Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Allan Hubley, Chair of the Transit Commission, recognized the achievements of OC Transpo employees at a safety-focused ceremony as part of its Safe Driving and Transecure programs, two longstanding annual award programs.
The Safe Driving Awards program recognizes transit operators who have an exemplary collision-free driving record. The 2019 ceremony recognized bus operators who achieved the following milestones in 2017 and 2018:
- 12 bus operators with 20 years of safe driving;
- 25 bus operators with 25 years of safe driving;
- 16 bus operators with 30 years of safe driving;
- 4 bus operators with 35 years of safe driving; and
- 11 bus operators with more than 35 years of safe driving.
This year, the bus operator with the longest safe driving record was honoured for 47 years of collision-free driving.
Thirteen OC Transpo employees were also recognized for their actions as part of the 29th annual Transecure Awards. The Transecure program is a community watch program on wheels. OC Transpo employees look out for the safety of the public, and as a result, become the eyes and ears of the community. They notify emergency services when required, assist individuals who are in distress, provide shelter until help arrives, reunite lost children with their loved ones, and much more.
As a special recognition, one notable action is recognized as the Outstanding Transecure Call of the Year. In 2018, Bruce and Sharon received this award for helping a teenager in distress:
On February 19, Bus Operator Bruce had finished his Route 11 shift and was standing at the traffic signal outside of the Rideau Centre, waiting to cross the MacKenzie King Bridge. A teenage girl bumped into Bruce’s shoulder on her way by and stepped in front of oncoming traffic. A bus and a car had to break suddenly to avoid coming into contact with the young girl. Bruce felt something was wrong, so he kept a close eye on her as he crossed the bridge. Just then, the girl began to climb onto the edge of the bridge. Bruce ran towards her and yelled to get the attention of onlookers. As the girl was about to jump, Bruce was able to grip her arm to prevent her from jumping. The girl yelled that she wanted to die. Bus Operator Sharon was also on location at the time and witnessed everything. Together, Sharon and Bruce lifted the girl back over the railing to safety. Bruce then asked a bystander to call 9-1-1.