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Legislators want beer ads removed from NFTA trains

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is being urged to remove alcohol advertising from its public transportation vehicles.

Erie County Legislature Chairwoman Betty Jean Grant is asking the NFTA to discontinue ads of alcoholic beverages on the exteriors and interiors of NFTA vehicles and light rail cars because she says too many Buffalo youths use public transportation to travel to and from school each day.

Grant says it sends the wrong message about alcohol use to inner-city children.

"For many high school students, especially in the City of Buffalo, that's the only mode of transportation to and from school, and to have them exposed to such a product, even though it's legal...I think it's unfortunate," Grant told WBFO News.

"You have many people with substance abuse from low-income, poverty-stricken communities who are trying to turn their lives around and who maybe don't want to be exposed to alcohol."

A large Coors Light beer ad is currently running across a Metro rail car.

The NFTA say the ads are legal and are similar to ones found at the ballpark or football stadium. The Authority says it will not remove them.

"One goes to Ralph Wilson Stadium by choice. You make that decision. But if you're riding the bus to a public high school here in the City of Buffalo and it's your only mode of transportation, you don't ride the bus by choice. You ride by necessity," Grant responded.

NFTA's Board of Commissioners recently discussed and reviewed the matter at a May 23rd meeting and unanimously approved support for the advertising.  The ad campaign is by Lamar Advertising.

Grant and Legislator Timothy Hogues of Buffalo are co-sponsoring a resolution calling for an end to the ads.