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Letter: No pay raise is warranted for NFTA’s top executives

No pay raise is warranted for NFTA’s top executives

The article on the City and Region page of the April 1 Buffalo News caused me to wonder if it was an April Fools’ joke. The activity of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is nothing if not questionable and unacceptable. How could anyone even consider pay raises for executives who seem totally out of touch with their ridership?

While I am not a frequent rider, I do use the train to get to Bisons games and an occasional event at KeyBank Center. I always find the stations to be dirty and smelly without cashiers, and at least one elevator out of service. The smell below ground is moldy, and it is dirty as well. There is no excuse for this other than it isn’t a high priority.

The claim always seems to be the NFTA doesn’t have enough funding to perform adequate maintenance and upkeep, and yet it wants to give top executives pay raises. For what? Going back to when the subway was opened, I always remember my brother-in-law’s comment: “You’re telling me that they are running an underground train through the most economically challenged part of the city and payment is on the honor system?”

Even today a paying rider gets to watch the “door hangers” ride the train for free (hanging by the door to bolt if a conductor is checking tickets.) I have never seen anyone ticketed for not paying and, as a matter of fact, the only ticket checks I have experienced are mine and my wife’s.

Trying to make the argument that these executive pay levels are below what other cities’ transit executives make is an absurd comparison without knowledge of how efficient these other systems are managed.

The icing on the cake is that the religious chairwoman lied about the raises, feeling justified because the executives gave them back. This action alone speaks volumes about how far these folks are from realizing that they perform their duties under the rule of “serving the public trust.” Please bring up another raise only after other glaring issues are addressed.

Fred Brace

Buffalo

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