Concord, CA – Transit Operator Appreciation Day is Saturday, March 18, 2023, and County Connection, Tri Delta Transit, and WestCAT are offering a day of fare-free rides. No payment will be required on all three agencies’ buses for fixed routes and paratransit. Additionally, Tri Delta Transit’s ride-hailing service, Tri MyRide, will not require any payment for the day either.
Transit Operator Appreciation Day, sometimes called Transit Driver Appreciation Day, started in 2009 in Seattle as a blog about appreciating bus drivers. By 2014, the name was changed to cover the diverse public transportation available throughout the United States. The day is set aside to thank and appreciate transit drivers for their service for the community.
“The contribution drivers make has never been realized more than over the past three years of the pandemic. Transit operators performed a critical and essential service during this time by continuing to provide public transportation,” said Tri Delta Transit CEO, Rashidi Barnes.
Transit Operator Appreciation Day continues to be a notable day for those who value public transportation and want to acknowledge those on the front lines operating transit vehicles. In addition to risking possible exposure to COVID-19, transit operators have been asked to adapt to ever-changing regulations and dramatic fluctuations in ridership demand, adapt to new schedules, as well as work to fill open shifts due to national driver shortages.
“There’ve been a lot of unknowns in the past few years in public transit operations,” acknowledged Bill Churchill, General Manager of County Connection. “We’re so proud that, despite any setbacks, we’ve maintained a high on-time performance rate—a testament to the dedication of our bus operators.”
Rob Thompson, General Manager of WestCAT, shared a similar sentiment of transit drivers, stating, “Our drivers truly are the front line for our agencies. Their commitment and hard work are invaluable in providing public transit to our communities.”
The three partnering transit agencies are glad to offer a day of fare-free riding for passengers, hoping to bring attention to this annual day of recognition. “We hope by going fare free, riders can focus on the driver and their rider experience, and vice-versa, instead of focusing on fares,” says Tri Delta Transit Board Chair Anissa Williams. “For Transit [Operator] Driver Appreciation Day, agencies hope everyone takes a moment to thank their transit driver when riding the bus and post positive messages on the social media pages of the system you ride so that the drivers can see them.”