Annual award recognizes front-line employees in areas of safety, customer service and attendance
They’re the best of the best. They have outstanding safety standards, excellent customer service and exemplary work attendance. Through their work, they help more than 97 million riders get where they need to go each year. They are our Operators of the Year, honored today by TriMet’s Board of Directors. They are the gold standard of professional driving. They’re amazing people too.
Operators of the Year
Operator of the Year is an annual award given to TriMet bus and light rail operators who achieved Operator of the Month or Operator of the Quarter during the previous year. To do that, they need to consistently demonstrate good safety, attendance and customer service. Winners are selected by a vote of their peers.
Bus Operator of the Year: Alice Green-Dell
Bus Operator of the Year Alice Green-Dell joined TriMet in 2007. She recently achieved Master Operator status, a recognition of superior performance. She has eight safe driving awards from the National Safety Council. Operator Green-Dell loves serving the public and says she is constantly impressed by the kindness and care shown by her customers and fellow drivers.
“When I’m doing something I love, I take pride in doing it,” she said. “I love my job, and when you love something, you cherish it.”
What riders say about Operator Green-Dell:
“I just wanted to share a massive kudos with and for the lovely #4 bus driver… She was dealing with incredibly icy roads… She just kept her calm, taking it slow and steady. She was incredibly polite, wishing me to be safe as I departed. She had a stressful job this morning and handled it incredibly well! Hats off to her!” – Megan, Line 4-Fessenden
Operator Green-Dell describes herself as a people person. She joined TriMet to serve the public and interact with people of all different cultures. Day in and day out, she shows her riders how much she cares.
“I was driving the #12, and an elderly lady took my bus from downtown by mistake,” she remembers. “After I dropped her off, I worried all the way to Sherwood because it was my last trip of the night. On my way back, I changed my route because I had feeling she’d still be standing there. She was. Oh, how happy she was to see me! I picked her up and took her to Center Garage where I got my car and took her to North Portland. She hugged me. She thanked me. She cried tears of joy. She said I was her guardian angel.”
Mini-Run (Part-time) Operator of the Year: Cynthia McClean
Cynthia McClean has been a bus operator with TriMet for 19 years. She has 14 National Safety Council Safe Driving awards, eight Superior Performance Awards and three ACE awards for excellent customer service to the ADA community. She has seven years of perfect attendance.
What riders say about Operator McClean:
“The driver waited a moment for me as I hurried to get to the bus. It was so nice to start the day receiving an act of kindness.” – Emily, Line 14-Hawthorne
McClean says she greets every rider with a warm smile and a kind hello and always looks them in the eye. She’s learned she leaves a lasting impression.
“I became acquainted with a young man who used transit because he lost his license,” she said. “He was a hardworking guy, raising a 13-year-old daughter and engaged to the love of his life. When the wedding arrived, I surprised him with a wedding present. He was so pleased to be thought of, it brought tears to his eyes. He couldn’t resist giving me a big hug and one from his new wife, too.”
Rail Operator of the Year: Neil Beaudry
TriMet hired Neil Beaudry in 2011, promoting him to light rail operator in 2013. He has earned seven Superior Performance awards and achieved one year of perfect attendance.
Operator Beaudry studied psychology in college but found working with machinery to be his calling. The Air Force veteran came to TriMet because he wanted to get back to working with people. Just ask him about his favorite riders.
“My favorite riders are children and those who have dealt with a lot of adversity in their lives,” he said. “You know the ones. They may be in wheelchairs, maybe only have one leg. They say ‘thank you’ when you give them a ride.”
Million Mile Club
TriMet’s Board of Directors also recognized operators who displayed a long-term pattern of safety excellence, inviting them to join the Million Mile Club. These operators have achieved 29 years of safe driving or about one million miles without a preventable accident. That’s equal to driving around the earth 40 times!
The 2019 inductees are:
Light rail operator Mark Bailey has been with TriMet since 1988. He is a Lead Operator who earned his 29th National Safe Driving award in June 2018.
Paul Tyler has been with TriMet since 1987. He is a Gold Grand Master Operator with more than 20 years of perfect attendance. He earned 29th National Safe Driving Award in February.
A third operator who was also inducted into the prestigious group asked not to publicly recognized.
Driven by safety
At TriMet, safety is our core value. It’s who we are; it’s what we do. During the last year, 1,090 of our operators received Safe Driving Awards from the National Safety Council. The award recognizes 12 months of driving without a preventable accident. We salute our exceptional employees for protecting lives while performing their job with the highest standards of safety. Think you have what it takes? Steer your career into the driver’s seat at trimet.org/careers.