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NFTA asked to explain new cuts in bus service

A Metro Bus at a stop in downtown Buffalo.
File Photo

Erie County Legislator Howard Johnson and Fillmore District Common Councilmember Mitch Nowakowski have asked Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Executive Director Kimberley Minkel to provide testimony to the County Legislature regarding newly enacted cuts in bus service.

The legislature will hold an Economic Development Committee meeting Thursday morning and Minkel has been invited to attend.

The bus service reductions include the elimination of most commuter routes, reduced schedules on weekends and evenings and the cancellation of bus runs for Buffalo Public School extracurricular activities.

The lawmakers noted that the NFTA has received nearly $79.5 million in American Rescue Plan funding and will get $156.5 million from the recently passed infrastructure bill.

The NFTA has cited a lack of bus drivers in announcing the cuts.

Both Johnson and Nowakowski are submitting resolutions calling on the agency to reverse the service cuts and increase starting pay to attract more bus drivers.

Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.