From guest contributor, Nadine Chalmers, Senior Transportation Planner
The NFTA is thrilled to partner with JFS, and we are excited to be able to have an active role in supporting these new members to our community. Getting around town is so important, from getting necessities to medical appointments to job interviews – reliable transportation is vital.
We had our first learning experience on April 14, 2022, with two NFTA volunteers, two clients, and two JFS interns in attendance. Our goal was to get the clients from the Vive Shelter on Wyoming Street to the JFS office at Main Street in the University District and then back again. At first thought, one might think this would be difficult; but it was a breeze on our system!
First up was showing them the most convenient bus stop, which was for the #12 Utica bus. This bus takes a circuitous route including a jog down East Ferry Street, right at the corner of Vive, where we climbed aboard. The route took us down Bailey, turning onto Main Street where we were able to exit right near JFS’ building.
To ensure they had training on the Metro Rail system, our return trip found us boarding at Lasalle Station and heading south where we exited at Summer-Best, two blocks from the JFS headquarters on Barker. A short walk brought us to Main Street and Utica, and we started our journey back to Vive on the same bus we started from, the #12.
Our guests learned a great deal along the way. We showed the clients how read a bus or rail schedule, identify stops and wave to the bus so that it stops to pick you up, pay for the bus, pull the yellow cord when your stop is approaching, and safely exit through the rear door. We also learned to always dress warmly and wear comfortable footwear for a more comfortable journey.
One of the bus drivers was so friendly and gave everyone good advice, “if you’re not sure where you’re going, ask the bus driver”! NFTA volunteers are grateful for the opportunity to welcome our newest riders and help them make successful use of Buffalo’s extensive public transit system.
If you are interested in helping newcomers to learn about Buffalo’s transit system, please contact Sierra Johnston at firstname.lastname@example.org