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Success upon success

Year in year out BusNSW brings to the fore the state’s best bus drivers, acknowledged at Parramatta

By David Goeldner | March 5, 2013

An annual highlight after each BusNSW Annual General Meeting is the conferring of awards to the state’s best bus and coach drivers.

At least one winner among the successful trio could have a new career path in public speaking such was the high quality of her acceptance speech at the recent award ceremony at Parramatta.

Rural and Regional Bus Driver of the Year, Gay Eisenhauer told the annual gathering of NSW operators of her love of community and passion for the clients under her care.

She thanked BusNSW and Mobitec/Thoreb for the honour of receiving the award.

“As a service deliverer I always try to deliver a high quality service,” Eisenhauer says.

“Students spend much of their time on school buses therefore their travel experience should be a pleasant and non-boring one as well as a safe one.

“Great communication between the children, parents, schools and myself built up a healthy rapport over the years, which helps keep everyone stay cheerful and safe, and supplying colouring-in books and portable DVD players also helps.”

Eisenhauer took the opportunity to raise an issue of concern during her speech.

“One thing that worries me as a school bus driver is the number of people who speed past as the big red lights are flashing,” she says.

“I estimate 99 percent of the traffic does not slow down, let alone slow down to 40km. I believe with help from our friends at Transport for NSW there should be a campaign for country drivers, including semi-trailer drivers, to make them slow down to 40km.”

With Transport for NSW’s top policy bureaucrat present in the room, Eisenhauer introduced her own slogan for such a campaign, “It’s up to you – country kids count too.”

Eisenhauer thanked BusNSW for making the role of country drivers much easier.

BusNSW Executive Director Darryl Mellish acknowledged Gay Eisenhauer’s insightful comments about safety around school buses, adding that he and Transport for NSW Deputy Director-General for Policy and Regulation Tim Reardon understood the issues, which form part of a report currently being considered by government.

Winning this year’s Metropolitan Bus Driver award is Veolia Transdev driver Johnny Fangia, a 42-year industry veteran noted for his broad smile and friendly nature.

And NSW Coach Driver of the Year went to Fantastic Aussie Tours driver James Shute, who couldn’t make it to the Parramatta ceremony to accept his award as he was on driving duty at the time.

BusNSW Executive Director Darryl Mellish thanked awards sponsor Mobitec/Thoreb and the AGM’s keynote speaker Tim Reardon for participating in the award ceremony.

“With a renewed focus on the customer experience these awards provide a great opportunity to recognise the best drivers in our industry – those who exhibit a positive and cooperative attitude towards their passengers and always drive safely,” Mellish says.

As for the AGM, the 2012 office bearers were retained making it ‘business as usual’ for Australia’s largest state heading towards a much-anticipated BusNSW management conference at Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific on April 27.

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