful attractions the city has to offer."

Patrons will receive their trolley day passes that are affixed with a sequential tracking number, upon request at participating hotels and motels. The trolley 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. Passes must be validated in Niagara County and may be used anytime on the date the trolley pass is punched by the Metro operator.

Individuals without a trolley day pass may ride the service by paying Metro's regular adult fare of $2, $1 for children (5-11 yrs.), seniors (65 yrs. and over), disabled and Medicare clients with valid I.D. All other Metro passes are also valid. Children four and under ride free, limit three children per fare paying adult.

Special Route 55T trolley stop signs along the route indicate where riders can board a trolley. In downtown Niagara Falls, Route 55T trolley stops are located at The Aquarium of Niagara, Rainbow Blvd., The Seneca Niagara Casino at 4th Street between Wendel Way and Duggan Street Main entrance. Service will also be provided to hotels and shops along 3rd Street, Rainbow Blvd. and Buffalo Street.

In addition, stops are located at the City Market on Pine Avenue and 17th Street, the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, 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.

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that John T. Cox has been appointed to the position of Chief Financial Officer for the authority.

As CFO he will report to the NFTA's board of commissioners with functional responsibility to the executive director and become a member of the director's management team. His duties will include formulating the strategic financial plan of the authority and act as an advisor on all financial matters pertaining to developing innovative cost containment measures and revenue enhancements for all of the business centers within the authority.

Cox, 43, was Deputy Director of Finance I Accounting, for the City of Rochester, NY, for the past two years. His duties included supervising and participating in the preparation of various financial statements and reports, the city's annual update document and annual general purpose financial statements, in addition to the comprehensive annual financial report for the city.

Prior employment included Comptroller/Director of Finance, City of Binghamton, NY, from 2007-2012, where he oversaw the cash management and investment strategies of the city and collaborated with the mayor and department heads to formulate the city's annual budget.

He earned his bachelor's degree from Syracuse University in 1992 and a master's degree in accounting from Binghamton University in 2003.

Above Ground Section Will Not be Operating

Buffalo, NY . . . The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Saturday and Sunday, April 5 and 6, the above ground portion of the Metro Rail system will be closed due to construction related to the City of Buffalo's project to return cars to Main Street.

During this period, Metro will operate circulator bus service from Allen Medical Campus station to the Erie Canal Harbor station for customers traveling along this section of Main Street. Two shuttles will operate in each direction approximately every 15 minutes.

Inbound, buses will travel between Allen Medical Campus and Erie Canal Harbor stations by way of Pearl Street. All inbound customers will be picked up or let off along Pearl Street, a block west of the inbound stations.

Outbound, circulators will operate from Erie Canal Harbor station to Allen Medical Campus station by way of Washington Street. All outbound customers will be picked up or let off along Washington Street, one block east of the outbound stations.

A Saturday/Sunday schedule will apply for the underground train service that will operate during this period, though there may be delays in service.

Exception . . .Saturday, April 5, starting at 5:30 p.m. the entire line will reopen and Metro Rail will resume single tracking service. Passengers will not be required to change trains at Church Station, as has been the procedure since March 30. The full length will remain open for the remainder of the evening.

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that its board of commissioners has approved a new four year collective bargaining agreement between the NFTA and the International Longshoremen's Association Local 2028 for the period April 1, 2014 through March 31, 2018.

Local 2028, the NFTA's fourth largest union represents 55 employees who perform functions in the authority's engineering, accounting, payroll, public affairs, MIS, grants and government affairs departments.

Under the terms of the agreement, members of the bargaining unit will received a 2 percent increase in base salary for each of the four years covered in the agreement. The new pact will allow members who have exhausted all sick, vacation and personal leave to request establishment of a sick bank in their name for use in a verified illness or extended emergency situation. In addition, members will participate in the authority's new High Deductible Health Plan.




Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority

Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority   |   181 Ellicott Street   |   Buffalo, New York 14203
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Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Metro Bus & Rail Buffalo Niagara International Airport Niagara Falls International Airport