BusNSW’s “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 bus 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.
The Awards are sponsored by mobitec and are divided into three categories below.
1. Metro & Outer Metro Bus Driver of the Year
2. Rural & Regional Bus Driver of the Year
3. Coach Driver of the Year
To be eligible for each award, nominees need to fulfil the following criteria:
1. Exhibit a positive and cooperative attitude towards their job;
2. Assist passengers and other staff members;
3. Have a high standard of personal presentation;
4. Always greet passengers in a polite and friendly manner;
5. Always drive safely, and be courteous to other road users
2018 Metropolitan/Outer Metropolitan Bus Driver of the Year
Glenn Sharp from Blue Mountains Transit
The winner of the Metropolitan/Outer Metropolitan Bus Driver of the Year is a driver who his employer describes as an “absolute asset”, both to the company, and to public transport in general. This driver is well respected by his colleagues and management and, most of all, by the passengers he carries.
This employee is also employed as a driver trainer. In that capacity he is diligent in ensuring new staff have all the skills needed to become effective and professional bus drivers. He is also generous in sharing his many years of experience in the industry with his fellow employees.
He is often called upon to drive both route and school services and the company has received many glowing reports from passengers about this driver’s positive attitude and willingness to assist.
Rural and Regional Bus Driver of the Year
Lars Hornstra from Picton Buslines
The Rural and Regional Bus Driver for this Year only started driving for his employer in 2013. However, even at that stage, he shone out as a professional driver with exceptional customer service skills.
His personal presentation and his vehicle presentation are always exceptional, and his “can do” attitude means he is available to assist anyone in any way possible. His employer has received many letters and compliments and all comment on this driver’s politeness, friendliness and eagerness to help. One schoolchild passenger even wrote that he was “the best bus driver in the world!”.
Coach Driver of the Year
Henry Viana from AAT Kings
This winner of this year’s Coach Driver of the Year is another driver who goes beyond the call of duty to assist the customers he transports. This driver has that “attention to detail” which makes him a great coach driver, and also a great employee. He has a passion for the job and a work ethic described as “exceptional” by his employer. He listens to passengers’ requests and so can personalize their tour and make their experience exceptional.
Importantly for a tour guide, this driver has a great commentary style and a sense of humour which makes each trip lively and entertaining.
This driver’s employer receives many compliments about his attitude, his knowledge and his patience, often with elderly passengers. He is also an extremely good driver. In the words of one passenger, “nothing is too much trouble for him, which made our experience very easy and relaxing.