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June 26, 2014

Top operators honored for safe driving, exceptional service

Metro Transit operators at the Ovations Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, June 26, 2014.MINNEAPOLIS – (June 26) – Metro Transit’s top operators were recognized on Wednesday, June 25, for reaching career milestones in safe driving and exceptional service.

Awards were presented to 77 bus and light-rail operators at the Ovations Awards Ceremony. The annual ceremony has honored the men and women who serve as the face of Metro Transit in the community every year since 1983.

This year’s awards included two firsts. Bus operator Jerry Olson, who began his career at Metro Transit in 1972, was recognized for 41 consecutive years of safe driving. After achieving 30 Outstanding Operator awards, bus operator David Nagel was named the organization’s first 30-Year Elite Operator. Nagel joined Metro Transit in 1979 and works at Heywood Garage in Minneapolis.

Outstanding Operator awards are given for excellence in customer service, attendance and safe driving. In 2013, 351 operators achieved Outstanding Operator status.

Four operators who have received 20 Outstanding Operator Awards were recognized at the awards ceremony as 20-Year Elite Operators. Awards were also given to nine 15-Year Superior Operators, 17 operators 10-Year Prestige Operators and 24 5-Year Master Operators.

Two operators with 25 consecutive years of safe driving, four operators with 20 consecutive years of safe driving and 12 operators with 25 years of safe driving also received recognition.

The awards were presented by Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb, Metropolitan Council Regional Administrator Pat Born, Metropolitan Council Transportation Committee Chair Adam Duinick, Metropolitan Council Board Member James Brimeyer and other Metro Transit department leaders.

“Residents from across the Twin Cities rely on bus and light-rail operators to get them to their destination safely and on time,” Lamb said. “Providing reliable service is the ultimate in customer service and that’s what we’re celebrating with these awards.”

Metro Transit employs around 1,500 bus operators and more than 100 light-rail operators.

Metro Transit is a service of the Metropolitan Council. Customers boarded buses and trains operated by Metro Transit more than 81 million times in 2013.

Photo: Operators who were recognized for 20, 25 and 40 consecutive years of safe driving at the Ovations Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, June 25, 2014. Pictured, from left, are Mike Conlon, Director of Rail and Bus Safety, Operator Kent Knutson, Operator Harry Mandick, Operator David Micklin, Operator Donavan Smith, Operator Jerry Olson and General Manager Brian Lamb. Additional images are available here

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For more information, contact Drew Kerr at 612-349-7758 or drew.kerr@metrotransit.org

    > Rider's Almanac: Top operators driven to succeed

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