Help us celebrate Transit Driver Appreciation Day on Wednesday, March 18

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TriMet operators make a difference.

“Overall, he was simply a great bus driver, and it made a wonderful impression on how kindness can be infectious, leaving me with a smile to begin my work day,” a rider shared recently.

Our operators provide a vital public service getting people to work, school, home and other destinations.

“… always has a friendly greeting and goes out of his way to make sure to wait for any obvious ‘runners’ – the little things really mean a lot for bus-dependent commuters,” shared another bus rider.

And they help people every day.

“I had barely slept and was zoned out on the bus. My bus driver, who is always super nice, realized we were at my stop and noticed I wasn’t paying attention. She stopped at my stop and got my attention so I would not miss my stop. It was so cool! At my company we strive to really WOW our clients. Well consider me WOWed,” a rider wrote in a commendation for his operator.

It’s not an easy job; our operators just make it look that way.

“The bus driver, who was very friendly and helpful, skillfully and almost miraculously, maneuvered a very tight spot in a narrow lane,” another rider commented.

Join TriMet on Wednesday, March 18 in celebrating Transit Driver Appreciation Day. Make sure you give your bus operator a smile and “thank you”, and your rail operator a smile and a wave. You can also go to transitdriverday.org to download and personalize a thank you card for your driver. You can also give a shout out on Facebook at facebook.com/transitdriverday or spread the word on Twitter by using #TDAD.

By the numbers: TriMet operators

TriMet has more than 1,300 operators who provide service to 6,670 stops on 79 bus lines, and 92 stations on four MAX lines and the WES Commuter Rail Line. Our bus, MAX and WES operators provide nearly 2 million trips a week and 100 million trips a year. TriMet’s operators are the ‘driving force’ behind our transit service that runs seven days a week and stretches from about 3:30 a.m. to about 2 a.m. the following day.

Operating buses/trains requires many skills

Operating buses and trains doesn’t just take physical skill; it requires the ability to multitask while providing good customer service.

“I greatly appreciated the train operator coming on the intercom at a seemingly random time and wishing all of us riders a happy day and pleasant travels. She even tossed a weather joke in there, warning us that it may rain today as I sit here soaked to my core,” a MAX rider shared.

 

“I wanted to acknowledge Andy, Dave and Jim who operate the WES train. They each itheir own way contribute to creating a very comfortable and friendly environment for the commute. They all bring a smile to start my day and smile to end the work day, even if the day itself has been lousy,” commented a WES rider.

 

“The driver’s driving ability was superb, despite having to negotiate roadwork and some crazy drivers, but what really made him stand out was his attention and concern for his passengers. I watched him greet everyone warmly, and assist a few disabled passengers, one of whom was blind and riding the bus unescorted,” a bus rider said.

 

Operators going the extra mile

Our operators often go the extra mile to help people – even saving lives – and it’s not just riders who notice.

“Wow, wow, wow. I just wanted to commend the driver of the #75 bus tonight at 7:30pm headed southbound at Glisan. He saw me at the crosswalk and stopped, but laid on his horn to get the car next to him – an early 20’s girl on her cell phone – to pay some attention. Great driver,” a pedestrian wrote.

 

A bus rider submitted this commendation, “He was very kind and friendly and in fact offered his apple to an African American woman in a wheel chair who announced to the bus that she was diabetic and could feel her blood sugar dropping.”

 

“…he had a blind lady get off his bus and even though he was ready to head home he said he was going to walk this lady to the MAX platform to help her catch a train. As I was driving off to start my shift … I saw this driver standing on the MAX platform with this lady helping her to get her train. Thought this was great customer service and a pretty neat thing to do,” commented a fellow bus operator.

 

“I was traveling behind this bus and saw the driver exit. I was concerned and then realized he was helping an elderly woman. He held both her hands and helped her step across a large puddle and also assisted her with her bag. It’s was a simple, kind gesture, and I hope he can be recognized for going the extra step,” a citizen shared.

 

“I’ve not taken this bus at this time before so I don’t know if the bus driver does this every day but today he gave a homeless man a sandwich that he clearly had prepared for this eventuality: it was well wrapped for rain and the like. He was so gracious about offering it to the man in a manner that was in no way demeaning. The man happily took the sandwich but everyone on the bus was also gifted by the exchange. What a wonderful way to start the day,” a rider shared.

 

And another rider was also moved by the kindness of her operator, “A girl, maybe 5, was on the bus with her mom and was obviously not very happy about something. As they got off I saw the driver give something to the girl and tell her, “You’re my hero”. I saw the girl on the sidewalk through the window with the broadest smile on her face. When I got off I asked what did he give her? He said an expired bus ticket. It sure made her happy and made my day too.”

 

Thank your TriMet operator

If you have an operator who makes a difference every day or does something that really stands out, let them know by filing an official commendation. It’s easy. Just go to trimet.org/thanks.

And remember, on Wednesday, show our operators some love and give them a special Transit Driver Appreciation Day smile, wave or ‘thank you’!