April 27, 2016: RTA honors 575 years of accident-free driving

Apr 26, 2016

CLEVELAND -- Safety is one of the core values of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA), so it is important to recognize those who excel at keeping customers safe.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, 2016, RTA will do just that when staff gathers to salute 26 bus, rail and Paratransit operators who have compiled a total of 575 years of accident-free driving. The Annual Awards Banquet will be at Massimo da Milano, 1400 West 25th St.

Joe Calabrese, RTA CEO and General Manager, called that feat “amazing.”

“Consider just what that means,” Calabrese said. “Bus operators drive a large vehicle in an urban landscape filled with potholes, orange barrels, unexpected detours, cars pulling out without warning, and pedestrians who cross the streets while talking or texting on their mobile devices. Their routes are filled with situations that are just accidents waiting to happen.”

“Many of our 1,000+ operators are special, but this group is extraordinary. We are proud to salute them.”

RTA Board member and American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Chair Valarie J. McCall will emcee the event and give top safety honors this year to William J. Crawford, who worked out of RTA’s Triskett Garage.

"Mr. Crawford was a bus operator for 32 years and started with RTA on Jan. 2, 1984. Sadly, he passed away on March 10, 2016. He drove accident-free for 30 years," said McCall.

“Mr. Crawford provided safe transportation to thousands of customers during his time at RTA. We offer our condolences to his family, who can be proud of his legacy,” said Calabrese.

Awards will also be given to:

  • 9 operators, for 25 years each of safe driving.
  • 16 operators, including 2 from Paratransit and 2 from Rail, for 20 years each without an accident.

All operators enjoy a kind word, Calabrese said.

“Saying thanks to your operator as you leave the bus is always appreciated. We expect them to go the extra mile for you.”

Media contact:

Linda Scardilli Krecic
216-390-9605, cell