By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: Fabian Cotter

NEAR 50 YEARS of collective bus and coach driver experience spoke volumes about the three winners of the 2019 BusNSW Driver of the Year Awards, announced at a Christmas luncheon in Parramatta, recently.

The industry depends heavily on such drivers to provide the kind of service the travelling public expects and relies upon, says BusNSW.

Established in 2006 to recognise individuals for their outstanding contribution to the NSW bus and coach industry, the awards honour bus drivers who are the interface between operators and their customers, meaning the industry depends heavily on such drivers to provide the kind of service the travelling public expects and relies upon, says BusNSW.

The awards – this year sponsored by Mobitec - were divided into three categories:

1) Metropolitan and Outer Metropolitan Driver of the Year;

2) Rural and Regional Driver of the Year; and

3) Coach Driver of the Year.


To be eligible for each award, nominees need to satisfy five criterions.  They must:

- Exhibit a positive and cooperative attitude towards their job;

- Assist passengers and other staff members;

- Have a high standard of personal presentation;

- Always greet passengers in a polite and friendly manner;

- Always drive safely, and be courteous to other drivers on the road.

Bob Barwick from Mobitec and Barbara Wise from Transport for NSW presented the awards.





The winner of the Metropolitan/Outer Metropolitan Bus Driver of the Year Award was Adrian Spry from Central Coast’s Red Bus Services Pty Ltd.

According to organisers, Spray’s employer describes as "a quiet achiever that gives 110 per cent", both to the company, and to his passengers.  This driver has been employed for more than 21 years.

Spray is also employed as a driver trainer. In that capacity he encourages all new recruits to follow the same high standards he sets for himself, they state.

He has received many compliments from his passengers about his exemplary customer service, including from parents of young school students that he has taken the time to assist when they have become lost or boarded the wrong bus, the company reports.

It adds that Spray takes great pride in maintaining the high safety standards of his company, as well and keeping the services he operates running on time.



The Winner of the Rural and Regional Bus Driver of the Year was Rick Raymond from Sapphire Coast Buslines, NSW.

Raymond has worked as a bus driver for the same company for the past 17 years and is regarded by the entire organisation as an exemplary employee, team member and driver, it reports.

His daily drive to work is a 50-minute return trip; though, he is always on time, always dressed neat and tidily in company uniform, and promotes the company with great pride and respect, it reports.

He receives daily compliments and positive feedback from passengers, the general public and co-workers due to his professionalism, care and support to others, says Sapphire Coast Buslines.

Raymond is described as "calm under pressure" and "a role model to all bus drivers". He is highly regarded as a safe driver by staff and management and always delivers a pleasurable, easy and comfortable travel experience for his passengers, the company says.



The winner of the Coach Driver of the Year Award was announced as Clayton Carlyle of Crowthers Coaches, based at Caringbah, NSW.

He joined his employer in 2009, having come from hotel management and looking for a complete change of career. Carlyle quickly established himself as an immensely competent driver and guide, and worked extensively on his employer’s day-tour programme, as well as driving and guiding on AAT-Kings, APT and Gray Line day tours, organisers state.

After 10 years in his role, his skill level continues to grow, he has worked extensively in the Northern Territory, and is currently one of only two people operating 26-day Sydney - Cairns - Sydney turnarounds as a driver, guide and tour director on his own, it’s reported.

Carlyle’s customer service is described as "second to none" and he receives constant positive feedback for his efforts, the company confirms.


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