(VIDEO) TriMet’s ‘Operators of the Year’ come up big during a year of new challenges


TriMet recognizes operators with a demonstrated track record of service and safety, and who exhibit teamwork among their colleagues

If you ever wondered about the dos and don’ts of winning the lottery, you can look to TriMet bus operator Tim Maxcy for guidance. There’s a very simple three-part rule in his post-lottery playbook: stay active, keep working and be generous.

That’s what he’s done ever since winning $1,000 a week for life in the Oregon Lottery in 2007. But that’s not the only thing he’s been awarded. Through his work and commitment to his riders and colleagues, Tim has been honored as TriMet’s 2021 Bus Operator of the Year.

“Driving people around, helping people, that’s what I like to do,” Tim said. “Making sure I get people to the right place on time and safely, that’s me.”

Tim has been driving for TriMet for the past seven years, and over that time he has received kudos for always greeting passengers when they board and going above and beyond when they have questions about how to get to where they’re going.

TriMet’s 2021 Bus Operator of the Year Tim Maxcy

After winning the lottery in 2007, Tim found his life changed. And it changed more when he applied for and got a job at TriMet, a job that gives him the satisfaction of being able to help riders and his colleagues alike. He particularly enjoys helping newer operators understand their job and guiding them through their early days. When he’s not working, he’s out hiking—every single day—or taking a few weeks off to vacation in Mexico.

Our Operators of the Year demonstrate superior safety, customer service and job performance. Safety has been more important than ever this past year, as operators have been on the frontlines of keeping their riders safe. But even with new and changing transit regulations around cleanliness and mask wearing over the past year, Tim says it’s all gone “really smoothly.”

Mini-Run and MAX Operators of the Year

Mini Run Operator of the Year Herbert Lockett

Mini-run and MAX operators, along with bus operators, make up the backbone of TriMet and allow for safe, on-time service to happen every day. This year’s Mini-Run Operator of the Year is Herbert Lockett, who’s been with TriMet for nine years. His colleagues have commended him for always looking after his riders, especially kids on their way home from school. They say he always makes sure they get off at the right stops.

“We are all winners,” Herbert said of his fellow operators. “We made it through COVID and we are here.”

Rail Operator of the Year Jonathan Hoard

The MAX operator of the year for 2021 is Jonathan Hoard, who’s been with TriMet for 19 years. For the past 14 years, he’s been a MAX operator and has had perfect attendance for all but one of those years. Last July, he achieved Gold Grand Master status, which goes to operators who consistently demonstrate superior safety, customer service and attendance.

Jonathan said that “consistency matters” and that he appreciates everyone’s hard work during this trying year.

Candidates like Tim, Herbert and Jonathan are nominated throughout the year, and the winners are chosen through a vote of their peers. We congratulate, thank and honor the 2021 Operators of the Year.

Million Mile Club members added

They’ve circled the earth 40 times by now, or so their odometers would lead us to believe. They’re the new members of TriMet’s Million Mile Club, Wes Hayes and Susan Swope. Operators are inducted into the Million Mile Club once they reach one million miles or 25,000 hours driving without a preventable accident.

They are now part of an elite group of operators who earned this prestigious honor after achieving the equivalent of 29 years of safe driving. TriMet employs about 1,450 operators, but only 19 active employees are part of this exclusive club, recognized by the National Safety Council. We salute all of this year’s honorees, and every other operator who keeps transit moving safely every day.