Best drivers in NSW recognised at expo

BusNSW has handed out bus driver awards at the opening day of the Expo.

Customers in regional NSW have now had access to real-time data on more than one million bus trips across the state.

The best bus drivers in NSW have been recognised at the opening of the Australasia Bus and Coach Expo on Wednesday October 5, 2022.

BusNSW Executive Director Matt Threlkeld says the “Bus Driver of the Year” Awards were established in 2006 to recognise individuals for their outstanding contribution to the NSW Bus and Coach Industry.

“As the interface between operators and their customers, the industry depends heavily on its drivers to provide the kind of customer service that the travelling public expect and rely upon,” Threlkeld says.

“The outbreak and spread of COVID-19 highlighted just how reliant the community is on bus drivers, who ensured health and emergency services workers could get to work, and school children could access on-campus learning.

“The winners of these awards have a proven record for being exceptional drivers, making a difference to the lives of the people they carry, and are well respected within their organisations.”

The awards are divided into three categories to recognise drivers in greater Sydney, regional NSW and in the coach and charter sector.

“To be eligible for each award, nominees need to fulfil certain criteria, which includes exhibiting a positive and cooperative attitude towards their job, assisting passengers and other staff members, and having a high standard of personal presentation,” Threlkeld says.

“In addition to greeting passengers in a polite and friendly manner, we also look for drivers who have a safe driving record and are courteous to other drivers on the road.”

The NSW Bus Driver of the Year award winners were announced by BusNSW Industry Development Manager, Philip Whipp, with trophies presented by The Hon. Sam Farraway, Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, the Transport for NSW Secretary, Rob Sharp, and BusNSW President, John King.

Due to the 2021 Bus Driver of the Year Awards being postponed because of the COVID pandemic, two winners in each of the three categories were announced. Following are the 2022 Bus Driver of the Year Award winners:

Metropolitan/Outer Metropolitan Bus Drivers of the Year

  • Belinda Guillard from Busways
  • Leo Pham from Premier Illawarra

Rural and Regional Bus Drivers of the Year

  • Les Curtis from Cowans Bus Service
  • Alan Selman from Ogden’s Coaches

Coach and Charter Drivers of the Year

  • Linaire Barrett from CDC NSW
  • Hans Keetels from On Course Tours