NFTA, Merchants Insurance strike deal for naming rights to Seneca rail station

15 hours ago

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority has secured naming rights for its Seneca Metro Rail Station. It is the third such naming rights deal announced along the NFTA's rail line.

Under an agreement approved by the NFTA Board of Directors Thursday, Merchants Mutual Insurance Company will pay $30,000 in the first year of a five-year initial deal which could raise more than $160,000 for the NFTA. The aggregate fee, if the deal were expanded to ten years, would total nearly $352,000.

A rendering of what will become known as Merchants Insurance Station @Seneca along Main Street in downtown Buffalo. Merchants Insurance and the NFTA have entered a naming rights agreement which was approved Thursday by the latter's Board of Directors.
Credit courtesy NFTA

"Buffalo's getting busier and busier and the roads are getting crowded, so public transportation will become a viable alternative, an even more viable alternative," said Bob Zak, president and chief executive officer of Merchants Mutual Insurance Company. "We also think it aligns with our mission of safety and when people shouldn't be driving their cars and should be taking public transportation. We're excited to support that as well."

When the Seneca station is modified to bear its new sponsor's name, the location will be formally known as Merchants Insurance Station @Seneca. This is the third such sponsorship of an NFTA Metro Rail Station. Evans Bank recently secured naming rights to the Lafayette Square station, while Seneca Gaming and Casino agreed to a naming rights deal for the Erie Canal Harbor station.

The Merchants Insurance station gives the company, which has been in Buffalo for more than 100 years, visibility in a neighborhood undergoing development at nearby Seneca One Tower, where earlier in the day M&T Bank announced it would lease space to create a new tech hub.

"We think it's exceptional, given what's going on with that end of Main Street," Zak said. "We also think as important as is to attract policyholders and customers to our company, it's important for attracting young and old colleagues to join us as employees."

Merchants Mutual Insurance Company currently employs 230 people.