Trailways has announced that five bus and coach drivers from three states have received its highest honor: Driver of the Year (2017). The names were unveiled Feb. 28th, 2018 at the Trailways annual owners’ meeting in Florida. The awardees were from Alabama, Maryland and New York.
The criteria to be nominated is highly challenging. During the prior calendar year (2017):
- A full-time bus/motorcoach driver must drive at least 20,000 miles or provide service for at least 600 hours;
- A part-time bus/motorcoach driver must drive at least 10,000 miles or provide service for at least 300 hours;
- Any driver nominated must have no “preventable accidents” and must not be absent or late to work.
Five individuals were nominated and met the challenges. They drive for charters and/or scheduled routes. Their companies provided their travel arrangements to the Florida meeting and Trailways provided accommodations for them and their family to be honored in person at the annual awards dinner sponsored by Lancer Insurance.
“Normally, Trailways has one or two awardees, but five drivers were nominated for 2017, showing the pride and gratitude of their company leaders. All serve as great role models,” said Trailways chairman, Jonathan Berzas (Fullington Trailways, Pa.).
Trailways Outstanding Drivers of the Year award recipients for the 2017 calendar year:
- Bill Backus, First Priority Trailways (Maryland): Nominated by Marcia Milton, President/CEO of First Priority, which is located near Washington, D.C. Backus, who drove 43,500 miles accident-free in 2017, has served for 16 years with the company. He is their most-requested driver as well as a driver trainer. Priority clients have included the U.S. Army Medical Center, the Pentagon and the White House. Backus was the lead driver for President Obama's inauguration several years ago. Afterwards, the Secret Service called to compliment his professionalism and the Pentagon's director of transportation praised him. Milton said Backus "represents all that Trailways stands for. Our clients compliment him for his professional dress, behavior and driving abilities," she said.
- Tomas Caminero, Adirondack Trailways (New York): Nominated by Joe Aversaro, VP, Operations and Safety. Caminero drove 72,470 accident-free miles. Caminero is truly happy to come to work every day. "His positive attitude and enthusiasm are contagious" Joe said. Caminero is a dedicated charter driver. He has safely driven State University of New York charters throughout northern New York in hazardous conditions many times. His dispatcher says Tomas is the ultimate professional. "He is prompt, eager and keeps his uniform clean and tidy. He is willing to help on all levels." Caminero has no preventable accidents of any kind and has not been absent or late for work in all of 2017.
- Ed Horn, Pine Hill Trailways (New York): Nominated by Joe Aversano. Horn has been a full-time scheduled-route driver for 25 years and a driver trainer for 15 years. Last year, he drove 59,600 accident-free miles. Horn drives from Kingston into the Port Authority of New York everyday through city traffic and the Lincoln Tunnel, plus trips further upstate to and from Utica. In addition, Horn participates in the annual seminars with the Safety Department and has his certification to train in the Smith Driving System. In total, during his 25 years, he has driven 1.3 million accident-free miles.
- Doug Buffone, New York Trailways (Rochester, N.Y): Nominated by Jack Barker, VP. Buffone drives a scheduled route between Buffalo and New York City. Last year, he logged 93,270 miles. According to Barker, Buffone has all the qualities you could possibly hope for in an employee and driver, he's upbeat, and willing to go the extra step to assist passengers. He's cooperative and prompt with his trip reports. One of his regular passengers says, "He has a very professional attitude. We need more drivers like him!" Doug has a great philosophy: he says, "on every trip, there's at least one first-time rider sitting behind you."
- Rick Calloway, Capital and Colonial Trailways (Montgomery, Ala.): Nominated by Tom Fletcher, president. Calloway has been with the company for 38 years, during which he has driven charters as well line runs and tours. He is the company's most experienced driver and has never had a chargeable accident. Calloway has had many letters of praise from customers over the years describing him as safe, patient, careful, courteous, and kind. Calloway, had 100,260 safe driving miles last year.