Jul 3, 2013
Harold Rose starts his run.

CLEVELAND -- A total of 28 bus and rail operators are being honored by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) for a combined 595 years of accident-free driving. They were all chosen to receive the Professional Operators Safety Award.

“Many of our operators are special, but this group is extraordinary,” says Joe Calabrese, RTA CEO and General Manager.

30 Years Safe Operation

Harold Rose, and Robert Podobnikar have each driven 30 years accident-free.

“That’s incredible,” says Joe Calabrese, RTA CEO and General Manager. “Our operators drive 40 or more hours each week, in an urban landscape filled with potholes, orange barrels, unexpected detours, drivers pulling out without warning, and pedestrians who cross the streets while talking or texting on their mobile devices.”

Rose works out of RTA’s Hayden Garage in East Cleveland. He works 4 p.m.– midnight on routes 1 and 11. It is estimated that he has driven more than 1 million miles without an accident, but despite that record, he has taken the bus operator refresher course several times. He credits RTA dispatchers, trainers and management for helping to keep him sharp.

Safe driving tips

  • "Focus on what you are doing.”
  • “Practice safety everyday.”
  • “When you are driving, anticipate what might happen, and decide how you would react."

Rose enjoys driving, but his outlook has everything to do with his continued diligence to service. Rose says, "You definitely have to be personal and people-oriented. I enjoy working with the public."

Rose resides in Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of Cleveland with his wife, Jeannette. He is a father of 4, grandfather of 14 and great-grandfather of 1.


Also honored with the Professional Operators Safety Award were Joseph Batzell of the Triskett Garage, and Ike Steele Jr. and Anthony Wilson of the Hayden Garage. Each has 25 years of accident-free driving. A total of 23 other operators were saluted for 20 years each of safe driving.

RTA provides quality, economic and safe public transportation via rail, bus and Paratransit throughout Cuyahoga County. Real-time information is available for all buses and trains. Check www.riderta.com or call the RTAnswerline at 216-621-9500.

Media Contact: Mary Shaffer, 216-566-5211