SamTrans honors 30-year safe drivers

By Tasha Bartholomew, @tashbart

This blog post is the first of a three-part series highlighting bus operators and maintenance workers who have 20 to 30 years of perfect on the job safety records.

SamTrans Operator Juan Casiano is honored by board member Zoe Kersteen-Tucker for his 30-year Safe Driver Award.

SamTrans Operator Juan Casiano is honored by board member Zoe Kersteen-Tucker for his 30-year Safe Driver Award.

Although they’ve both been driving buses for more than 30 years each, Bus Operators Juan Casiano and James Dobell treat being behind the wheel as if it were their first day on the job.

“I always remember safety first and never get too comfortable,” said Casiano.

Casiano and Dobell were recently honored by the SamTrans Board of Directors for earning their 30-year Safe Driver Award from the National Safety Council. Each bus operator received a certificate of appreciation, a badge and a lapel pin for their uniforms, and a special gift selected by the operator for their achievement.

Prior to receiving this award, Casiano was selected Operator of the Month twice, with the most recent being in February 2005, and was chosen as SamTrans Operator of the Year in 2005. Dobell also was selected as Operator of the Month twice, most recently in May 2012.

Casiano and Dobell both said the best part of their jobs is serving the public and transporting them safely to where they need to go.

SamTrans Operator James Dobell receives recognition from board member Zoe Kersteen-Tucker for his 30-year Safe Driver Award.

SamTrans Operator James Dobell receives recognition from board member Zoe Kersteen-Tucker for his 30-year Safe Driver Award.

“It is a pleasure meeting all the nice people (the locals, out-of-towners and international travelers) that ride my bus each day,” Dobell said. “They make my job rewarding.”

When he’s not working, Dobell said he likes to spend time with his wife, go to church, ballroom dance, explore different neighborhoods in San Francisco, take drives up and down the coast, and vacation in Hawaii.

Casiano said when he is not driving safely for SamTrans, he likes to play sports, play music and go dancing.  He also said he likes to exercise in his free time, and get plenty of rest, so that he can keep up his good health and stay alert when he is on the road.

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