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Cornwall Transit employees recognized for safety and service

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City of Cornwall

Cornwall Transit employees recognized for safety and service
On Wednesday, December 14th, Mrs. Piche and several dozen of her co-workers were honoured with long service and Safe Driving / Worker pins and certificates during the 16th annual Safe Driving / Safe Worker Awards Breakfast at the Cornwall Transit office.
PHOTO CREDIT - City of Cornwall

Cornwall - December 19, 2011 - Like many other public transit operations, Cornwall Transit's vehicle fleet has undergone some major safety improvements over the last three decades. Annette Piche knows that first-hand.

When Mrs. Piche first started driving for Cornwall Transit 24 years ago, the buses weren't equipped with power steering or power brakes, not to mention the numerous other safety mechanisms that can be found on today's public transit vehicles.

"It would lift you right off the seat," she recalled of navigating turns in those older model buses.

Mrs. Piche started out driving school buses before deciding to put her application in with Cornwall Transit. Within six months, Mrs. Piche was wearing the familiar blue and white uniform of the City of Cornwall's public transit system.

The veteran bus driver works on both the Conventional bus service as well as Handi-Transit, and she enjoys every minute of it. Her favourite route is the Brookdale / Montreal service.

"It's a very challenging route and it's also very busy," she said. "You get to meet a lot of people."

Thanks to her years of driving, Mrs. Piche has become an expert on the City's street network, and there aren't many streets that she isn't familiar with.

"I know it inside out," she said with a laugh.

Mrs. Piche has been accident-free for 20 years and counting. That's no small feat considering she navigates a 30,000 pound vehicle through City traffic, travelling thousands of kilometres each year.

And Mrs. Piche isn't alone. Of Cornwall Transit's 29 operators, 10 have a record of 20 years or more of accident-free driving. Each of these operators have driven transit buses in excess of 750,000 accident-free kilometres during their careers.

"The safety of our riders is very important and the enviable safe driving record of our employees is reflected through the dedication that our drivers have shown again this year," said Len Tapp, Division Manager of Cornwall Transit.

On Wednesday, December 14th, Mrs. Piche and several dozen of her co-workers were honoured with long service and Safe Driving / Worker pins and certificates during the 16th annual Safe Driving / Safe Worker Awards Breakfast at the Cornwall Transit office.

Mr. Tapp was joined by Councillor Andre Rivette, the City Council representative on the Transit Committee, CAO Paul Fitzpatrick and Norm Levac, General Manager of Infrastructure & Municipal Works, as the awards were handed out to the employees.

"The Awards Breakfast is a way to recognize the pride and professionalism within Cornwall Transit ranks," said Councillor Rivette.

"I would like to congratulate those who have been acknowledged today for their achievements in safety. You deserve it! Driving a bus and being on the road all the time is a huge responsibility, and I thank you for your contributions to City Transit", said Transit Committee Chair Jason Setnyk.

The criteria used by Cornwall Transit to administer its safe driving program, complies with the standards established by the Ontario Safety League and the Canadian Urban Transit Association.

The Cornwall Transit Operators receiving recognition December 14, 2011, would be eligible for the same safe driving recognition from any Urban Transit System in Canada.

This means they have driven for 9 to 12 months or a minimum of 1,500 hours but more likely over 2,000 hours every calendar year. The average Operator drives over 37,000 km per year.


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