Consistent with AC Transit’s commitment to safety and reliability, 11 AC Transit Bus Operators have driven their vehicles a combined 335 years without causing any accidents, distinguishing themselves as being among the finest in public transit.
The AC Transit Board of Directors awarded each of the 11 operators with silver rings or brass pins, gift certificates worth at least $250, a dinner at a local restaurant and a standing ovation in honor of their uncommon driving skills, remarkable determination and unsurpassed dedication to public safety. Each operator has at least 30 years of safe driving, including one operator who amazingly has maneuvered his coach without making a mishap for 35 years.
“It is not a simple matter to drive a 60-foot, 24-ton vehicle packed with passengers-- on streets congested with cars, pedestrians, bicycles and detours-- day-after-day, for 30 years without committing an accident,’’ said AC Transit General Manager David Armijo. “ These operators have shown exceptional skills and tremendous dedication to keeping their passengers and public roadways safe. They deserve both applause and respect.”
The operators are Joseph Allen, with a 35-year safe driving record, and – with 30-year safe driving records --Marcus Brox, Harry Coffee, Jesse DeLa Cruz, Brian Gilmer, Norman Grant, Isaac Garner, Robert Pacca, Earl Taylor, Claudell Woods Jr. and Timothy Yuen.
In addition to the 11, AC Transit has 82 operators with at least a 10-year safe driving record-- including 17 operators with at least 25 years of driving without causing an accident and 10 operators who have done the same for at least 20 years.
The operators’ diligence and professional resolve reflect the agency’s effort to create a hazard-free environment, promoting health and safety not only for employees but also for community residents-- whether they ride AC Transit buses or not.
Safety is a critical component to operating a public transit system. AC Transit has been improving its safety record through a variety of means, including the formation of an Accident Reduction Committee, and a mandated goal to “Create a Safety Culture.”
Consequently, with individual and collective efforts, the agency has seen a decrease in the number of vehicle collisions and passenger falls, including a 9 percent drop in overall accidents and a 14 percent drop in passenger-related mishaps within the past year.