Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority

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Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority
NFTA Annual Report 1974-1975 logo.jpg
Slogan Serving Buffalo Niagara
Founded 1967
Headquarters Buffalo Metropolitan Transportation Center
181 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, New York 14203
Service area Erie and Niagara Counties, New York
Service type Public Transit
Destinations Buffalo, Niagara Falls and surrounding area
Hubs Buffalo Metropolitan Transportation Center
Niagara Falls Transportation Center
Fleet Bus, Light rail, Rapid transit
Fuel type Diesel, Diesel-electric hybrid, Electricity
Operator NFTA Metro Bus and Rail
Website Official Website

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) is a public authority responsible for the public transportation oversight of Erie and Niagara counties in the State of New York. The NFTA, as an authority, oversees a number of subsidiaries, including the NFTA Metro bus and rail system, the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, the Niagara Falls International Airport, and NFTA Small Boat Harbor. The NFTA Metro bus and rail system is a multi-modal agency, utilizing various vehicle modes (diesel bus, diesel-hybrid bus, light rail and cut-away van), using the brand names: NFTA Metro Bus, NFTA Metro Rail, NFTA Metrolink and NFTA PAL (Para-transit Access Line).

In addition, the NFTA also owns and manages a number of properties, including the Buffalo Metropolitan Transportation Center in Downtown Buffalo (which serves as the agency's headquarters); the Niagara Falls Transportation Center on Factory Outlet Blvd. the Portage Road Transit Center in Niagara Falls; and a number of strategically located bus loops and transit centers in the Buffalo Niagara region. Of note, many of the bus loops have been in continuous operation since the days of the International Railway Company, a predecessor to the NFTA.

Agency-wide, the NFTA employs 1,500 full-time and part-time employees.[1]

There are three business centers that operate as the NFTA organization: Surface Transportation, which handles ground transportation throughout Erie and Niagara counties, Aviation, which handles air related business at the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport and Niagara Falls International Airport and Property Risk/Management, which operates the NFTA-Boat Harbor and handles other properties that are owned and/or operated by the NFTA.


Before the creation of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, the first bus operations in Buffalo dates back to 1923 under the private operator International Bus Company. The International Railway (also under the same parent company of the International Traction Company) operated the vast network of streetcar routes in Erie and Niagara counties. In 1947, the proposed Niagara Frontier Rapid Transit Commission received ownership of the International Railway Company, and gave way to the creation of the Niagara Frontier Transit System, Incorporated in 1950.

The Niagara Frontier Transit System was replaced by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Corp. (NFTA) in 1967, as part of New York State's efforts in the late 1960s and early 1970s at creating public agencies that would oversee the development and continuation of public transportation in a number of key urban areas of the state; other such agencies include the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA), the Central New York Regional Transportation Authority (Centro) and the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA). In 1974, the NFTA purchased the street transportation rights from a number of other agencies, starting with the Niagara Falls Municipal Transit System on September 8, 1974, D&F (Dunkirk and Fredonia) Transit on September 15, T-NT (Tonawanda-North Tonawanda) Transit on October 7, Lockport Bus Lines on March 15, 1975 and Grand Island Transit on April 20, 1975.[2]

Governing body and executive director[edit]

The NFTA's operations are overseen by an 11 member Board of Commissioners,[3] that the Executive Director reports to. The members are nominated by the Governor of the State of New York, with one by the New York State Senate. Most appointments are for five year terms, but some commissioners have been appointed part-way into a term, replacing a previous commissioner.

The current executive director is Kimberley A. Minkel, previously the Director of Health, Safety and Environmental Quality.[4] Minkel will also carry the recognition as the first female executive director of the NFTA.

Name Title Term began Current term ends Recommended by Notes
Howard Zemsky Chairman 11 April 2008,
30 June 2012 (R)
30 June 2016 Governor
Henry M. Sloma Vice Chairman 6 May 1998,
20 March 2001 (R),
22 June 2005 (R)
30 June 2010 Governor
Eunice A. Lewin Treasurer 11 June 2002,
30 June 2006 (R)
30 June 2011 Governor
Peter G. Demakos Secretary 13 June 2000,
30 June 2003 (R),
30 June 2008 (R)
30 June 2013 Governor
Vincent G. Crehan - 18 July 2008 30 June 2016 New York State Senate
Mark D. Croce - 12 May 2009 30 June 2013 Governor
Michael P. Hughes - 15 December 2008 30 June 2013 Governor
Adam W. Perry - 29 January 2008 30 June 2012 Governor
Bonita R. Durand - 14 June 2012 30 June 2014 Governor
Charles L. Gurney - 14 June 2012 30 June 2014 Governor
Philip G. Wilcox - 14 June 2012 30 June 2014 Governor

(N) nominated by Governor Andrew Cuomo [5]

(R) re-appointment date

NFTA Airports Division[edit]

NFTA Metro Division[edit]

The "wave" is NFTA Metro's logo.

Benefit (service) area[edit]

NFTA's Metro system serves the highly urbanized areas of Erie and Niagara counties with service throughout the day and selected suburban and rural areas of Erie and Niagara counties. The cities receiving service include Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Lockport, Lackawanna, Tonawanda and North Tonawanda. Service to less populated areas during prime ridership hours extend to Alden, Amherst, Boston, Cheektowaga, Grand Island, Hamburg, Lancaster, Elma, Evans, Orchard Park, Tonawanda (Township) and West Seneca in Erie County; Cambria, Lewiston, Niagara, Pendleton and Wheatfield in Niagara County.

Transit fleet[edit]

NFTA Gillig T40 number 1101 on display at Walden Galleria for Earth Day 2011.

Retired fleet[edit]

At the start, the NFTA inherited a large number of General Motors New Look buses from private carriers that were absorbed into the public agency. In addition, a small fleet of Highway Products' Twin Coaches and Mack buses that were nearing the end of their life span were also added to the fleet.

The first major purchase of new buses by the NFTA began in 1975 with AM General's "Metropolitan" series buses. These buses were later withdrawn from service in 1987 due to severe structural issues. To address this immediate shortage of buses, the NFTA purchased a number of recently mothballed GMC buses from the Dallas Area Rapid Transit system (DART), Flxible buses from Rochester's Regional Transit Service and General Motors New Looks from Broome County Transit (BC Transit) of Binghamton. This temporary arrangement filled most of the gap left by the removal of the AM General buses.

The next major purchase of new buses came from GMC, in their RTS-II Series. These buses were purchased between 1978 and 1983. As mentioned earlier, in 1987, due to the premature retirement of the AM General buses, the NFTA purchased a number of used, earlier series RTS series buses from Dallas' DART system. These buses provided comfortable padded seats, normally not seen on standard NFTA transit coaches. These buses operated for a number of years and were a deal to the NFTA in that the coach bodies previously did not experience earlier damage from road salt, sometimes referred to as "salt-free" miles, extending their usefulness a number of years because of the frames having a later start being introduced to corrosion from road salt.

In 1985, the NFTA purchased seven new suburban-configuration buses from Orion Bus Industries (OBI) to begin replacing the older inherited GMC buses from previously private agencies. This purchase marked the last purchase of non-lift equipped buses, and the first non-American purchase of new buses. Over the next seven years, OBI received additional orders of buses from the NFTA with purchases of two different models, the Orion I series, and the Orion V, which the NFTA later purchased in 1993 as their first natural gas powered buses.

In 1992 and 1994, the NFTA purchased from two manufacturers, new to the NFTA; Motor Coach Industries, in their Classic series of transit coaches and New Flyer Industries, in their D40 series. In 1995, a third manufacturer was added, with North American Bus Industries/American Ikarus in their 416 series transit bus.

Current fleet[edit]

The NFTA operates a fleet of approximately 310 transit buses (all of which are wheelchair-accessible and ADA compliant), 64 paratransit and Metrolink cutaway vans and 27 light rail cars, all operating up to 22 hours daily on 78 distinct routes.[6]

The bus fleet contains buses purchased from manufacturers such as Nova Bus in their Classic series and LFS transit bus and Gillig in their Advantage transit bus (later recognized as their low floor T40 series, in standard diesel and diesel/electric hybrid options). The distribution of buses are split between three bus depots; Gisel-Wolford station (also known as Babcock/William), located on Babcock Street at Howard Street in the east side of Buffalo; Cold Spring station, located at the corner of Main Street and Michigan Avenue in the middle of the city; and Frontier station, located at the corner of Military Road and Kenmore Avenue at the southwest tip of the Village of Kenmore.

The light rail fleet operates from the South Park terminal, located at the south terminus of Main Street in Downtown Buffalo.

Fleet list[edit]

Fleet number(s) Model year MfgA Model DivisionB Notes
Handicapped/disabled access
1983 TCC SP
  • Light rail cars used on the Metro Rail line.
  • All 27 cars are undergoing a complete mid-life overhaul and reconstruction by AnsaldoBreda in Dansville, New York a few cars at a time.[7]
104[8] 1967 GMC SDM-5302 w/d
  • Former Grand Island Transit 104, acquired in 1975
114[9] 1970 GMC S8M-5303A w/d
  • Former Grand Island Transit 114, acquired in 1975
166, 168[10] 1960 GMC SDM-4501 w/d
  • Former Grand Island Transit 66 & 68, acquired in 1975
Handicapped/disabled access
1991 OBI/BIA 05.501 w/d
  • First wider (102") buses ordered directly by NFTA Metro.
  • First buses equipped with front door wheelchair lifts.
300-319[12] 1958 GMC TDH-5106 w/d
  • Former Buffalo Transit, Inc. Buses
301-305 ca. 1987
(built 1970)
Flx 111CD-D5 w/d
  • Purchased second-hand from RGRTA (Rochester) to replace the prematurely retired fleet of AMG buses (4000-4099). Original Rochester fleet numbers were 530, 569, 575, 560 and 572.
311-319[13] 1968 GMC T6H-4521 w/d
311-317 ca. 1987
(built 1968)
GMC T6H-4521 w/d
  • Purchased second-hand from Broome County Transit (Binghamton, NY) to replace the prematurely retired fleet of AMG buses. Original Binghamton fleet numbers were 802, 804, 807 and 809-812.
321-367 ca. 1987
(built 1978)
GMC TH-8201
  • Purchased second-hand from DART (Dallas, TX) to replace the prematurely retired fleet of AMG buses. Original Dallas fleet numbers were 701-747.
Handicapped/disabled access
1992 MCI TC40-102A "Classic" w/d
Handicapped/disabled access
1993 OBI/BIA 05.501 CNG "Orion V" w/d
  • First buses using compressed natural gas (CNG)
526-540[13] 1968 GMC T6H-4521 w/d
  • Former Niagara Falls Municipal Transit System buses
601-607[15] 1985 OBI/BIA 01.509 "Orion I" w/d
  • Last new non-wheelchair lift-equipped buses purchased.
Handicapped/disabled access
1986 OBI/BIA 01.508 "Orion I" w/d
  • Buses 703, 756, 768 and 772 were sold to RGRTA; buses 720, 729, 741 and 757 were sold to Broome County Transit; one sold to City of Poughkeepsie Transit.
  • First buses equipped with interior "Stop Requested" sign when bell is pulled.
Handicapped/disabled access
1988 OBI/BIA 01.508 "Orion I" w/d
  • First electronic "flip-dot" destination signs.
Handicapped/disabled access
1988 OBI/BIA 01.502 "Orion I" w/d
  • Used on 29-Wohlers route.
  • Last buses purchased with "curtain" style destination roll signs.
  • 30' long
Handicapped/disabled access
1990 OBI/BIA 01.507 "Orion I" w/d
  • 861-862 were assigned to Main/Michigan for 29-Wohlers route.
  • 863-867 were assigned to Frontier for use in Niagara Falls.
  • 35' long
Handicapped/disabled access
1989 OBI/BIA 01.508 "Orion I" w/d
  • First buses with "air ride" drivers seats.
Handicapped/disabled access
1990 OBI/BIA 01.508 "Orion I" w/d
  • Last OBI I buses.
  • Bus 925 was fitted with "hopper" type windows rather than sliding windows.
  • First buses, along with 861-867 with fabric covered inserts in the passenger seats.
Handicapped/disabled access Bicycle facilities
2010 Gillig Low Floor T40 Hybrid Fr
  • Diesel-Electric
  • Entered service April 1, 2010
  • All 1000-series buses mark a return to full fiberglass passenger seating
Handicapped/disabled access Bicycle facilities
2010 Gillig Low Floor T40 Diesel Fr: 12-33,59-65
BW: 34-49
CS: 50-58
  • First buses delivered that met EPA 2010 Emissions standards.
Handicapped/disabled access Bicycle facilities
2011 Gillig 40 Low Floor Trolley Replica Fr
  • Initially offered in 29 or 35 feet, the NFTA was the first agency to receive the 40 foot version
  • Primarily used for the 55T Niagara Falls tourist line, but are also occasionally used on regular NFTA routes, especially during the winter.
Handicapped/disabled access Bicycle facilities
2011 Gillig Low Floor T40 Hybrid CS
  • Diesel-Electric
Handicapped/disabled access Bicycle facilities
2012 Gillig Low Floor T40 Hybrid BW: 01-08
CS: 09-14
  • Diesel-Electric
Handicapped/disabled access Bicycle facilities
2013 Gillig 40 Low Floor Trolley Replica Fr
  • Primarily used for the 55T Niagara Falls tourist line, but are also occasionally used on regular NFTA routes, especially during the winter.
Handicapped/disabled access
2000 Nova LFS CS
  • First "Low Floor" buses for NFTA.
  • First buses delivered in the blue-silver "wave" livery.
  • First production buses able to announce major stops along route.
  • 2021 was withdrawn after a collision with a pick-up truck that caused extensive damage to the driver's side.
Handicapped/disabled access Bicycle facilities
2001 Gillig Advantage T40 Fr: 01-20
BW: 21-41
  • First buses to be equipped with amber colored LED destination signs
  • Bicycle racks were installed on buses in 2013.
  • 2118 was withdrawn after catching fire in front of East High School. The same fire also destroyed bus 9538.[citation needed]
Handicapped/disabled access Bicycle facilities
2002 Gillig Advantage T40 Fr
  • Bicycle racks were installed on buses in 2013.
Handicapped/disabled access Bicycle facilities
2004 Gillig Advantage T29 Fr: 01-06, 17-22
BW: 07-11
CS: 12-16
  • Currently these are the only 29-foot (8.8 m) buses in the fleet.
  • First buses fitted with front bicycle racks.
Handicapped/disabled access Bicycle facilities
2005 Gillig Advantage T40 BW
  • 2506 involved in accident with a tractor-trailer that severely damaged its frame. Bus is not salvageable.[citation needed]
Handicapped/disabled access Bicycle facilities
2006 Gillig Advantage T40 Hybrid BW
  • First batch of "Hybrid" buses, using combination diesel/electric technology. Energy is returned to batteries during braking.
Handicapped/disabled access Bicycle facilities
2007 Gillig Advantage T40 Hybrid BW : 01-07
CS : 08-13
  • Diesel-Electric
Handicapped/disabled access
1975 HP TC-31B
"Twin Coach"
  • First buses equipped with wheelchair lifts.
3051-3063[17] 1976 GMC S8H-5304A w/d
  • Suburban (front door only) configuration used on suburban services.
  • High back vinyl seats, raised floor and overhead baggage racks.
4001-4070 1975–1976 AMG 9640A "Metropolitan" w/d
  • Remainder of buses retired prematurely due to serious structural issues, and were replaced temporarily in 1987 with surplus Flxible buses from Rochester and GMC RTS-01 series buses from Dallas.
4071-4099[18] 1975–1976 AMG 9635A "Metropolitan" w/d
  • Remainder of buses retired prematurely due to serious structural issues, and were replaced temporarily in 1987 with surplus Flxible buses from Rochester and GMC RTS-01 series buses from Dallas.
5001-5065[19] 1978–1979 GMC T8H-603
  • The NFTA was the first recipient of this model; were serial numbers 001-065.[20]
Handicapped/disabled access
1980 GMC T8H-603
  • First order of buses with installed wheelchair lifts (at rear of bus), following new Federal ADA compliance laws for all new bus purchases.
  • Last buses with yellow/black/white livery.
Handicapped/disabled access
1983 GMC T8J-604
  • First buses with earth tone (orange/gold/brown) livery.
6200-6244[23] 1957 Mack C49-DT w/d
  • Former Niagara Frontier Transit System buses
6300-6359[23] 1958 Mack C49-DT w/d
  • Former Niagara Frontier Transit System buses
  • First order built with Mack "New Look" front.[24]
7001-7030[12] 1954 GMC TDH-5106 w/d
  • Former Niagara Frontier Transit Buses
7100-7114[12] 1957 GMC TDH-5106 w/d
  • Former Niagara Frontier Transit buses
7401-7459[25] 1960–1961 GMC TDH-5301 w/d
  • Former Niagara Frontier Transit System buses
7501-7549[26] 1963 GMC TDH-5304 w/d
  • Former Niagara Frontier Transit System buses
7600-7684[26] 1966 GMC TDH-5304 w/d
  • Former Niagara Frontier Transit System buses
7685-7719[26] 1967 GMC TDH-5304 w/d
  • Former Niagara Frontier Transit System buses
7720-7794[27] 1968 GMC T6H-5306 w/d
  • Former Niagara Frontier Transit System buses
  • 7754 retained as "heritage" bus
Handicapped/disabled access
1994 NFI D40HF w/d
  • 9312 was withdrawn when it was involved in an accident along Genesee Street across from the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport on October 26, 1999. Longtime Metro Bus driver Gilbert Rogers was killed when the bus was reported to have collided with a westbound tractor-trailer loaded with crushed stone shortly before 7:00am. John R. Battle, the NFTA police chief at the time, was quoted as saying, " appears that the bus driver had the right-of-way and that the truck driver was unable to stop his vehicle at the intersection. There's a lot of momentum when you have a truck loaded with that much stone." Witnesses told police that the truck had already begun wobbling and losing some of its stones as it approached the intersection, which was controlled by a traffic light. The driver of the truck pleaded guilty later and was fined $1,100, but was spared jail time. As part of the plea deal, prosecution dismissed charges of unreasonable speed and an overweight vehicle.
  • 9318 painted in International Railway Company colors: dark green with cream and rust accents, and gold crest logo and the name "INTERNATIONAL" on the sides. Later repainted in the blue/silver livery.
Handicapped/disabled access
1995 AI 416 w/d
  • Built in early 1996.
Handicapped/disabled access
1996 Nova TC40-102A
  • Many are retired.
  • A few buses are still painted in the "earth tone" livery.
A: Manufacturer
AI American Ikarus Anniston, Alabama
AMG AM General South Bend, Indiana
Flx The Flxible Company Loudonville, Ohio
Gillig Gillig Corporation Hayward, California
GMC General Motors Corporation Pontiac, Michigan
HP Highway Products, Inc. Kent, Ohio
Mack Mack Trucks Allentown, Pennsylvania
MCI Motor Coach Industries Roswell, New Mexico
NFI New Flyer Industries Winnipeg, Manitoba
Nova NovaBus Corporation Saint-Eustache, Quebec
OBI/BIA Orion Bus Industries/Bus Industries of America Oriskany, New York
TCC Tokyu Car Corporation Yokohama, Japan
B: Division assigned
BW Babcock/William
CS Cold Spring
Fr Frontier
SP South Park
w/d withdrawn

Handicapped/disabled access wheelchair-accessible and ADA compliant Bicycle facilities equipped with bicycle racks

Bus routes[edit]

Main article: NFTA Metro Bus Routes

Many of the routes in the City of Buffalo operate along nearly the same alignment of the previous International Railway Company's streetcar lines. After the elimination of streetcar service, many adjustments have been made in routing through Downtown Buffalo to allow better connections between routes connecting the city's east side and west side, with many of the routes operating through at least one of two of the major transfer points: the Buffalo Metropolitan Transportation Center at the corner of North Division and Ellicott Streets and on Court Street between Niagara Square and Main Streets. The Buffalo Metropolitan Transportation Center is also the transfer point for inter-city bus service using Greyhound, Coach USA or Greyhound Lines of Canada.

The routes follow a certain numbering schematic.

  • 1-49: Erie County routes
  • 50-57: Niagara County routes
  • 60-81: express routes
  • 90-99: special services (Buffalo Bills, Darien Lake, etc.)
  • 100-121: Buffalo Public School trips
  • 200-216: Metro Link routes

It has been normal practice for each route to be given a separate timetable, which includes a map of the route on the front, fare and pass information on the back panel and information on the times and days service is offered. Not all stops are listed in the timetables, however, but passengers can expect to see at least major transfer points and busy intersections.

When boarding a bus or light rail car, the rider should note the following:

  • The front of the vehicle destination sign shows the route number, the routing letter (for routes with multiple branches) and the destination (usually a community or the major street where the trip terminates).
  • The side of the bus will carry the route number and the route name, to assure the passenger they are boarding the correct route. On occasion, a bus may also show a second message, such as "via Expressway" or "via Thruway."

The service planning department of the NFTA monitors ridership levels, historical data from previous years and looks for the most efficient way to offer services on an approximately quarterly basis. With this, timetables are generally updated four times a year; in March, June, September and December. When Buffalo Public Schools are on break or summer recess, there may be decreases in the service levels to accommodate for decreased ridership. Beginning Labor Day weekend, service reverts to the normal levels.

Previous routes[edit]

On occasion, the service planning department finds that services could be improved by combining routes serving similar areas and removal of routes that don't meet minimum expectations of the NFTA service standards policy. Before a route is eliminated or changed, a public input meeting and then a public hearing are generally held to allow passengers that may be displaced or inconvenienced a chance to defend the services that they receive.

  • 9 Parkside Zoo
  • 10 West Utica
  • 17 Central Terminal
  • 17 Kensington Suburban
  • 18 Jefferson-Parkside (currently 18 Jefferson)
  • 21 Michigan-Forest
  • 27 Sheridan Parkside (currently 27 Erie County Home)
  • 27 Ridge Road (currently 27 Erie County Home)
  • 28 Sheridan-Englewood/Sheridan
  • 29 Niagara Falls (currently 29 Wohlers)
  • 30 Kenmore (currently 5 Niagara-Kenmore and 47 Youngs Road)
  • 31 Ogden-Tifft/Ogden-Bailey
  • 33 Tonawanda/North Tonawanda
  • 34 Springbrook/East Aurora (currently 34 Niagara Falls Blvd.)
  • 35 Hamburg via Abbott (currently 35 Sheridan)
  • 37 Hamburg via Camp
  • 38 Angola
  • 39 Parker
  • 41 Sheridan-Harlem
  • 42 North Campus Shuttle (currently 42 Lackawanna)
  • 43 Mall Shuttle
  • 46 ECMC Shuttle (currently 46 Lancaster)
  • 51 Buffalo Av (Niagara Falls)
  • 51 Military North (Niagara Falls)
  • 53 Niagara (Niagara Falls)
  • 56 River Road
  • 58 Lockport Niagara Falls
  • 71 Holland
  • 73 Lancaster
  • 80 ECC Shuttle
  • 82 Outer Harbor Shuttle
  • 105 Central Express
  • 114 Central North
  • 117 Kensington
  • 200 North Tonawanda-Wheatfield
  • 201 Lockport
  • 202 Metrolink (Parking)
  • 203 Erie County Home Express
  • 207 Elmwood Circulator
  • 208 Grant Circulator
  • 210 Buffalo Airport-Niagara Falls
  • 211 ECC Circulator
  • 216 McKinley Mall-Gowanda Shuttle
  • A University [31]
  • B Highland [31]
  • C Ontario [31]
  • D Pierce [31]
  • E Pine Avenue [31]
  • F Niagara St.[31]
  • G Buffalo Av.[31]

Planned routes[edit]

Hublink (MetroLink)[edit]

The NFTA's original "Hublink" concept, now renamed "MetroLink," created a network of routes (numbered in the 200 and 300 series range) linking multiple transit centers together, using cutaway vans. A minimum service standard was created, where buses were to operate on a frequent schedule through the day, moving passengers across the region. Additionally, circulatory routes were to be created linking passengers with community-based services for a number of high-density areas that cannot support normal city bus transit service.

Though refined from the earlier plans, some routes came to reality.

Routes 200 and 201 were the first two routes; route 200 North Tonawanda-Wheatfield operating across the width of the City of North Tonawanda to get to Creekside Park and Ride lot and then Niagara Falls Boulevard to Niagara Falls International Airport and route 201 Lockport serving the City of Lockport on a circulatory route serving the Lockport Memorial Hospital, the senior citizens center and Downtown Lockport. Both routes were also scheduled to connect to conventional service routes at their end terminals or transit centers they arrive at along the route.

2010 restructuring[edit]

In the middle part of 2009, the NFTA hired Transportation Management and Design, Inc. to begin a "Transit Service Restructuring and Fare Study," that would involve some of the largest changes that the riding public has seen since March 24, 1993, when the NFTA's "New" Metro system was introduced.

Some of the new proposals included reducing the number of fare zones to a single zone and creating a uniform boarding fare without additional fees for crossing particular fare zone lines, elimination of bus-to-bus transfers and modifying the pricing of cash fares, monthly and daily passes. The proposals were passed and went into effect effective September 1, 2010.

On the scheduling side, more emphasis would be taken on urban services, primarily within the City of Buffalo. Service on primary corridors, such as those serving densely patronized routes could find an increase in service levels during non-peak hours, promoting spontaneous usage. Lightly patronized routes may find reductions to fit ridership statistics and allow the agency to more effectively use the buses on heavier patronized routes. In addition, weekend service was improved significantly on many city routes with Sunday service nearly tripled on certain portions of some routes.

Approval of the plan was reached between TMD, Inc. and the NFTA executive board in late June 2010 and the changes were implemented with a special later autumn schedule change on October 31, 2010.[32] In the following two months until the next scheduled schedule change, the NFTA Metro service planning department made minor tweaks to the schedules, based on driver input, customer complaints and other sources, most notably adding services where necessary due to excessive passenger loads. With these changes, NFTA Metro lessened the impact during the next schedule change in December, since major problems were dealt with in a more timely manner.

2012 restructuring[edit]

On September 26, 2011, the NFTA reported that the agency could face as much as a $15 million shortfall in funding due to cuts in funding at the state level. Facing a directive to cut into the deficit created, the NFTA considered a fare hike, in addition to a number of service cuts to routes with low usage.[33] Four days later, on September 30, patrons of the system came back crying 'foul,' demanding retaining the present service levels and fares.[34] The following month, the NFTA lobbied the state to return $10 million in cuts previously made.[35] In December 2011, the NFTA held a number of public hearings regarding a fare increase that was quickly met with hostility from the riding public. On December 7, the NFTA rejected the fare hike, and focused on a severe reduction (22%) to bus service that would effective eliminate express bus services, gut bus services to Niagara County and reduce and eliminate hours and days of operation on a number of bus services.[36] Again, public hearings were held and met with the same hostility as the fare cut proposal.[37]

On January 19, 2012, the NFTA was assured of a return of $2.9 million to reduce some of the service cuts the NFTA had planned.[38]

A final hearing brought a plan to lessen the impact of the previous number of service cuts and raise the adult fare by 25 cents, with small increases to other Metro fare plans. The board approved the plan to make the changes in late March, to take effect on April 29 (bus and rail modifications) and May 1 for fare increases.[39]

The NFTA plans to monitor many of the routes over the months following to find efficiencies in potential changes.

Bus rapid transit[edit]

In the January 24, 2013 edition of The Buffalo News, the NFTA was reported to be in the planning stages of adding what is essentially bus rapid transit to its route 5 Niagara corridor. Plans include transforming the corridor into a modern limited-stop, efficient corridor that would remove a number of minutes from the time between the Downtown Buffalo area and the Riverside community near the city line.[40]

Some of the plans are said to include signal prioritization, modern electronic signage showing the time for the next due bus, creating a new transit center in Riverside that would connect a number of routes into one location, including a park-and-ride lot at the transit center and new natural-gas powered buses that would be used on the line.

The success of this project would eventually open the doors to other key corridors being switched to bus rapid transit over time.

In addition, the project aims to also improve reliability and timeliness of the buses.

The program is expected to be funded by the following ratio: four/fifths from grants offered by the Federal government and the rest by both the NFTA and New York State.

Although the project was approved, once the Federal government "obligates" the money to the NFTA, construction can begin. The NFTA is hoping to have groundbreaking begin in April 2014.

Connecting services[edit]


Although the NFTA has previously offered service into the region's airports, it has made further efforts to improve these services to passengers arriving and departing.

The region's primary commercial airport, the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, connects with NFTA-Metro services on a number of bus routes: 24 Genesee, 27 Erie County Home, 47 Youngs Road, 68 George Urban Express and 204 Airport/Downtown Express, while the Niagara Falls International Airport serves a number of charter airlines and is served by routes 55 Pine Avenue and 57 Tonawandas.


The Buffalo-Niagara region has three Amtrak stations, two of which are located in Erie County and the third located in Niagara County.

The Depew Station, located on Dick Road in the village of Depew, New York, is served weekdays only by route 46 Lancaster. Of all regional stations, this is the only station that serves the Lake Shore Limited train, to and from Chicago.

The Exchange Street Station, located on Exchange Street in Buffalo, is served only by route 24 Genesee and is a short walk from the Metro Rail and a number of other bus routes that serve Washington Street. A disadvantage of the station, however, is its limited hours, necessitating passengers to wait outside for arriving and departing trains. Of the three region's stations, this station is the only one to receive public transportation service daily.

The Niagara Falls Station, near the corner of Hyde Park Avenue and Lockport Road in Niagara Falls, is served by weekdays and Saturdays only by route 52 Hyde Park.

Inter-city bus[edit]

Most buses that service Downtown Buffalo operate within a couple blocks of the Buffalo Metropolitan Transportation Center, located at the northeast corner of Ellicott and North Division Streets. The BMTC hosts bus services operated by Greyhound, Coach USA, Coach Canada, Megabus, various Trailways franchisees and Lake Front Lines. The BMTC also houses at one of its gates, the starting point of routes 40 Grand Island and 60 Niagara Falls buses, operated by the NFTA.

Local bus[edit]

Upon the elimination of service on route 201 serving Lockport, the NFTA made arrangements to advertise alternate service operated by Rural Niagara Transit within the city of Lockport. The replaced service, with lesser trips offered, served a similar service area and would allow residents of Lockport (off of the route 44 Lockport bus) continued service. Rural Niagara Transit operates out of its primary hub at Niagara County Community College and spreads throughout the Niagara County area with connections between buses at the college three times daily. The service in Lockport is part of slightly modified service on the NCCC-Olcott and NCCC-Middleport routes.[41]


Cash and passes[edit]

The NFTA operates on an "exact fare" system, in which passengers are responsible for having the exact fare ready or proof-of-payment upon boarding a Metro vehicle. Drivers and operators do not make change; however, vending machines are able to make change for customers in coins.

Passengers can pay boarding fares on buses in coins, tokens or bills using Genfare[42] "Odyssey" fareboxes, while passengers using the Metro Rail light rail line pay for their boarding fares using farecard vending machines located at each station. Rail ticket vending machines at one time were able to accept credit cards for fare payment, however, this practice was discontinued.

There are presently seven fare categories:[43]

standard cash fare (per boarding) $2 per ride
$1 for seniors, disabled and children
$4 Paratransit trip fare
day pass
(allows unlimited boardings per day)
$5 per day
$2.50 for seniors, disabled and children
7-day pass
(allows unlimited boarding for seven consecutive days)
$25 per week
$12.50 for seniors, disabled and children
30-day pass
(allows unlimited boarding for thirty consecutive days)
$75 per month
$37.50 for seniors, disabled and children
monthly pass
(allows unlimited boarding per calendar month)
$75 per month
$37.50 for seniors, disabled and children
PAL pass
(para-transit van service only)
$35 for 10 trips
$70 for 20 trips
summer youth pass
(seasonal, for individuals under 17)

Previously, transfers were allowed between immediately connecting lines, for a lesser charge than full-fare (with the exception being between buses and rail and vice-versa). This practice was discontinued May 1, 2012. After this date, passengers are required to pay a boarding fare upon each boarding or get a day, weekly, 30-day or monthly pass.

College cooperative agreements[edit]

In recent years, the NFTA has aggressively pursued agreements with many local colleges and universities, using their "NFTA Unlimited Access" program. Under the program, students are offered semester passes that allow the user unrestricted travel on any Metro regularly scheduled service.

Erie Community College was the at the forefront of this service and originally provided students a shuttle service linking the three campuses through the City Campus. Route 80 operated for approximately two calendar years, but service was eliminated and students were given the opportunity to use alternate service on local bus routes. Later, a Metrolink shuttle service operates on a similar plan, assigned route 211 ECC Circulator, but that route has since been eliminated.

Buffalo State College is another large college participating in the Unlimited Access program. At the start, the NFTA had operated three circulator routes, one (assigned route 206 Buffalo State College Circulator) serves primarily the college grounds, in addition to two grocery stores near the college; Tops Friendly Markets at Grant Street and Amherst Street and Wegmans on Amherst Street, between Grant Street and Elmwood Avenue and two additional routes (assigned routes 207 Elmwood Circulator and 208 Grant Circulator) circulating over the same route as Route 206, with service extended over Elmwood Avenue on route 207 and Grant Street on route 208. Due to route duplication on both the 20 Elmwood and 3 Grant bus routes, routes 207 and 208 were eliminated.

Other colleges and universities that are presently included in the program are:

Metro Rail (light rail rapid transit)[edit]

Main article: Buffalo Metro Rail

Light rail and rapid transit[edit]

Buffalo's first street railway began operations in 1832 with horse car routes on Pearl Street and Terrace operating to the Canada Ferry terminal. In 1860, the Buffalo Street Railway Company was established. Electric streetcars began operating in Buffalo in 1889 and the last horse car retired in 1894. In Niagara Falls, the first electric cars began in 1883, In 1902, the International Railway Company was created from the merger of the Buffalo's first street railway operator and Buffalo Street Railway Company. The trolley service ended in 1950 and would not resume until construction of the present LRT began in 1979, opening on May 20, 1985.

As of February 18, 2013, there are currently 13 stations on the 6.4-mile (10.3-km) Metro Rail line, with five above-ground and eight underground: Erie Canal Harbor, Seneca, Church, Lafayette Square, Fountain Plaza, Allen/Medical Campus, Summer-Best, Utica, Delavan/Canisius College, Humboldt-Hospital, Amherst Street, LaSalle and University. Prior to that date, there were 14 stations on the Metro Rail line, including six above-ground, as Theater Station was included in the count. An additional station, called "Special Events" Station, sits just south of the Erie Canal Harbor Station allowing passengers a shorter walk to the First Niagara Center. This station is only served during major events, such as hockey, concerts and sports related functions, such as WWE pay-per-views.

Future plans for the Metro Rail[edit]

The Citizens Regional Transit Corporation (CRTC) has continuously lobbied local and state politicians to provide funding or support for extensions to the one-line system.

A proposed Airport Corridor line follows the Division Street area, cutting through to the old New York Central Terminal around Jefferson Avenue, following old track bed through the CSX line between Walden and Broadway to Thruway Plaza, Walden Galleria Mall and Buffalo-Niagara International Airport.

A proposed Tonawanda Corridor line follows the old Erie RR right-of-way (ROW) from LaSalle Station through to the Town and City of Tonawanda and the City of North Tonawanda. This line has a number of branches; one operating through North Buffalo to Elmwood (known as the North Buffalo Branch), to Niagara Falls following the old New York Central Railroad's "Beeliner" service (known as the Niagara River Corridor) and to the North Campus of the University at Buffalo, using abandoned railroad right-of-ways (known as the Youngmann Branch).

LRV fleet details[edit]

  • Manufacturer: Tokyu Car Corporation, Japan
  • Fleet size: 27 (one car {125} damaged in transit upon delivery in 1983, but has since been repaired)
  • Fleet No.:: 101-127
  • Length: 66 feet 10 inches (20370 mm)
  • Width: 8 feet 6.5 inches (2603 mm)
  • Weight: 35.5 tons
  • Normal capacity: 140 (including 51 seated)
  • Control: 4 chopper controlled Westinghouse motors (at 650V DC)
  • Track gauge: 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) (standard gauge)
Fleet refurbishment[edit]

Two cars (fleet numbers 114 and 123) were shipped to Dansville, NY in February 2010, where AnsaldoBreda Inc., a unit of AnsaldoBreda S.p.A of Italy, has been making wholesale improvements to the cars. Each car received a top to bottom $1.5 million transformation and were returned into service on March 9, 2012. Three more cars (fleet numbers 110, 111 and 126) returned to service in the fall of 2013. ABI is currently working on four additional cars at this time.

Among the items being refurbished, passengers will experience new seating, stanchions, electronic signage and new audio systems. Operation-wise, the shells of the car will be placed on refurbished trucks, with new wheels, gear boxes, overhauled traction motors, new pantographs, brakes and air compression systems.[44]

Corporate identity[edit]

Coloring and print media[edit]

The current color scheme (navy, grey and burgundy) first appeared on the 2000 series (Nova Bus LFS) coaches in early 2000. The color scheme met with approval on most sides. According to a past Buffalo News article, the colors and logo were chosen to link the area's "water" image with the company. The force of the Niagara River, and Niagara Falls contribute to the idea of the "wave" design that was chosen.[45]

With the arrival of the 6000 series GMC RTS-04 buses in 1984, the NFTA's Metro system operated its vehicles using a color scheme of brown, yellow and orange, referred to as "earth tone" or "candy corn." This color scheme is easiest to recognize at present on many of the Nova Bus "Classic" series coaches. As of 2012, this color scheme can now be found on only a handful of buses, as most of the buses featuring it have been either been re-painted in the new color scheme or retired. Alternatively, many of the Metro Rail trains still have retained the old color scheme. It has been expected that the remaining rail cars will be painted in the newer livery during their mid-life overhaul being performed.

Prior to 1984, the Niagara Frontier Transit Metro System had painted their fleet with a yellow and black scheme (during the 1970s) and maintained the red and cream color scheme used by the Niagara Frontier Transit System (1950-1960s). The International Railway Company, the predecessor to the Niagara Frontier Transportation System used either an orange and cream[46] or forest green and vermilion scheme for their vehicles.

The NFTA used a circular logo during the 1970s for the parent corporation, showing a nested combination of a bus, airplane, and ship. For the NFTA Metro system, a simple typeface, similar to blippo spelled out "metro bus." Towards the end of the 1990s, a modified "M" in the same typeface, except with a "swoosh" style to the left of the letter. In 2000, the NFTA replaced its logo type with one similar to "Impact" in the italicized version. This style is present on all NFTA correspondence, including the NFTA Metro Bus and Rail system, the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, the Niagara Falls International Airport, the NFTA Small Boat Harbor among others.


  • "Serving Buffalo/Niagara"
  • "Serving the Niagara Region"
  • "Let Metro Take You Where You Want to Go!" (past)
  • "The System Works" (past)
  • "You and I Go Places Together" (past)
  • "We're Going Your Way!" (past)


  • April 1, 1974: The NFTA takeover of the Niagara Frontier Transit System, Inc. occurred on this date.[47]
  • October 9, 1984: Metro Rail begins service in the Downtown Central Business District, between Auditorium and Theater Stations.[47]
  • May 18, 1985: Metro Rail officially opens for regular service between Auditorium and Amherst Street Stations. Due to construction issues at LaSalle Station, LaSalle and South Campus Stations opened on November 10, 1986.[47]
  • April 1, 1990: The NFTA experiences a two-day shutdown due to budgeting and funding issues with state and local governments. Prior to this closure, the NFTA distributed "red" schedules for the first time, clearly giving passengers a preview of pending service cuts to the Metro System. The most severe plan had the closure of the Metro Rail line entirely, as well as all service eliminated after 7:00pm weekdays and no service offered on Saturdays, Sundays or major holidays. Due to this alarming preview and subsequent closure, emergency funding was established by elected Erie County officials, and service resumed later in the day following (Monday, April 2, 1990) without cuts to service.[48]
  • March 24, 1993: The "New" Metro System was introduced, creating a streamlined version of the previous Metro system, increasing bus frequencies, adding a number of new routes, and new destinations not previously served by bus. With this new service, a number of branches with low ridership were eliminated and the service was redirected to supplement the new service.[49][50]
  • December 14, 1995: 17-year-old Cynthia Wiggins was struck by a ten-ton dump truck while crossing a seven lane roadway (Walden Avenue) across from the Walden Galleria Mall. She died of her injuries almost three weeks later, on January 2, 1996. Her death sparked a number of lawsuits against the NFTA, the Pyramid Corporation (the owner of the mall) and many others, charging racial discrimination due to the inability of the NFTA to have their buses enter the mall. This lawsuit was eventually settled, in which the Pyramid Corporation paid $2 million and the dump truck driver ($250,000) to Cynthia's four-year-old son. Effective with the December 1997 schedule changes, NFTA buses were finally allowed to enter the Walden Galleria Mall, Boulevard Mall and the Eastern Hills Mall, previously not allowed by mall management.[51][52]
  • October 26, 1999: Longtime Metro Bus driver Gilbert Rogers was killed in an accident across Genesee Street at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. The bus Rogers was driving was reported to have collided with a westbound tractor-trailer loaded with crushed stone shortly before 7:00am. Then-NFTA police chief John R. Battle was quoted as saying, " appears that the bus driver had the right-of-way and that the truck driver was unable to stop his vehicle at the intersection. There's a lot of momentum when you have a truck loaded with that much stone." Witnesses told police that the truck had already begun wobbling and losing some of its stones as it approached the intersection, which was controlled by a traffic light. The driver of the truck pleaded guilty later and was fined $1,100, but was spared jail time. As part of the plea deal, prosecution dismissed charges of unreasonable speed and an overweight vehicle.[53][54][55]
  • September 1, 2003: Four NFTA Metro stations are permanently renamed: South Campus Station becomes University Station; Delavan-College Station becomes Delavan/Canisius College Station; Allen-Hospital Station becomes Allen/Medical Campus Station and Auditorium Station becomes Erie Canal Harbor Station.
  • December 23, 2007: NFTA Metro introduced the newly built Niagara Falls Transportation Center in the Town of Niagara. This resulted in a number of routing and schedule changes to all Niagara Falls routes, so that buses can take advantage of serving the new transportation center. The building was the first new build of a transportation in more than 30 years by the NFTA. It was also built in the Town of Niagara, compared to Downtown Niagara Falls so that it was more central in Niagara County.[56]
  • May 25, 2008: NFTA Metro implemented a new bus route (#210 Airport-Niagara Falls Express) between the Greater Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, the Niagara Transit Center and Downtown Niagara Falls. Created to coincide with the start of the peak tourist season in Niagara Falls, this trip takes 50 minutes from end to end.[57]
  • September 5, 2008: Reminiscent of the Cynthia Wiggins lawsuit of 1995, the NFTA is banned by the owners of the Quaker Crossing shopping complex in Orchard Park. Allegations of the ban being racially motivated were denied by the mall owners, who instead cited safety concerns for pedestrians walking in the plaza. In the interim, the NFTA began operating buses over Amanda and Amelia Lanes, roadways that bisect the plaza.[58]
  • October 31, 2010: NFTA Metro embarked on a sweeping change to its service network, following a multi-year study by TMI, Inc. The resulting changes included dropping zone fare charges for a uniform boarding fare regardless of the distance travelled, either removing or reducing service from low patronized areas in favor of improving service during middays and weekends. Passengers experienced these changes during a time when it normally is not adjusted, due to the scope of the changes made.
  • February 18, 2013: After nearly 30 years of operations, Theater Station is permanently closed, reducing the number of free fare zone stations from six to the current five, with Fountain Plaza Station, located 546 feet south, now serving as the beginning (southbound) and ending (northbound) of the free fare zone.
  • June 24, 2013–October 14, 2013: NFTA-Metro begins phase two of the "Returning Cars to Main Street" project by single tracking along the 600 block of Main Street from the tunnel entrance to Chippewa Street, just north of where Fountain Plaza Station currently stands. From June 24, 2013 to August 8, 2013, the outbound track from Allen/Medical Campus Station to Church Station was used, as the inbound track was redone. During the weekend of August 8–10, 2013, Allen/Medical Campus temporarily served as the southern terminus of the Metro Rail as construction shut down above-ground service. As a result, NFTA-Metro offered shuttle buses to accommodate passengers between Allen/Medical Campus Station and Erie Canal Harbor Station, with each shuttle running every 15 minutes. From August 11, 2013 to October 14, 2013, the inbound track was used, as the outbound track was redone.
  • March 30, 2014–Present: NFTA-Metro begins phase three of the "Returning Cars to Main Street" project by single tracking along the 500 block of Main Street from Chippewa Street to Mohawk Street, just north of where Lafayette Square Station currently stands. From March 30, 2014 to July 17, 2014, the inbound track from Allen/Medical Campus Station to Church Station was used, as the outbound track, along with Fountain Plaza Station's outbound platform, was redone. During the weekend of July 18–20, 2014, Allen/Medical Campus temporarily served as the southern terminus of the Metro Rail as construction shut down above-ground service. As a result, NFTA-Metro offered shuttle buses to accommodate passengers between Allen/Medical Campus Station and Erie Canal Harbor Station, with each shuttle running every 15 minutes. From July 21, 2014 onward, the outbound track is used, as the inbound track, along with Fountain Plaza Station's inbound platform, is currently being redone.

NFTA Properties Division (stations/garages/barns)[edit]

The NFTA Properties Division is charged with management of the facilities owned and operated in the NFTA organization. Properties include numerous bus loops and suburban transit centers, the Buffalo Metropolitan Transportation Center (MTC), the Niagara Falls Transportation Center in the Town of Niagara, a number of NFTA related office buildings, and bus maintenance facilities (garages).

Bus and rail maintenance facilities[edit]

All buses are stored at three maintenance facilities (terminals):

  • Cold Spring Terminal (Main Street and Michigan Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14208)
  • Frontier Terminal (Kenmore Avenue and Military Road, Kenmore, NY 14217)
  • Gisel/Wolford Terminal (Babcock and William Streets, Buffalo, NY 14206)

Metro Rail trains are stored at one maintenance facility (terminal):

  • South Park Terminal (South Park Avenue and Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203)

Past depots:

  • Broadway Barns (Broadway and Greene Street, Buffalo, NY 14212)
  • Buffalo & 13th (Buffalo Avenue and 13th Street, Niagara Falls, NY 14303)
  • Forest (Forest Avenue and Abbotsford Place, Buffalo, NY 14213)
  • Hertel & Military (Military Road and Hertel Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14207)
  • Main & Virginia (Main and Virginia Streets, Buffalo, NY 14202)
  • Walden & Lathrop (Walden Avenue and Lathrop Street, Buffalo, NY 14211)

Transportation (Intermodal) centers[edit]

Most buses operating to the city centers operate to or near:

  • Metropolitan Transportation Center (MTC): 181 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, NY 14203-built in 1977; also houses the NFTA's administration headquarters
  • Portage Road Transit Center (PRTC): 1124 Portage Road, Niagara Falls, NY 14303
  • Niagara Falls Transportation Center (NFTC): 2250 Factory Outlet Boulevard, Niagara Falls, NY 14303-opened December 24, 2007

Suburban transit centers[edit]

In addition, a number of transit centers were created in suburban locations to allow passengers to transfer between other routes in a coordinated location. Suburban transit centers operate with more amenities than typical loops used on many city routes. Suburban transit centers tend to be located on properties like shopping centers, and include separate shelters for each stop, pay telephones, schedule information and possible restroom areas for drivers and agency employees.

  • Appletree Business Park off Bennett Road on south end of property
  • Athol Springs on Big Tree Road @ NYS 5
  • Southgate Plaza near Citibank
  • Niagara Falls International Airport on Niagara Falls Boulevard
  • Thruway Plaza off Harlem Road on west end of plaza property
  • Tonawanda at the southwest corner of Niagara and Main Streets in the City of Tonawanda
  • Victory near South Park Avenue at Ridge Road, Buffalo/Lackawanna border

Metro Rail stations[edit]

Buffalo Metro Rail
originally South Campus
Tonawanda turn-out
Amherst Street
Delavan / Canisius College
originally Delavan-College
Allen-Medical Campus
originally Allen-Hospital
Closed February 18, 2013
Fountain Plaza
originally Huron
Lafayette Square
Erie Canal Harbor
originally Auditorium
Special Events
certain times only
Rail Maintenance Yard

station with off-street bus loop
fare-free section
 Original Proposal 
Amherst Government Center
North Campus to Amherst
part of Phase 2
North Campus
Sweet Home
yard and shops
I-290 (long).svg (Youngmann Expressway)
South Campus
La Salle
North Tonawanda
Tonawanda East
Ives Park
I-290 (long).svg (Youngmann Expressway)
Ellwood Park
Tonawanda branch
part of Phase 2
Tonawanda turn-out
Central Park
Lafayette Square
Cathedral Park
Cathedral Park to West Hopkins
part of Phase 2
Community College
West Hopkins

Stations with bus loops[edit]

  • Utica, 1391 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14209
  • Delavan/Canisius College (formerly Delavan-College), 1863 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14208
  • LaSalle, 3030 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214
  • University (formerly South Campus), 3383 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214

Stations without bus loops[edit]

  • Erie Canal Harbor (formerly Auditorium), 100 block of Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202
  • Seneca, 200 block of Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202
  • Church, 300 block of Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202
  • Lafayette Square, 400 block of Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202
  • Fountain Plaza (formerly Huron), 500 block of Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202
  • Allen-Medical Campus (formerly Allen-Hospital), 941 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202
  • Summer-Best, 1147 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14209
  • Humboldt/Hospital, 2040 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14208
  • Amherst Street, 2666 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214

These stations utilize curbside bus boarding on surrounding streets.

Bus loops[edit]

Many loops serving as layover facilities for NFTA bus routes are properties that were originally created for the International Railway's streetcars to turn around in. The International Railway Company (IRC) was the primary predecessor to the Niagara Frontier Transit System (circa 1950) and ultimately, the NFTA (circa around 1972).

Active bus loops[edit]

  • Andrews Loop northwest corner of Genesee Street and Andrews Avenue, Buffalo/Cheektowaga border
  • Bailey/Abbott Loop northeast corner of Bailey Avenue and Abbott Road, Buffalo, NY 14220
  • Wildwood Loop Seneca Street at Wildwood Place, Buffalo, NY 14210
  • Ellicott Loop bounded by North Division, South Division, Ellicott and Oak Streets, Buffalo, NY 14203
  • Fernwood Loop Clinton Street and Rossler Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14206
  • Goethe Loop southeast corner of East Lovejoy Street and Goethe Street, Buffalo, NY 14206
  • Huntley Loop Kensington Avenue near Huntley Avenue, Buffalo/Cheektowaga border
  • Jersey Left on exit from Main Street at Bailey Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14214
  • Michael Loop southeast corner of Broadway and Michael Avenue, Sloan, NY 14212
  • Orchard Loop southeast corner of Delaware Avenue and Orchard Drive, Tonawanda, NY 14217
  • Paramount Loop Colvin Boulevard and Paramount Parkway, Tonawanda, NY 14223
  • Vulcan (Baxter) Loop northeast corner of Vulcan Street and Baxter Street, Buffalo, NY 14207

Former bus loops[edit]

  • Blanche Loop southwest corner of Elmwood Avenue and Kenmore Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14207
  • Coburg Loop southeast corner of Kenmore Avenue and Coburg Street, Buffalo, NY 14216
  • Delmar Loop Oliver Street and Ward Road, North Tonawanda, NY 14150
  • Ensminger Loop Ensminger Road, near Sheridan Parkside Drive, Tonawanda, NY 14217
  • Greenwood Loop Abbott Road at Greenwood Avenue, Lackawanna/Blasdell border
  • Highgate Loop southwest corner of Bailey Avenue at Highgate Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14215
  • Irwin Loop at corner of Niagara Falls Boulevard and Irwin Place, Amherst, NY 14228
  • Jefferson Loop Main Street and Jefferson Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14208
  • Nason Loop southwest corner of South Park Avenue and Nason Parkway near Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, Buffalo/Lackawanna border
  • Pacific Loop Hertel Avenue near Pacific Street, Buffalo, NY 14207
  • Pine Hill Loop Genesee Street near Pine Ridge Road, Buffalo/Cheektowaga border
  • Preston Loop East Delavan Avenue near Preston Street, Buffalo, NY 14215
  • Robbins Loop on Porter Road at Robbins Drive, Niagara Falls, NY 14303
  • Seabrook Loop on Kenmore Avenue at Vulcan Street, Buffalo, NY 14207
  • Virgil Loop on Kenmore Avenue at Virgil Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14216
  • Walden/Bailey Loop southwest corner of Walden Avenue and Bailey Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14211
  • Windermere Loop southwest corner of Main Street and Kenmore Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14214

Union representation in the NFTA organization[edit]

The NFTA recognizes and negotiates with a number of unions representing various employees of the NFTA.[59] As of 2008, there are 13 different unions that negotiate contracts with the NFTA.[60]

The largest union, the Amalgamated Transit Union, represents the drivers of the NFTA Metro division. Their branch is known as Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 1342.[61]

Another union, the International Longshoremen's Association, represents service and maintenance workers at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, the Niagara Falls International Airport, Port of Buffalo, Metropolitan Transportation Center, Operations Center in Buffalo, Facilities Maintenance Center, Buffalo Transportation Center and the Niagara Falls Transportation Center. Their branch is known as the International Longshoremen's Association, Local 1949.

The members of the NFTA Police force are represented by the NFTA Police Benevolent Association.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority". Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Bregger, D. David. Images of America: Buffalo's Historic Streetcars and Buses. 
  3. ^ "Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority - Board of Commissioners". Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority - NFTA Management Team". Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  5. ^ News Staff Reporters. "Cuomo Nominates Zemsky and Three Commissioners". Communities - City of Buffalo: Buffalo News. Retrieved 8 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "NFTA Budget, 2012 fiscal year". Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. p. 2.3. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  7. ^ Gee, Derek. "NFTA Metro Rail Cars Rebuilt". Buffalo News. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "GMC SDM-5302 Production List". Ohio Museum of Transportation. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  9. ^ "GMC S8M-533A Production List". Ohio Museum of Transportation. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  10. ^ "GMC SDM-4501 Production List". Ohio Museum of Transportation. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "OBI Bus Industries - OBI V Production List". Alan Gryfe. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  12. ^ a b c "GMC TDH-5106 Production List". Ohio Museum of Transportation. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  13. ^ a b "GM T6H-4521 Production". Ohio Museum of Transportation. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  14. ^ "MCI Classic Production List". Alan Gryfe. Retrieved 10 May 2011. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g "OBI Bus Industries Series I - Production List". Alan Gryfe. Retrieved 10 May 2011. 
  16. ^ "Nova LFS-102 Production List (incomplete)". Unknown. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  17. ^ "GMC S8H-5304 Production List". Ohio Museum of Transportation. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  18. ^ "AMG Model 9635 Production List". A.J. Reinschmidt. Archived from buslist/AMG9635.html the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  19. ^ "GMC RTS-03 T8H-603 Production List". Ohio Museum of Transportation. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  20. ^ buslist/RTS_II/8H603.html "GMC RTS-2 T8H-603 Production List". Bus Rosters on the Web. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  21. ^ "GMC RTS-02 T8H-603 Production List". Ohio Museum of Transportation. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  22. ^ "GMC RTS T8J-604 Production List". Ohio Museum of Transportation. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  23. ^ a b "Mack C-49 Production List". A.J. Reinschmidt. Archived from buslist/MC_49.html the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  24. ^ A. J. Reinschmidt (18 August 1998). buslist/MC_49.html "Mack C-49 Roster on the Web". Bus Rosters on the Web. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  25. ^ "GMC TDH-5301 Production List". Ohio Museum of Transportation. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  26. ^ a b c "GMC TDH-5304 Production List". Ohio Museum of Transportation. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  27. ^ "GMC T6H-5306 Production List". Ohio Museum of Transportation. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  28. ^ "New Flyer Industries - Production List". Alan Gryfe. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  29. ^ Kristopans, Andre. "Ikarus 416-436 Production List". Bus Rosters on the Web. Archived from the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  30. ^ "Nova TC40-102A Production List". Unknown. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  31. ^ a b c d e f g NFTA Regional Route Map. Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. 1975. 
  32. ^[dead link]
  33. ^ McCarthy, Robert J (26 September 2011). "NFTA officials consider fare hikes, service cuts". Buffalo News. 
  34. ^ Williams, Diedre (30 September 2011). "Riders cry 'foul' over planned fare hike". Buffalo News. 
  35. ^ McCarthy, Robert J (21 October 2011). "NFTA wants state to restore $10 million in cuts". Buffalo News. 
  36. ^ McCarthy, Robert J (8 December 2011). "NFTA rejects fare hike, ok's big cut in Metro Bus service". Buffalo News. 
  37. ^ McCarthy, Robert J (21 December 2011). "Passengers express disgust over NFTA bus route cuts". Buffalo News. 
  38. ^ McCarthy, Robert J (19 January 2012). "$2.9 million from state to reduce Metro Bus service cuts". Buffalo News. 
  39. ^ McCarthy, Robert J (27 March 2012). "Metro Bus, Rail fares will rise to $2 on May 1". Buffalo News. 
  40. ^ McCarthy, Robert J (24 January 2013). "Full speed ahead for bus project". Buffalo News. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  41. ^ Niagara County, Rural Niagara Transportation - Bus Schedule
  42. ^ "CENTSaBill". Genfare. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  43. ^ "Fare and Online Pass Sales". Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  44. ^ Robert J McCarthy (16 February 2010). "Metro Rail trains undergo a rebirth - NFTA subway cars being refurbished". Buffalo News. p. A1. 
  45. ^ Lakamp, Patrick (21 September 1999). "Blue and Gray, with Splash of Red, Selected as New Colors for Metro Bus, Rail Fleet". Buffalo News. p. A6. 
  46. ^ Ahlstrom, Harold (date unknown). The Last Decade of Buffalo Trolleys. National Railway Historical Society - Buffalo Chapter. p. 18. 
  47. ^ a b c Bregger, D. David (25 February 2008). Buffalo's Historic Streetcars and Buses (Images of America: New York). Arcadia Publishing. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-7385-5750-2. 
  48. ^ "Buffalo Transit System Shuts Down, First in US". New York Times. Associated Press. 2 April 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2011. 
  49. ^ Robert J McCarthy (10 April 1992). "NFTA Revamping Routes, Schedules as Revenue Drops". Buffalo News (NY) (Local News). p. Not given. 
  50. ^ Sharon Linstedt (3 March 1993). "NFTA Plans Ad Blitz on Bus Route Overhaul". Buffalo News (NY) (Local News). p. Not given. 
  51. ^ Edward Barnes, Ann Blackman, Greg Fulton (19 Feb 1996). "Can't Get There From Here". Time Magazine. Retrieved 10 May 2011. 
  52. ^ Feinberg, Leslie (26 April 2001). "Anti-racist boycott gains strength & support". Workers World. Retrieved 10 May 2011. 
  53. ^ Gene Warner; Herbeck, Dan (26 October 1999). "Crash Kills Metro Bus Driver, Injures 5". Buffalo News. p. A1. 
  54. ^ Lakamp, Patrick (14 March 2000). "Truck Driver Pleads Guilty in Fatality". Buffalo News. p. B1. 
  55. ^ Lakamp, Patrick (4 February 2000). "Truck in Fatal Crash Shouldn't Have Been on Road". Buffalo News. p. A1. 
  56. ^ Michelmore, Bill (20 December 2007). "Transit Hub to Open Friday (23 December 2007)". Buffalo News (Local News). p. B1. 
  57. ^ "Niagara News Briefs". Buffalo News (Local). 23 May 2008. p. D3. 
  58. ^ Williams, Fred (11 September 2008). "Bus issue continues at plaza, Quaker Crossing owner affirms ban". Buffalo News (Local News). p. B1. 
  59. ^ Fink, James (28 January 2008). "Unions Sign on with NFTA". Business First - Buffalo (Business First - Buffalo). 
  60. ^ Miner, Dan (29 January 2008). "NFTA: Unions get contracts". Niagara Gazette. Retrieved 14 May 2011. "The agreements mean that all 13 NFTA unions are under contract." 
  61. ^ "ATU - Locals Index Page". Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU). Archived from the original on May 29, 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 

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See Also[edit]