Friday, May 24, 2024

Link Transit Drivers Celebrated for Safety Record

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Since first getting behind the wheel of a Link bus more than 30 years ago, veteran Link Transit coach operators Jose and Roberto Torres have each accumulated about 1 million miles on the road—equal to going to the moon and back a couple of times. Even more impressive, together the pair have more than 60 years of accident-free driving. In late 2022, Jose was the first Link Transit operator to reach the 30-year accident-free milestone. Roberto reached his 30-year mark just a few days ago, on May 14.

“These two gentlemen set the highest standard for Link operators,” said Link Transit General Manager Richard DeRock. “In addition to their incredible safety records, the Torres brothers provide welcoming, friendly faces to our guests. We are extremely fortunate and could not be prouder to have these two outstanding individuals representing us to the public every day.”

The secret to their success behind the wheel? Basic driver’s education—stay focused and drive defensively. “When I am driving, I am always expecting the unexpected,” Jose said. “I always follow at a safe distance and never hurry to get where I am going.” “There is a lot going on our streets and roads, a lot more than there was 30 years ago,” Roberto said. “Paying attention to what other drivers are doing, being alert, and knowing where the trouble spots are is what keeps us safe.”

When the Torres brothers started driving for Link Transit more than 30 years ago, Link was new to the community. “That was a long time ago,” Roberto said. “It was fun in those early days getting people brand new to transit and seeing them excited about it. Most of us at Link were all new to transit too.”

“For over 30 years, Link has been providing an important service to our community, and we are proud to be a part of that,” Jose said.

The importance of having time with family and predictable schedules is what brought the Torres brothers to Link Transit in the early 1990s. Before that, Roberto and Jose were working as hotshot firefighters for the Entiat Ranger District. “We were traveling all around, even out of state, fighting fires. I wanted to be home with my family,” Jose said. The stability of the job is important to them and always has been. Raising families and being able to support them and spend time with them has always been a priority for both men. Both Jose and Roberto agree, “these have been really good jobs, and Link has always taken good care of their employees.”

“The Torres brothers bring priceless experience to the safety culture here at Link Transit,” said Safety Officer Shawn Larson. “The industry average for an at-fault vehicle accident is about $9,000, plus the intangible costs of investigation, bus down time, service disruption and the trust and confidence of our guests. Having two highly competent drivers like Roberto and Jose is a huge positive for all our coach operators to look up to, and a great benefit for Link Transit, and our guests.”

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