Long-time bus operator Rolynd Puckett has been awarded the distinction of “Gold Master Operator” as part of our Master Operator Program.
TriMet’s Master Operator Program recognizes bus and rail operators who achieve overall excellence in their duties as professional drivers.
Operators earn Superior Performance Awards (SPAs) each time they go 1,960 hours of work without any preventable accidents, warnings, reprimands or suspensions.
To reach Master Operator status, a driver must accumulate 10 SPA awards. For Grand Master level, an operator needs 20. And to achieve Gold Master ranking, he or she needs 30 SPA awards.
They also must have excellent records of attendance and customer service.
I have met a lot of neat passengers over the years, made friends with people on the bus. It is special when a rider you haven’t seen for a long time gets on and still remembers you.
Rolynd has 30 SPAs meaning he has driven 58,800 stellar hours. (That’s 6.7 years!) He is one of only three operators at TriMet to receive the Gold Master Operator award.
He also has logged 13 years of perfect attendance, 11 of which were consecutive—no small feat.
Rolynd said receiving this award is “a real honor. My career at TriMet has been a great experience.” He continued, “I couldn’t ask for better coworkers. We really are a big family and we are all in this together. We try to help each other out where we can.”
He has been a TriMet bus operator for 38 years and is second in seniority; only one other current operator has been at TriMet longer.
Rolynd has driven countless routes and currently drives the first Line 67-Bethany/158th bus of the day from Merlo Rd/SW 158th Avenue to Portland Community College/Rock Creek Campus.
Riders say he is “friendly and warm” and “the nicest bus operator I’ve ever had.”
Rolynd and his wife of 42 years, Penny, enjoy camping, fishing and clamming together. He’s also involved in activities at his church, including participating in a choir that visits retirement homes and care facilities to entertain residents. He joined TriMet right after his service in the Navy.
As a reminder: Bus Driver Appreciation Day is coming up. Mark your calendars for March 18, 2013, to celebrate and honor all TriMet operators! Of course, you can submit a commendation for an operator any time at http://trimet.org/thanks.