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June 28, 2014

NFTA proposes changes to the 57

Tonawanda News — Representatives from Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority presented proposed changes to two Metro bus routes at a public hearing at North Tonawanda City Hall on Thursday evening.

The two routes that stand to be affected by these changes are the 27, which runs from the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport to the Wende Correctional facility, and the 57, which runs from Main and Niagara Streets in the City of Tonawanda to the Niagara Falls International Airport.

"It's important to know that we are not discontinuing the 57, only proposing to make a some changes" said Doug Hartmayer, director of Public Affairs for NFTA. "All options are still on the table, that's why we're having these meetings."

The proposed change to the 57 would involve cutting out the portion of the route that services the area to the southwest of the intersection at Main and Seymour Streets in the City of Tonawanda.

Other minimal changes would be made that would add destinations to the route such as stops at DeGraff Memorial Hospital and the Wal-Mart in North Tonawanda. Marlene Marciniak, who runs the DeGraff Adult Daycare program, is delighted to have the hospital and her facility added to the route.

"It's a godsend to many older adults who need this service," she said. "We have 15 people who regularly attend our program and rely on bus service."

The cause for these proposed changes was the findings of an assessment done by NFTA which revealed that only about eight people per hour are taking that bus, according to Tom George, NFTA's director of public transit. This is significantly below the 24 person per day goal.

However, residents in the Tonawandas say that there are plenty of people still riding the bus and that to take their stops off the route would be detrimental to the quality of their lives. 

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