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Temporary Metro Bus route cuts begin Feb. 13

Two Metro Buses parked at the downtown Buffalo bus station.
Eileen Buckley

The national labor crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.

Starting Feb. 13, the NFTA will temporarily eliminate eight express bus routes and increase intervals between buses after 7 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends.

The service reduction is the result of a severe shortage of operators and other positions, including the loss of 61 bus drivers from normal levels, along with 57 fewer mechanics, 24 maintenance people and 18 staffers in NFTA offices. The transit agency has been actively recruiting for new workers.

Many employees have also missed work due to COVID infections to themselves or family members, and absences are frequently complicated by issues such as child care.

Paratransit and Metro Rail service will not be affected and daytime weekday bus service will mostly remain the same.