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NFTA, the Gold Standard

NFTA Executive Director, Kimberley Minkel; TSA Federal Security Director, Brian Johansson; 
Chairman, Howard Zemsky; System Specialist, Terry Reinke; Transit PoliceChief, 
George Gast; HSEQ, Director, Timothy Carvana
The Transportation Security Administration has honored the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority with their highest rating: Gold Standard. It is the result of the TSA’s 2013 Baseline Assessments for Security Enhancement. Just five other transportation agencies received this award this year.

The BASE program establishes a security standard for individual system security initiatives and assess progress. It reviews systems based on security plans, security training, drills, public outreach efforts and background check programs. The overall goal is building a strong security program for the agency.

TSA Federal Security Director, Brian Johansson presented the award May 22, along with a letter from John S. Pistole, Administrator of the TSA, congratulating the Authority on its success. Pistole wrote, “The NFTA is to be commended for its commitment and hard work that this level of achievement requires and for the agency’s continued dedication to ensure the security of travelers in the region.”

Johansson also stressed that this is not only an outstanding accomplishment by NFTA employees, but for the employees as well. “This process is not regulatory,” he said. “This is voluntary in nature. We have experts that have ideas, suggestions and best practices, but in no way shape or form is this a requirement. This level of achievement goes a long way of showing what a great partnership the federal government has with the NFTA.”

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.”

Where's My Bus?

Metro Bus and Rail has a new tool for finding out when the next bus will be arriving at your stop.  These ads pretty much explain it all.  Click one for TV, the other for radio.

On the Waterfront

Feb. 27 2014, the NFTA Board of Commissioners authorized the sale of approximately 354 acres of real property along the waterfront known as the NFTA Boat Harbor, Gallagher Beach and the outer harbor to the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp.  The agreement calls for the NFTA to operate the boat harbor and Gallagher Beach for the 2014 summer season.

Under the proposal, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation will acquire the land from the NFTA to plan for future development and use, and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will operate half of the property, encompassing the NFTA Boat Harbor and Gallagher Beach, as a new state park. As part of the agreement the NFTA will continue to operate the boat harbor through the 2014 season.

What's the NFTA?

The easiest way to explain the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is to break the name down into its component parts.

The authority in this case refers to a public benefit corporation set up by New York State in 1967 not to serve stockholders or investors but solely for the good of a community. This community is the Niagara Frontier, the Western-most section of New York State. It includes cities such as Lockport, Lackawanna, Niagara Falls, Buffalo and a large number of towns and villages.

The cleanest way to commute

Metro Rail is, pretty much, the most environmentally friendly way there is to get around Buffalo. In honor of that fact, four local photographers have supplied us with examples of exactly what clean air and water means to Western New York.

Terry Cervi
Kristen Kroess
Daniel Novak
Tom Wolf

Metro Rail travels through the heart of downtown Buffalo, from the University at Buffalo South Campus to First Niagara Center without ever pumping even a gram of carbon into the air. In fact, Metro Rail doesn’t put out any emissions, because it is completely electric. Yes, there are some electric cars on the road - and they are very friendly to the environment - but Metro averages around 25-percent of its power from renewable sources, like Niagara Falls. Even our clean electric power is cleaner than most. Of course, you could walk to work. That wouldn’t put out any emissions either. But if you really want to stay clean you’re better off inside one of our safe, comfortable, temperature–controlled rail cars.

Hybrid Buses

In 2006 Metro became one of the first transit agencies in New York State with 30 hybrids.  In 2011 Metro added 14 new hybrids to replace an equal number of the oldest conventional diesel fueled buses operating in a fleet of 303 buses, of which 98 are now clean operating hybrids. The hybrids are used throughout Metro's service area in Erie and Niagara counties.