NFTA has a long way to go to improve service, station
I concur with the letter writer’s argument on Jan. 18 that NFTA Executive Director Kimberley Minkel was off base when commenting in The News about the satisfactory service provided at our downtown bus station.
My observation when visiting the terminal on New Year’s Day was chaotic, to say the least. The counter for NFTA service check-in and information was closed. People were asking bus drivers and NFTA Police for information on bus service out of the station to include delays.
Your meal, should you wish to eat at the terminal, was a Tim Hortons doughnut. Nothing else was open or available to eat. It would be awesome to offer healthy, fresh food for visitors to our lovely city, especially since we’re known for the best wings, roast beef, etc., in the nation.
It was one of those zero temperature days, so homeless folks trying to stay warm filled the entire south side of the terminal. I met a young teenage woman who spoke little English sitting in this area waiting for her bus to Cleveland. There was a man trying to convince her that he “would take care of her.” I was there to hand out gloves, scarves and hats, so I was listening to him talk to her. It was evident she wasn’t sure what was going on, so I escorted her to the other side of the terminal to wait. I still wonder what would have happened if he convinced her to go with him. I think more NFTA presence would help in these kinds of situations.
I would think with the enormous revitalization going on outside the walls of this central transportation center that there would be an effort to improve services and the physical condition of our bus station. It’s the first and sometimes last thing visitors experience when using bus services in and out of downtown Buffalo.
Lastly, having worked at the airport, one of most asked questions is how to get to downtown Buffalo and Niagara Falls at a reasonable cost, both of which necessitate taking a bus to the downtown bus terminal.
Kathy Hall Zientek