On Friday, April 26, Pierce Transit inducted 45 bus Operators into the agency’s “Million Mile Club,” a rare honor attained by professional drivers nationwide who have driven a million consecutive miles or more – about 12-1/2 years – without a preventable accident. Five of the Operators were recognized for two million miles or more, and one Operator became the first in the agency’s history to be recognized for three million miles of accident-free driving.
Each million miles driven equates to about 40 trips around the world, or two trips to the moon and back. It is a feat that would take the average American driver 75 years to accomplish.
Pierce Transit’s Million Mile Club qualifications follow strict National Safety Council guidelines for accident-free driving. The agency kicked off the new recognition program this year, joining other agencies around the country in welcoming bus Operators into this elite group. All current employees who have driven a million consecutive accident-free miles were eligible for Club membership this year. Moving forward, the agency will recognize new Million Mile Club Operators each year.
Pierce Transit CEO Sue Dreier, who began her own transit career as a bus Operator, was on hand to congratulate new Million Mile Club members at the April 26 celebratory event.
“These Operators have proven, over time, their personal commitment to safety, their care for our customers and their desire for excellence,” said Dreier. “It is an honor to recognize these dedicated employees who have served Pierce Transit and the people of Pierce County so well.”
In addition to the agency’s CEO, Pierce Transit Board member Kent Keel, agency executives, the honorees’ colleagues and their family and friends were on hand to offer their congratulations. Each qualifying Operator received a certificate and a special jacket with a “Safe Driver” patch signifying their status as a Million Mile Club member. A former bus Operator, who now serves in Pierce Transit’s Dispatch office, designed the patch and the agency’s Operators voted on the winning design. Operators who had achieved two million miles also received a gold bar to accompany the patch, and the three million mile award winner received two gold bars.
There were many compelling stories among the new Million Mile Club inductees, including one driver who was welcomed into the Club – along with both his father and mother. One of the agency’s long-time Safety and Training Instructors and a Maintenance employee both received the honor for their driving records during their previous service as bus Operators.
Pierce Transit Million Mile Club members’ photos will be placed on display at the agency.