TriMet honors operators who reach prestigious safety milestone

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Nine honored for driving a Million Miles Safely
This afternoon TriMet honored nine operators for reaching a prestigious safety milestone and earning admission into TriMet’s Million Mile Club. The induction ceremony recognized the select group of bus and rail operators who reached a Million Miles of Safety.

This is no small achievement. TriMet estimates that it takes at least 29 years of safe driving to reach the million mile milestone. That’s the equivalent of driving 182,000 one-way trips on Line 25-Glisan/Rockwood; 15,000 roundtrips on the MAX Blue Line; or two trips to the moon and back. Million Mile Club operators must earn 29 annual Safe Driver Awards from the National Safety Council. .

The National Safety Council (NSC) recognizes professional drivers by presenting them with Safe Driver Awards for each year they drive without a preventable accident. The NSC defines a preventable collision as one in which the driver failed to do everything that reasonably could have been done to avoid it.

Executive Director of Operations Shelly Lomax recognized the nine operators. “This is a select group of operators who exemplify our commitment to safety,” Lomax said. “They have certainly earned our respect and gratitude.”

Name Residence Garage Year hired
Chris Wolff Milwaukie Center (SE Portland) 1979
Teresa Woods SE Portland Center (SE Portland) 1980
Douglas Hills SE Portland Powell (SE Portland) 1981
Rose Jordan-Fairley Vancouver Powell (SE Portland) 1994
Greg Butler SE Portland Ruby (Gresham) 1997
Karen Asio Aloha Merlo (Beaverton) 1998
Dennis Withrow Brush Praire Elmonica (Beaverton) 2000
Howard Lee Sandy Powell (SE Portland) 2008

The ninth honoree, a 33-year veteran bus operator who lives and works in SE Portland, requested no media attention. All of the honorees currently operate buses, except for Operators Butler and Withrow, who both began operating MAX trains in 2003.

Some of the operators accumulated safe driving awards before starting their work at TriMet. Today’s nine inductees join 10 other active TriMet operators who have reached this celebrated safety distinctions.

Safe Driver Awards

More than 945 TriMet operators earned a Safe Driver Award this year – that’s roughly 90% of operators. Ed Frey, a TriMet operator for 36 years, has earned a TriMet record total of 42 years of Safe Driver Awards over the course of his transportation career.