Tonawanda News — Legislation that will bring a member of the Western New York disabled community to a seat on the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Board was signed into law on Thursday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
A bill was introduced in February by state Sen. George Maziarz and Assemblyman Robin Schimminger after they were urged by acting NFTA Commissioner Henry M. Sloma to do so.
Sloma indicated in writing that those who are transit dependent and disabled represent “a significant percentage of our ridership base.” He also noted the person chosen would “ensure their interests are properly represented and taken into consideration by the board,” while providing real-time input that would allow the NFTA to better serve those in similar situations.
“If ever there was a reason to reserve a seat at the table in the NFTA board room it is truly for this purpose,” Sloma wrote.
Cuomo will hand pick an individual to fill the position, though that representative will not actually vote on matters before the panel. The role is advisory in nature.
“This is a huge victory today for the disabled community of Western New York that will undoubtedly result in a better quality of life for many people,” Maziarz said in a statement. “This new law will allow vital input from the very people who most utilize public transportation resulting in the NFTA providing better public service.”
The law goes into effect immediately.