This month, Coach Operator John Barnett was presented with the Safe Driver Award of Honor for the Pacific Region by the National Safety Council. During his 27 year tenure at Omnitrans, John has logged nearly 50,000 hours and 2 million miles of safe driving.
John Barnett began his career here at Omnitrans in 1988 when he was hired as a part time Coach Operator and within a few months he was promoted to full time. From the very beginning of his career John displayed great pride, enthusiasm and dedication to his job. He took the time to encourage the new hire coach operators with solid words of wisdom and stressed to them the importance of being a safe driver at all times.
Additionally, John devoted himself to providing great customer service to his passengers, accumulating numerous customer service awards and accolades throughout his career. His very impressive file contained numerous letters from passengers from all ages and walks of life, each praising his kindness, helpfulness and his commitment to going the extra mile to assist them.
“I treat everyone with respect and courtesy,” John says. “That’s important. And my passengers know that I will always do my best to get them to their destination safely and on time. People appreciate that. I’ve driven the Route 22 for so long now I’ve gotten to know all the regular riders and have even seem some of them grow up from babies. One little girl who used to ride my bus is now my granddaughter’s kindergarten teacher! You really never know where you might run into someone again, but they will always remember how you treated them.”
In 2010 John became an over the road instructor for new hires entering the transit workforce. To date he has trained over 80 student coach operators and continues to instill in them the required driving skills, work pride, integrity and compassion to serve the public. He is also a long- standing member of Omnitrans Accident Review Committee, providing sound guidance and instruction on safe driving practices and training procedures.
John has been recognized as having well over 10 good years of “Customer Complaint Free Quarters” by our Marketing Department. He has received his One Million Mile Safe Driver Award and is line to receive his Two Million Safe Driving Award at the end of 2014.
John Barnett continues to demonstrate the highest standards set forth by Omnitrans. He is an excellent example of a coach operator and is valued not only by the agency, but by the customers who board his coach each and every day. He is a man of honor and integrity. We are proud of his achievement as a recipient of the National Safety Council Award of Honor for the Pacific Region.
John plans to retire in early 2015. “Omnitrans has been a great experience for me,” he smiles. “And I’m going to miss a lot of people when I go. But I am looking forward to having the time to relax and do some traveling with my wife.”
We wish him all the best.
– Veretta Johnson, Omnitrans Fleet Safety and Training Instructor