News Room

Buffalo, NY...

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority has announced service to the new Walmart store in Cheektowaga. With a Metro Bus stop directly on Walmart property, bus passengers will not have to cross Walden Avenue to shop.

Kimberley Minkel, executive director, NFTA said, "We are very pleased that Walmart, the Town of Cheektowaga and the NFTA came together to provide a safe and effective solution for the many workers and customers who use public transportation."

Metro Bus Route 46 will stop at Walmart several times a day, seven days a week. The Metro Bus stop is located conveniently on site. Walmart is constructing a bus shelter to further convenience transit users and plans to have it completed in June of this year.

Route 46, and all Metro maps and schedules, can be found online at nfta.com

Buffalo, NY...

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that they have signed an agreement with WNY Freedom Lounge, Inc. to establish a Military Lounge at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport for use by military personnel.

Transitioning military personnel frequently use the BNIA as they await connecting flights. The 495 square foot facility located on the east side of the baggage claim area on the lower level will provide private, comfortable space for military personnel to rest and recreate as they await their connections.

William R. Vanecek, NFTA Director of Aviation said, "This private area is a perfect way to show our collective appreciation to the men and women in the military how grateful we are for their service to our country. We are pleased to do all we can to make their time in our airport as personal and comfortable as possible."

Retired LTC Dan Walther, Chairman of WNY Freedom Lounge, Inc. said, "Our organization is very pleased to have the opportunity to establish this special space at the airport to accommodate our dedicated service members and veterans. I want to express our gratitude to the NFTA for their willingness to provide this private area for our military personnel using the airport."

WNY Freedom Lounge, Inc., is a NYS registered non-profit corporation, established to operate the WNY FREEDOM LOUNGE, at the BNIA. The lounge will be dedicated in the honor of all service members and veterans, who have made and continue to make our country a safe place to live.

The lounge will be staffed by local veterans, veteran organizations and military supporters. The space will provide service members and their families with a little touch of Western New York hospitality as they wait to depart the airport.

The lounge is expected to be fully operational in the next 60-90 days.

For more information about the WNY FREEDOM LOUNGE, or to make a donation to this project, contact the organization at wny.freedom.lounge@gmail.com.

Airport Sets Record for Second Consecutive Year 233,302 Passengers Use NFIA in 2015

Niagara Falls, NY . . .

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that for the second consecutive year the Niagara Falls International Airport set an enplanement record for outbound passengers for a one year period.

For the second time in its 88 year history, the NFIA surpassed 100,000 enplanements in one calendar year. 2015 saw the enplanement number rise to 118,154, an increase of 12.24 percent over 2014, which was a record year. In total, 233,302 (outbound & inbound) passengers utilized the NFIA during 2015.

Kimberley A. Minkel NFTA executive director said, "The continued growth at the Niagara Falls International Airport is indeed gratifying. To have record passenger totals for a second year in a row is very optimistic and bodes well for the future growth potential of this airport."

The airport continues to be a big draw with Canadians, who regularly account for 79 percent of its customer total.

The airport is served by Spirit and Allegiant airlines carrying passengers to warm weather destinations via seasonal flights. In 2015, Allegiant carried 69,590 outbound passengers to Orlando/Sanford, Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg and Punta Gorda/Fort Myers, while Spirit carried 48,564 passengers to Fort Lauderdale and Myrtle Beach.

Flight and specific airline and airport information can be found online at niagarafallsairport.com.

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The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that beginning Saturday, January 9, Metro Rail will be using just the outbound (east side) track between Allen Medical Campus and Humbolt Hospital Stations. All passengers traveling between these stations will need to board from the outbound platforms. Modified service is expected to last for approximately two weeks.

Buffalo, NY...

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Metro Rail will extend service Thursday, Dec. 31, to accommodate passengers attending the Annual New Year's Eve Ball Drop at Roosevelt Square, activities at Canalside and the First Night Buffalo celebration.

Train service will run continuously, making stops at all stations during the extended service period at 20 minute intervals. One exception to the schedule will be the 11:50 p.m. trip on New Year's Eve from University Station will be moved up to 11:40 p.m., to transport people downtown in advance of the ball drop.

The last train is scheduled to leave Erie Canal Harbor Station heading outbound to University Station at 2 a.m., New Year's Day following the events, with the last inbound train leaving University Station at 2:30 a.m.

All Metro bus and rail schedules are available at nfta.com/metro, in addition to a Metro Now board showing the status of all Metro routes.

Buffalo, NY...

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that Santa Claus and his elves will be riding Metro Rail Thursday, Dec. 17 to see just how well everyone is behaving this holiday season.

His schedule is as follows:

  1. University Station 10 a.m. to noon
  2. Amherst Station 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  3. Utica Station 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Buffalo, NY...

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that the Sounds of the Holiday's will be returning to the downtown bus terminal (181 Ellicott St.) for its eighth year December 16-18, compliments of musical ensembles from five local schools.

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA Executive Director said, "Once again this year the NFTA is pleased to continue the tradition of playing host to talented choral groups from local schools to entertain the people traveling through our transit center during the holidays."

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

  1. Olmstead High School 12/16, 10:30 a.m.
  2. Visit from Santa 12/16, 11:30 a.m.
  3. EMount Mercy "Magic Belles" 12/16, 12:00 p.m.
  4. South Park High School 12/17, 11:00 a.m.
  5. Akron High School "Roaming Santas" 12/18, 8:30 a.m.
  6. Middle Early High School 12/18, 11:30 a.m.

Santa himself will be paying a visit to the MTC Wednesday, Dec. 16, at 11:30 a.m. preceding the noon performance.

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

Buffalo, NY...

Notice is hereby given that a public hearing will be held by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. This hearing will be held at the office of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, sixth floor board room, Metropolitan Transportation Center, Buffalo, New York, located at 181 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, New York.

The purpose of this hearing is to receive public comment and testimony on the proposed Operating and Capital Budget for NFT Metro System Inc. for fiscal year ending 2017.

NFTA will afford the opportunity for all interested persons to be heard. Evidence and comments may be submitted orally or in writing.

Copies of the NFT Metro System, Inc. budget will be available on December 8, 2015 at the Buffalo and Erie County Main Library, Lafayette Square, Buffalo, New York and at the Niagara Falls Public Library, 1425 Main Street, Niagara Falls, New York.

This document will be available for examination at the offices of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, Second Floor, Metropolitan Transportation Center, Buffalo, New York, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on December 8-14, 2015.

In order that the hearing may be conducted in an orderly manner and to assure maximum public participation, those who wish to speak should register with the Authority by December 14, 2015 furnishing his/her name, address, telephone number and name of organization, if any, represented.

Please register with:
Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority
Metropolitan Transportation Center
181 Ellicott Street
Buffalo, New York 14203
Attn: John Cox, Chief Financial Officer

To facilitate an orderly procedure during the public hearing, the following rules will be in effect:

  1. Those who wish to speak must be filed at the offices of the Authority by December 14, 2015 by 3:00 pm.
  2. Any individual may appear and speak on the subject of the meeting for themselves or, if authorized in writing, for any group, organization, committee, association or firm. Any speaker representing more than one civic group, organization, club or association will be permitted to speak on behalf of all organizations represented.
  3. Each speaker must limit his/her oral presentation to five minutes. Speakers will be allowed to use their time to the best advantage without interruption from the floor. The presiding officer may interrogate or ask a speaker for clarification at any time. Relinquishing of time from one speaker to another will not be permitted.
  4. Prepared statement may be submitted in writing, prior to or at the hearing. Such written material must be legible on normal business size paper (8.5" x 11").
  5. If maps, charts or visual aids are to be used, the speaker must make all arrangements, however the Authority's staff will assist to the extent possible.
  6. The Metropolitan Transportation Center is accessible to disabled individuals and NFTA will provide an interpreter for the deaf and/or hard of hearing upon request.

After all registered speakers have been heard, the presiding officer will allow additional oral statements by other persons in attendance between 10:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Buffalo, NY...

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is soliciting proposals from concessionaires and/or restaurateurs to provide one, or a combination of freshly prepared restaurant style food and beverage service, retail, including newspapers, souvenirs, phone and greeting cards, candy, basic traveler health, hygiene needs and machine vending services at any or all of its locations.

Locations include eight underground Metro Rail stations, (excluding Allen Medical Campus Station, which will be bid independently) the Metropolitan Transportation Center at 181 Ellicott Street, and Metro transportation centers in Niagara County located at 2250 Factory Outlet Blvd., Town of Niagara and 1124 Portage Road, Niagara Falls. Vending options should include service for cold drinks, hot beverages and snacks.

The Food, Beverage and Concession Services request for proposal is available online at bids.nfta.com.

Proposals must be received by the NFTA's purchasing department at 181 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, NY 14203 prior to 11 a.m. Monday, January 18, 2016.

Buffalo, NY...

Metro Rail will be operating abbreviated service over the next two weekends starting at midnight Friday, Nov. 20, through Sunday, Nov. 22, and again from midnight Friday, Nov. 27 through Sunday, Nov. 29, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today.

Catenary wire and insulation replacement work will limit Metro Rail service to operating only between University Station and Lafayette Station.

Metro will provide shuttle bus service in both directions between Lafayette Station and Erie Canal Harbor Station.

Inbound shuttles will operate from Court Street (northwest corner) to Pearl Street to Scott Street.

Outbound shuttles will operate from Scott Street to Washington Street to Lafayette Square to Court Street.

The full length of the line will be open with the start of service Monday, Nov. 23, and Monday, Nov. 30. Additional information can be found at metro.nfta.com.

One of the First Airports in the State to Offer Private Area for New Mothers

Buffalo, NY...

The Buffalo Niagara International Airport has opened a special, private lactation room in the terminal to accommodate new mothers and their babies the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today.

The new Nursing Lounge is located in the airport's east concourse directly across from gate 14. The room is equipped with a vanity counter, running water, power, table, mirror, nursery type pictures on the walls and a comfortable leather chair. Mothers now have a private, quiet room equipped with the necessities they will need to nurse their children or pump.

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA Executive Director said, "I am very proud that our airport is setting the trend to accommodate nursing mothers ahead of mandated legislation. We now have a specific area that provides moms with a serene, clean, private room for their personal use. I commend Senator Kennedy for taking the lead to ensure traveling nursing mothers across the state will hopefully have similar accommodations in the near future. "

"When we first made our call for more lactation rooms in airports statewide, we stressed that our moms deserve more, and today, the Buffalo Niagara International Airport is giving them just that," said Senator Tim Kennedy. "As the NFTA officially opens its Nursing Lounge, we're not only opening up a safe, sanitary place for mothers to nurse and pump, but we're opening up new opportunities for them as well. With this new room, mothers won't have to make the tough choice between providing the best nutrition for their infant or traveling for work; here they can do both. The NFTA's decision to help accommodate nursing moms voluntarily is a progressive one, and one that should be applauded."

"On behalf of all the patients we serve at the Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo, I want to thank and congratulate Senator Kennedy and the NFTA for helping build a more breastfeeding-friendly culture for our community," said Dr. Stephen Turkovich, Chief Medical Officer at Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo. "Hopefully, more airports throughout the state will follow our lead now and give mothers the same opportunity that they enjoy here at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport."

"The NFTA and Senator Kennedy clearly understand the importance and need for women to breastfeed or pump in sanitary conditions, and acted quickly to make these accommodations for nursing mothers," said Rachel Jackson. "I commend them for constructing the lactation room prior to the enactment of the legislation, and I hope other airports follow Buffalo's lead. Together, they took these health issues seriously and this lactation room will improve lives of many women and children. Thank you on behalf of myself and for the many families that this will benefit."

Further Family Friendly Amenities . . .

In addition to the new Nursing Lounge, the BNIA has other family friendly features to accommodate traveling families such as little step stools under the sinks in most restrooms so little kids are able to step up and wash their hands, a children's play space, water bottle refill stations, companion care restrooms large enough to allow multiple people or a wheelchair and a liquid retention system at the checkpoint to dump liquids into prior to clearing security so passengers can save their containers.

Buffalo, NY...

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that an informational public open house regarding their Canalside and Cobblestone Access Enhancement Study will be held Thursday, Oct. 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the First Niagara Center. The public is invited to attend to learn about and evaluate the study's status, review the two alternatives being presented and offer input regarding the alternatives.

Alternative #1 is a South Park Avenue alignment
Alternative #2 is a Buffalo River alignment

The NFTA's project team and its consultants have developed the two alternatives for Metro Rail extension to the DL&W Terminal with a new station located in or around the terminal. In advance of the open house, information is available online at to.nfta.com.

"Before the NFTA and the project Steering Committee select one of these two alternatives to move forward for further development, we want to present them to the community and obtain as much additional input as possible as to which alternative they favor,""said Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA Executive Director.

The First Niagara Center is located at One Seymour Knox III Plaza, Buffalo. The facility is accessible by Metro Rail and any Metro bus that connects to the train. In addition, parking is free in the FNC parking ramp.

Open House at FNC

Buffalo, NY...

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that an informational public open house regarding their Canalside and Cobblestone Access Enhancement Study will be held Thursday, Oct. 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the First Niagara Center. The public is invited to attend to learn about and evaluate the study's status, review the two alternatives being presented and offer input regarding the alternatives.

Alternative #1 is a South Park Avenue alignment
Alternative #2 is a Buffalo River alignment

The NFTA's project team and its consultants have developed the two alternatives for Metro Rail extension to the DL&W Terminal with a new station located in or around the terminal. In advance of the open house, information is available online at to.nfta.com.

"Before the NFTA and the project Steering Committee select one of these two alternatives to move forward for further development, we want to present them to the community and obtain as much additional input as possible as to which alternative they favor,""said Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA Executive Director.

The First Niagara Center is located at One Seymour Knox III Plaza, Buffalo. The facility is accessible by Metro Rail and any Metro bus that connects to the train. In addition, parking is free in the FNC parking ramp.

One Millionth Passenger Arrives Today From Florida

Buffalo, NY...

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that the Niagara Falls International Airport will welcome its one millionth passenger into the terminal this morning.

The passenger arriving via Allegiant from Sanford, FL will be chosen by William R. Vanecek, NFTA Director of Aviation at random, to symbolize the airport's one millionth passenger who has passed through its doors since the first flight departed the new terminal Dec. 18, 2009.

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA Executive Director said, "The NFTA made a $42.5 million investment in 2008 to construct a new state-of-the-art terminal that would be efficient, user-friendly and ready to meet the sophisticated needs of 21st century aviation. It has become an engine for growth and development with a yearly economic impact of $200 million."

To celebrate the occasion, the lucky passenger will receive two round trip tickets courtesy of Allegiant for a future flight, travel luggage from the airport, an NFTA proclamation to commemorate the event, a gift basket complements of the Niagara Tourist & Convention Corp. including a one night's stay at The Giacomo Hotel, $50 gift Hard Rock Cafe certificate, a bottle of wine from the Flight of Five Winery, a gift certificate to Encounter Niagara, tasty treats from DiCamillo's Bakery and a matted photograph print of Niagara Falls, USA.

William R. Vanecek, NFTA Director of Aviation said, "The airport continues to mature and has become a valued regional asset as a direct result of our dedicated workforce that keeps the airport running professionally and efficiently. Further, by working closely with our airline partners we continually discuss opportunities to add flights and new destinations for our customers."

In 2014 the NFIA surpassed the 100,000 enplanement mark for the first time and ultimately set a record with 105,273 passengers departing the facility. In total, 207,597 (outbound & inbound) passengers utilized the NFIA during 2014. This year the airport is on target to surpass the 2014 total having already served 87,571 departing passengers through August, a 17.5 percent increase year-to-date.

Allegiant and Spirit operate from the airport with service to warm weather destinations. Allegiant travels to Fort Lauderdale and Myrtle Beach, while Spirit connects to Orlando/Sanford, Punta Gorda/ Fort Myers and Tampa/St. Petersburg.

The airport's four-gate facility provides for efficient, customer oriented passenger processing, a two level layout with jet bridge boarding, free Wi-Fi, food and beverage concessions, convenient on-site parking, a federal inspection station, in-line baggage screening, 12 stationary ticket counter stations, an ATM, tourist information counter, car rental and a Metro transit center, for convenient access to public transportation.

Flight and specific airline and airport information can be found online at niagarafallsairport.com.

Immediate Openings Available

Buffalo, NY...

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is currently seeking qualified candidates interested in a career with Buffalo Niagara International Airport Aircraft Rescue Firefighting unit.

The Buffalo Airport will host an exam Saturday, Oct. 24. The application deadline is Friday, Sept. 25. Those interested are encouraged to visit fire.nfta.com for details, which includes a downloadable study guide. Registered applicants will be notified as to the location and time of the exam.

The airport's ARFF team is an elite firefighting and rescue unit trained to respond to all types of aviation related incidents, from structural fires to medical emergencies. The team averages more than 650 calls per year.

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Immediate Openings Available

Buffalo, NY...

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is currently looking for qualified applicants seeking steady employment, good starting pay with guaranteed increases, along with a comprehensive benefit package and the ability to work in a clean, safe environment.

There are immediate openings for qualified body shop, building maintenance, electricians, garage mechanics and technicians to work in the NFTA's Metro Bus division.

Interested individuals should attend an Open House, Saturday, Sept. 19, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Cold Spring Bus Maintenance Office, 2nd floor, 1581 Michigan Ave., Buffalo.

Interested individuals may download an application at www.nfta.com or stop in at the Open House. A comprehensive skills tests will be administered at noon for interested applicants.

Station to be Closed Indefinitely

Buffalo, NY...

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that Metro's Allen Medical Campus Rail Station will be temporarily closed commencing Tuesday, Sept. 8, until further notice. All other rail stations will be serviced during this period.

The closing is a result of ongoing construction taking place at the rail station as the University at Buffalo continues to build their new School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences facility over the existing rail station.

During this time, Metro will provide daily shuttle service to and from the Summer Best Station every 12 minutes for customers to access areas adjacent to the Allen Medical Campus Station. Passengers need to exit the train at Summer Best Station to access the shuttle service.

A map of the shuttle route and additional Metro information can be found online at nfta.com.

CNG Buses to be Introduced into Metro Fleet This Fall

Buffalo, NY...

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that Metro, in conjunction with Trillium CNG, has begun construction on a high capacity fast fill compressed natural gas fueling station at Metro's Frontier Bus Garage, 1000 Military Road, Buffalo, NY.

The $5.9 million state-of-the-art facility will encompass one and a half acres and feature two 250-hp compressors, producing 700 standard cubic feet per minute that will serve four fuel dispensers. A twin tower dryer, control building, electric motor and control distribution wiring and control system are also part of the project. The functionality of the station will more than cover Metro's needs for the immediate future, but the facility can be expanded to meet new demands.

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director said, "Compressed natural gas is the fuel of the future for our fleet of buses. It's affordable, plentiful, safe and made in the USA. CNG is an eco-friendly fuel that helps improve our air quality and will increase the overall efficiency of our fleet."

Trillium CNG designs and constructs natural gas fueling stations around the world. Specializing in fleet service, they are headquartered in Chicago and have built facilities across the United States. Of special interest to Western New Yorkers would be Trillium's success in Helsinki, Finland and Munich, Germany giving the company valuable experience in four-season climates.

"We are excited to be working with the NFTA who has demonstrated commitment to providing safe, affordable and environmentally friendly public transportation to the residents of Erie and Niagara counties," said Joel Jansen, vice president, Trillium CNG. "Our company has a long history and proven track record of providing customized design, build, operation and maintenance solutions for heavy-duty transit fleets."

Thomas George, NFTA director of public transit commented, "This is an exciting project for the future development of Metro services, as we embark down the road of providing high-end, environmentally efficient CNG buses for our customers in the Buffalo Niagara region."

Metro has ordered 44 full-size buses from Nova Bus that will run on compressed natural gas. The first 20 are due later this year, and will begin transporting passengers at that time, with the remainder to follow in 2016. These new buses will replace the oldest diesel buses currently in use. Metro has also ordered 10 CNG paratransit vans from Shepard Brothers, which will be used to transport customers with special needs. The PAL vans will begin service this fall.

Compressed natural gas is an effective alternative fuel for public transportation. Safe, clean and affordable, CNG also provides some freedom from the diesel fuel market. Natural gas at the Metro facility will be 99 percent American sourced. Through the course of their lives, these Metro's CNG buses will save the atmosphere from more than 1,300 tons of carbon.

Metro operates 316 buses over 65 routes in Erie and Niagara counties, in addition to a 6.4 mile Light Rail system serving 95,000 customers each weekday. Additional Metro Bus and Rail information can be found at online metro.nfta.com.

A graphics package of the CNG facility, logos and bus designs can be obtained at http://metro.nfta.com/cng/

Funding: Federal Transit Administration $575,112
NYS DOT $68,653
NFTA $5,003,078
National Fuel $301,312
Total $5,948,155

Aboveground Section Will be Closed

Buffalo, NY...

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that Metro Rail will be closing the aboveground portion of its system this Saturday and Sunday, due to work related to the City of Buffalo's project to return vehicular traffic to the 500 block of Main Street.

The aboveground section is being closed to allow for the new train control equipment to be installed, tested and integrated along the 500 block of Main Street as the project progresses toward conclusion.

The underground section from University Station to Allen Medical Campus Station will operate a normal Saturday/Sunday schedule.

Metro will provide shuttle service for its customers from Allen Medical Campus Station to Erie Canal Harbor Station at 15 minute intervals. The inbound shuttle will use Pearl Street and Washington Street will be used for outbound service.

The full length of the rail line will be operational with the start of service Monday, Aug. 24. Metro schedules and additional information can be found at online metro.nfta.com

Buffalo, NY...

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that it is participating as an employer in the Buffalo Urban League's Earn and Learn Program this summer. The Earn and Learn program was designed to allow high school students the opportunity to work at organizations within Erie County as part of a career progression pathway for young individuals.

In conjunction with its workforce development initiatives, the NFTA will be accepting two students who will work with supervisory employees throughout the authority. The role of these individuals will be to assist the students in applying acquired skills to projects, as well as to help them expand their professional abilities through workplace learning and mentorship.

"Our youth are the greatest natural resource we have in the world today. It's incumbent upon all of us to nurture them in every way possible," said Kimberley A. Minkel, the NFTA's Executive Director, commenting on the reason the NFTA is participating with the Buffalo Urban League and their Earn and Learn program.

"The Buffalo Urban League is thrilled to work with the NFTA to provide valuable work experience for high school aged students," said Brenda W. McDuffie, President & CEO of the Buffalo Urban League. "With all of the opportunities emerging throughout Buffalo and Western New York, it is critically important that this community collaboratively supports the preparation of current and future generations of the local workforce," said McDuffie.

All participating students are required to work 16 hours per week over a six-week period and are compensated by the Buffalo Urban League. In addition, each student is assigned an individual case manager to ensure that they are adhering to the program's overall guidelines and are successfully achieving workforce development skills.

Buffalo, NY . . .The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Metro Rail will be operating at full capacity Saturday to transport customers to and from Canalside for July 4 festivities and fireworks.

FREE parking for approximately 2,000 cars is available between the University and LaSalle Park & Ride lots.

A staffed ticket booth will be operational at University Station starting at 5:30 p.m. to facilitate the sale of Metro Rail roundtrip tickets. To help expedite the return trip, it is advised that roundtrip tickets be purchased to avoid having to wait at a ticket machine to purchase an outbound ticket after the fireworks. Fare and schedule information can be found online at nfta.com.

Metro Rail will operate four-car trains to transport as many people as possible per trip. Trains will depart stations every 15 to 20 minutes depending on the time of day, using a Saturday schedule. The last outbound train is scheduled to depart the Special Events Station at midnight.

Numerous Metro bus routes will serve downtown in the vicinity of Canalside throughout the day. Bus schedules can be found online at nfta.com.

In addition, in anticipation of heavier than normal transit usage, the NFTA Transit Police will establish a Multi-Agency Unified Command Center just south of Metro's Special Events Station to provide an increased police presence for transit users.

Buffalo, NY . . .The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Metro Rail will be using just the inbound (west side) track Sat. June 20 and Sun. 21. Outbound riders with a mobility device must use the last rail car if exiting above ground. There are no changes for inbound riders.

More Metro information can be found at metro.nfta.com.

Provides Real-Time Bus Information

Buffalo, NY . . .The Niagara Frontier Transportation authority announced today that Metro Bus and Rail is advancing two improvements to its Customer Care department. As of Wednesday, June 10, a new automated telephone system will have direct access to real-time bus information, alerts and schedule information. Metro's on-line Trip Planner gets a makeover, with a map-based interface.

The riding public will still be able to consult with a live, informed professional from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays via Metro's team of Customer Care experts. The new automated phone guide provides the same information 24-hours a day, every day. With a stop identification number, the system is faster than ever before.

Stop IDs are available by phone or by visiting Metro's new online Trip Planner. Riders can enter a location in Buffalo Niagara and receive the unique ID number for that bus stop. It allows for quick and accurate real-time bus arrival times and scheduled stops. The technology is easily accessible with a phone or tablet.

More Metro information can be found at metro.nfta.com.

Community Invited to Review Transit Options

Buffalo, NY . . .The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that a public open house will be held Thursday, June 11, for the Amherst-Buffalo Corridor Transit Options Study. The public will have an opportunity to learn about the study status, review the list of alternative transit options being considered, and provide their feedback.

The NFTA is working with the Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transit Council to assess options for more and improved transit connections from Amherst to Buffalo and all points in between. The Amherst-Buffalo Corridor currently supports NFTA Metro's highest transit ridership in the region, and demand is expected to grow. In addition, there are current plans for significant development in portions of the Corridor, including the UB 2020 Plan to expand, enhance, and connect the three University of Buffalo campuses. These needs make the timing right to decide now on new transit options. This study has been underway since 2013 and a range of feasible alternatives is now ready for stakeholder input.

The public open house will be held in Room 100 of Allen Hall at the University of Buffalo South Campus, 3435 Main Street, Buffalo. Doors will open at 4 p.m., with an open house until 8 p.m. Over the past 18 months a long list of all the possible alternatives has been analyzed both from a technical engineering standpoint and with consideration of public/stakeholder ideas and concerns offered to date. That long list has been narrowed down and a shorter list of most viable options is now ready for review and comment by all stakeholders. The public are invited to drop in at their convenience to visit the information stations and provide input.

Area residents, students, business owners, commuters, and all interested parties are encouraged to attend. Public opinion and information collected will be an important component in identifying the ‘Locally Preferred' or single option that best meets the needs for transit between Amherst and Buffalo, while also meeting a wide range of engineering, community, and environmental criteria.

Free parking and entry (including ADA access) is at the Main Street side of Allen Hall. Nearby transit service includes Metro Rail to University Station and Metro bus Routes #5, 8, 12, 13, 19, 44, 47, or 48.

If special accommodations or language assistance services are needed (translation or interpretation), individuals should contact Rachel Maloney 716- 855-7499 no later than two weeks in advance of the meeting. These services will be provided free.

To provide comments or to read additional information regarding this study, please click here to.nfta.com.

Buffalo, NY . . .One side of the 600 Block of Main Street will be closed to vehicles Sunday, May 24, as a result of the running of the Buffalo Marathon, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today.

The inbound or west lane of Main Street will be closed from Tupper Street to Chippewa Street starting at 7 a.m. to approximately noon, due to the routing of the Buffalo Marathon. The outbound or east lane will be open during this time.

Metro Rail will be operating single tracking service on the inbound track between Seneca Street Station and Allen Medical Campus Station during this time. Outbound passengers using a mobility device must board the last car to be able to exit at platform level at an aboveground station.

Regular rail service will operate between Allen Medical Campus Station and University Station.

Buffalo, NY . . .The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced today that the University at Buffalo's project of building a new School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences facility atop the existing Allen Medical Campus Metro Rail Station has reached the point where the station can safely be reopened to service.

The station will be reopened to full service Monday, May 18. It was closed April 20, as a result of ongoing construction taking place at the rail station, which rendered it inoperable.

In addition, as the project continues to moves forward, the contractor has notified the NFTA that an additional closing will be required in mid-June for approximately 17 days. The exact date will be announced as soon as it is confirmed by the contractor.

During the period the station is closed, Metro will continue to provide free, daily shuttle service to and from the Summer Best Station for customers to access areas adjacent to the Allen Medical Campus Station. Shuttle intervals will coincide with the daily rail schedule. Passengers need to exit the train at Summer Best Station to access the shuttle service. The train will service ALL other stations during the closure period.

A map of the shuttle route and additional Metro information can be found at nfta.com.

Immediate Openings Available

Buffalo, NY . . .The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that its Metro Bus division is sponsoring an Open House Thursday, April 30, in an effort to recruit individuals interested in immediate, 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 6:30 p.m. at Metro's Babcock Station, 721 New Babcock Street, Buffalo, NY.

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

Buffalo & Niagara Falls Airports Honored, Along With Three Employees

Buffalo, NY . . .The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and the Niagara Falls International Airport have each received awards for excellence at the 49th Annual International Aviation Snow Symposium, in addition to an Airfield Operator of the Year honor and an Idea Corner Award for an ice-inspired fabrication design.

The Northeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives recognized the BNIA's snow removal team for outstanding performance this past winter with a Balchen/Post Award. The Buffalo Airport never closed in one of the harshest winters on record. This is the ninth time the airport has been honored in the 39-year history of the award. Buffalo won in the medium-size airport classification.

The Niagara Falls International Airport competes in the small airport class. This year is marks the fifth time it has been recognized with a Balchen/Post honor. The airfield crew at Niagara Falls also fought an exceptionally harsh winter, and maintained a perfect safety record.

Buffalo Airport staff has been honored with an Idea Corner Award for innovation in the field. Asst. Supervisor of Maintenance Peter Robbins and Mechanic John Krasniewski created a housing apparatus that keeps hydraulic hoses safe from ice buildup. It turned out to be very useful this past year.

Christopher McBride, airfield operator at the Buffalo Airport, is this year's Operator of the Year. McBride's commitment to keeping the Buffalo airfield clear and safe this past winter made him stand out among an already remarkable crew.

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director, said, "Four awards is a monumental achievement. The men and women who keep our runways safe and operational all winter do an amazing job. It is wonderful to see them receive the recognition they deserve."

"The fact the our runways remained open all winter is nothing short of remarkable," said William R. Vanecek, NFTA Director of Aviation. "These awards speak volumes about the dedication and ability of our airfield crew, who work around the clock, including being away from their families on holidays and missing family functions while working to maintain the safety of our runways."

Balchen/Post nominations come from airlines, pilots, general aviation officials, hotel owners, corporate pilots and ground transportation operators. An independent selection committee sorts recommendations based on airport size (determined by the number of flights in and out of the airport per year) and makes final award determinations. In making their selections, the committee considers a crew's ability to keep the airport runways free of ice and snow, snow removal plans, the size of area to be cleared, equipment readiness, personnel training and overall safety awareness.

Buffalo, NY . . .The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority hosted a luncheon at the Protocol Restaurant, 6766 Transit Rd., Williamsville, Sunday, April 19, to recognize the outstanding safety performance of Metro bus and train operators, and vehicle maintenance workers. In addition, the authority saluted employees who have reached 25 years of employment with the NFTA.

Metro recognized 22 operators for safely operating their vehicles in excess of 10, 20 or 30 years. Seven maintenance employees were congratulated for having a 10-year safety record. Nine NFTA employees celebrated a silver anniversary.

Bus Supervisor, Antoine Moore was recognized with an Extra Mile award, reserved for individuals who have gone above and beyond their usual duties. This past winter, Moore rescued a woman stuck on railroad tracks.

NFTA Chairman, Howard A. Zemsky said, "We are exceedingly proud to have Antoine Moore as part of the NFTA family. He embodies the kind of dedication to the community we all try to emulate."

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director said, "Driving for hours everyday, in Western New York weather, and not having a single accident for ten years is outstanding. Driving for 30 years without an accident is the accomplishment of true professionals. Our safety record on the maintenance side is no less amazing. It is an honor to stand here with this group today."

Buffalo, NY . . .The Niagara Frontier Transportation authority announced today that Metro's Allen Medical Rail Station will close temporarily as of Monday, April 20, and until further notice.

Construction of the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences will take place over the existing rail station rendering the station inoperable.

During this time, Metro will provide free shuttle service to and from the Summer Best Station, maintaining customer access to Allen Medical Campus Station. Shuttle times will coincide with the daily rail schedule. Passengers need to exit trains at Summer Best Station to utilize the shuttle service.

A map of the shuttle route and additional Metro information can be found at metro.nfta.com.