Mark your calendar for Transit Driver Appreciation Day


TriMet is celebrating our nearly 1,500 bus and rail operators on March 18; riders and community members are encouraged to show their support as well

Monday, March 18, is Transit Driver Appreciation Day!

Every year, TriMet takes this day to honor and celebrate the amazing operators who make our service possible. Some 1,463 people work for TriMet as bus or rail operators, including part-time and full-time employees. These dedicated public servants connect tens of thousands of people every day with jobs, schools, health care and other services, and recreation. Our operators demonstrate patience and grace as they exemplify TriMet’s commitment to safety.

TriMet was the first transit agency in North America to begin celebrating a day for operators in 2013. Transit Driver Appreciation Day, also known as National Transit Employee Appreciation Day, is now celebrated across the United States and Canada every March 18.

Show your support

Operating a bus is hard work! Even TriMet’s smallest fixed-route buses are about 30 feet long, and our largest, the green articulated buses you’ll see along FX2, are 60 feet long. That’s a lot of bus, and it takes a skilled operator to handle it. Bus and LIFT paratransit operators navigate city streets that can be narrow, hilly and bustling with traffic. They share the road with cars, trucks, motorcycles, light rail vehicles, scooters and bicycles, not to mention pedestrians. They do their job in rain or shine, sleet or snow.

And operating MAX and Portland Streetcar is no joke, either. Each of TriMet’s light rail operators have come up through the ranks of bus operators. Trains are complicated and can be technically challenging to operate. That’s especially true in urban environments when they’re running along the roadway and making stops every few city blocks. We also have hard-working conductors and engineers on our WES commuter rail line, who provide a quick, safe and reliable ride while making all feel welcome aboard.

So, on Transit Driver Appreciation Day, show your appreciation! Say hello, be a courteous rider and thank your transit operator for the ride. Many of our operators value their daily interactions with riders and enjoy getting to know the people on their route. They take pride in getting their riders where they need to go on time. Let our operators know you’re glad to be a part of their day and help them to have a great day, too. Just a wave or a smile can go a long way!

Celebrating our operators

On the Transit Mall, TriMet employees and volunteers will be greeting bus and rail operators from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, March 18, and sending them on their way with hoots, cheers and waves.

Catch the festivities on SW Fifth Avenue from Jefferson Street to Main Street and SW Sixth Avenue from Yamhill Street to Alder Street. Community members are welcome to join in! Sunshine and high temperatures near 70 degrees are in the forecast, and with the cherry blossoms coming into bloom, it should be a beautiful day in Downtown Portland.

Additionally, we’ll have banners celebrating our operators at the Beaverton, Clackamas Town Center, Gresham and Rose Quarter transit centers. Riders are invited to sign those banners and write a brief message if they wish. Hundreds of riders shared their appreciation on banners throughout our transit system last year.

Whether or not you’re riding with TriMet on Transit Driver Appreciation Day, you can still contribute! Leave a friendly word or encouraging message at Along with our banner, we’ll be collecting comments on our website and social media platforms to share with bus and rail operators.

TriMet also wants to salute our transit partners and their operators on Transit Driver Appreciation Day. We are happy to work with neighboring transit agencies and organizations like C-TRAN, Canby Area Transit (CAT), Ride Connection, Sandy Area Metro (SAM), South Metro Area Regional Transit (SMART) and more. Give them a wave if you see their buses out and about, and thank their operators if you ride with them, too!