The BUSRide Safe Driver Hall of Fame

Drivers hold the keys to an accident free day

5Star Specialty Programs congratulates the new inductees

By Buzz Cook

5Star Specialty Programs believes it is important to participate in this noteworthy program that recognizes the safest among the nation’s transit and motorcoach drivers. These honorees set high standards for other drivers and demonstrate it is indeed possible to maintain this exemplary feat over millions of miles. Safe driving over time requires high standards in every facet of the job from behavior behind the wheel and passenger awareness to vehicle maintenance.

These inaugural Hall of Fame inductees who have logged up to three million accident-free miles represent the best in their industry. Their high performance standards, driving skills, personal appearance and conduct, personal hygiene and physical health, as well as care for the physical appearance of the vehicle contribute directly to the reputation and performance of their companies.

We can never overemphasize the necessity of placing only the safest drivers behind the wheel. Drivers with the skill and dedication to play it safe continually for the sake of their passengers, others on the road and the equipment, are treasures to their company and agency and to the entire bus and motorcoach industry.

The road to millions of miles of accident-free driving begins with the driver’s sense of professionalism that encompasses the highest performance standards in driving skill, personal appearance, exemplary conduct and physical health, as well as for the safe operation and physical appearance of their vehicles. One million miles of safe driving is a significant achievement as even small “fender-benders” count as accidents.

The bus and coach drivers nominated and chosen for the BUSRide Safe Driver Hall of Fame raise the bar for other drivers and demonstrate that it is possible to maintain this exemplary feat. To keep it going over millions of miles is exemplary. Three million miles add up roughly to 36 years behind the wheel — or as some have noted: six runs to the moon and back. The National Safety Council says fewer than 200 drivers ever achieve three million miles of accident-free driving.

The importance of attracting, hiring, training and retraining drivers to stay safe behind the wheel substantially impacts every area of company operations. Driver behavior and performance behind the wheel directly affect the tangible and intangible costs of accidents. 5Star Specialty Programs believes reducing accidents is an obvious way to lower costs and insurance premiums.

The BUSRide Safe Driver Hall of Fame sends the message that drivers with a sense of professionalism make a difference. BR

Buzz Cook serves as Advertising Manager for 5Star Specialty Programs, Melbourne, FL.


3,000,000 miles

Charles Frasier
Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority (CARTA)
Veolia Transportation

Charles began his career as a transit bus driver in 1974. He begins his route each day meditating and sharing motivational messages with his peers that benefit the customers he interacts with daily. Charles says safety is his top priority and has earned recognition and commendations for excellence and exemplary service.  The notable author Adam Shepard sent Frasier a two page note expressing his gratitude for him while using the bus service.

Sue Sutain
Valley Metro, Phoenix, AZ
Veolia Transportation

Sue has logged an estimated 3,500,000 miles in her 42 years as a transit bus driver, 10 years with Wunderlich Bus Company in Minnesota and 32 years with Valley Metro, Phoenix, AZ.  She enjoys recognition and numerous awards for her high level of attention to the job. She enjoys her passengers and considers their safety her most important focus.

Robert Tobin
Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Authority
Veolia Transportation

Robert began his career with Las Vegas Transit in 1992. As an employee of Veolia Transportation for the last 19 years, he shares his high level of attention and his on-the-job experiences to mentor newer operators. He has served over 15 years as line and revenue instructor and has numerous recognition awards for his safe driving.

2,000,000 miles

Jones Kinloch
Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority (CARTA)
Veolia Transportation

Jones began with SCE&G in 1977 before his career with Veolia Transportation, and has logged an estimated 2,888,500 miles. He is the recipient of the 2012 Fixed Route Operator of the Year Award, following numerous awards for service and perfect attendance on the job. At one point he received a letter from the Mayor of Quebec, QC, Canada extending an invitation to visit Quebec in appreciation of his politeness.

1,000,000 miles

Marshall F. Thomas
Valley Metro, Tempe, AZ
Veolia Transportation

Marshall F. Thomas joined Veolia Transportation in 2000, coming from his previous position with Forsythe & Associates. He has received numerous awards for his safe driving, and mentors newer drivers in safe driving techniques and customer service.

Susie Ramirez
Veolia Transportation
Chico Division (Butte Regional Transit – Bline)

In her 16 years with Veolia Transportation, Susie has served as a fixed route and paratransit operator, and is currently a member of the Chico DRIVE Team. She also works as a Behind the Wheel and Revenue Instructor for both fixed route and Paratransit fleets.

Scott Quarry
Veolia Transportation Chico Division
(Butte Regional Transit – Bline)

Scott is a foundational member of the Chico Division team for Veolia Transportation. He makes safety a priority and works as a safety instructor mentoring newer drivers.

Jonathan Wilson
Kobussen Trailways
Kaukauna, WI

A native of Madison WI, Jonathan became a motorcoach driver in 2004. Kobussen Trailways President Joe Kobussen says Wilson has always been the standard by which his company measures safety awareness.


3,000,000 miles

Graham Hyde
Red Arrow Bus Line
Calgary, AB, Canada

Graham Hyde continues his career with Red Arrow Bus Lines, a division of Pacific Western Transportation (PWT) with more than 3.5 million miles of safe accident-free driving to his credit. Hyde was behind the wheel for the inaugural run when Red Arrow launched in 1979.

Joseph Anderson
Peter Pan Bus Lines
Springfield, MA

Joseph Anderson is one of four veteran drivers for Peter Pan Bus Lines, Springfield, MA, to have reached three-million-miles. He received a proclamation from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts commending him for this distinction.

1,000,000 miles

Eugene Nwafor
Peter Pan Bus Lines
Springfield, MA

Born in Nigeria, Eugene Nwafor immigrated to Toronto, ON,
Canada before coming to the U.S. in 1978. He has driven 15 years for Peter Pan Bus Lines.

Michael Dise

Peter Pan Bus Lines
Springfield, MA

Peter Pan saluted Michael “The Diceman” Dise for his quick wit, great service to his passengers and his accident-free driving record.

Howard Simon
Peter Pan Bus Lines
Springfield, MA

Howard Simon, a native of Ghana, joined Peter Pan at its Tuxedo, MD Division in 1997, and has driven nearly 15 years for the company.

Peter Frangomihalos
Peter Pan Bus Lines
Springfield, MA

After 16 years of service for Peter Pan, Peter Frangomihalos is one of the most requested charter drivers in Secaucus, NJ.