CLEVELAND -- The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is saluting 30 bus, rail and Paratransit operators who have compiled a total of 665 years of accident-free driving at its annual awards banquet, April 26 at Maggiano's Restaurant, 26300 Cedar Rd., Beachwood.
Joe Calabrese, RTA CEO and General Manager, called that feat “unbelieveable.”
“Think about it. These operators drive a large vehicle 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. Their routes are filled with situations that are just accidents waiting to happen,” Calabrese said.
“Many of our operators are special, but this group represents the best of the best. We are proud to salute them.”
Head of the class
Leading the honorees this year with 30 years of safe driving is Ray Alan Bisaroe. RTA has always been part of his life.
Bisaroe, now age 54, has been an operator for 33 years. He has been accident-free for 30 of them.
As a youth, Bisaroe and his dad would hop an RTA bus to see the Indians play at Municipal Lakefront Stadium. He and his family often used RTA to go to work or to do their shopping. Today, he drives a bus on the 75 route, all over the West Side. He is based at the Triskett Garage, on the Cleveland-Lakewood border.
What's the secret of safe driving?
"In training, I was told to take my time, and do the best I could to stay alert. It was great advice,” Bisaroe said.
“Going to work for RTA was one of the best things I ever did. My customers are friendly, and I am grateful to have the job. I'll probably work 6-7 more years, and retire with 40 years of service."
A total of 11 operators, including 1 from Paratransit and 1 from Rail, are being saluted for 25 years of safe driving.
A total of 18 operators, including 1 from Paratransit and 7 from Rail, have each compiled 20 years of safe driving.
All operators enjoy a kind word, Calabrese said.
“Saying ‘thanks’ to your operator as you leave the bus is always appreciated. We expect our drivers to go the extra mile to serve you, and giving you a safe ride is always our goal."
- Banquet honorees will be presented with awards beginning at 7:45 p.m.
- Each operator's schedule varies, but most routes cross through Public Square, if video of the award winner or b-roll is requested.