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Cherriots Recognizes Drivers and Maintenance Workers on March 18

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We honor their work in keeping us going and keeping us safe

They provide public transit service with 124 vehicles, which incur 13,000 boardings a day; 3.25 million annually. This translates into 254,000 revenue hours and 3.3 million service miles.

The story these numbers don’t tell, however, is that of the transit operators (bus drivers) who work hard to maintain schedules, give directions, provide excellent customer service, and deal with the challenges of the area’s growing congestion and ever-changing weather patterns. Or that of the maintenance workers who diligently repair vehicles, respond to operator concerns, maintain bus shelters and stops, and keep vehicles and facilities clean.

This month, Cherriots honors its transit operators and maintenance workers. National Transit Driver Appreciation Day is March 18 - an event celebrated by many transit properties across the county. Cherriots, however, recognizes and celebrates both its transit operators and maintenance workers. The range of service for these employees is less than a few months to more than 40 years.

“Maintenance workers are the behind-the-scenes, unsung heroes who keep Cherriots moving effectively and efficiently,” said Gregg Thompson, Maintenance Manager. “If our customers never see them or even know they are there, that’s a good thing. Because that means they are successfully maintaining the fleet without interruptions.”

Operating a bus is challenging: the vehicles are large, riders can be unpredictable, congestion is increasing, and Oregon’s weather is its own story. But the Cherriots operators make it look easy with their skillful, graceful turns and complex negotiations of tight spaces.

“A transit operator is often a customer’s first impression of Cherriots,”said Mark Poulson, Transportation Manager. “While we professionally train and ensure our operators have the skills to safely drive and navigate, we focus even more on customer service. Our customers get to know and trust their operators like a friend or family member. They know that they will get them to where they need to go in a friendly, welcome, and safe environment.”

On March 18 – or any day of the year – take a moment to thank your transit operator and maintenance worker for the safe, reliable ride.

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