Happy Transit Driver Appreciation Day!
Thursday, March 18, 2021 marks National Transit Driver Appreciation Day, an annual event to celebrate the work of public transit operators. Nashua Transit System and First Transit will celebrate our hard-working employees with a day of gratitude including a special lunch, baked goods, and new NTS face masks.
The Coronavirus pandemic has shown more than ever that public transportation is essential. For many of Nashua’s residents, public transit is a lifeline, providing affordable access to jobs, school, medical appointments, and grocery stores. For many, it keeps them connected to social activities. During these challenging times, it is more important than ever that we recognize and honor our transit workers who are essential to keeping the community moving.
What does a day in the life of a transit driver look like?
Through winter storms, rain, and road construction our bus operators work hard for the community. The job isn’t just driving a route and picking up passengers—it’s helping riders find their way and making sure everyone stays safe on board.
It begins in the early hours of the morning. Staff arrive at our 11 Riverside Street facility, also known as “base”, ready to go before the sun comes up. Drivers inspect their bus for safety and cleanliness, restock their supplies including fresh masks for passengers. They do a quick wipe down of all their high touch surfaces and then head to the Transit Center downtown (30 Elm Street) or, if they are operating a paratransit vehicle, they make their way to their first passenger’s house for pick-up. Stopping briefly at the mirror station before they leave the yard to check their mirrors making sure they are well adjusted so the driver has good visibility, the first buses hit the streets of Nashua in time to start service at 6:00 AM. Throughout their workday, they collect fares, monitor the bus for cleanliness, navigate traffic and roadwork and assist passengers, ensuring they get to their destination safely.
Drivers will operate up to twelve runs in a normal day with a few short breaks in between to stretch their legs. When their shift is over, they swap out with an afternoon or night shift driver at the Transit Center, reviewing any hazards or changes to the routes for the day and ensuring that service never stops moving. Service wraps up at 10:35 PM and the drivers return the buses to the base where they complete another inspection to make sure the bus is safe and ready for the following morning.
Being a Nashua Transit Driver means putting the passenger first, whether it’s helping secure a passenger’s wheelchair or advising which route they should take to get to their destination. The goal is to always get people where they need to go in a safe and timely manner.
We hope you'll join us in thanking our transit workers!
In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to forget the transit worker that gets you where you need to go. Transit Driver Appreciation day is a great opportunity to slow down and let them know how much you value their work. We hope you’ll join us in thanking our transit drivers, dispatchers, mechanics, maintenance and admin staff working behind the wheel and behind the scenes to keep Nashua moving. A simple smile and a “thank you” goes a long way in brightening a transit worker’s day. If you’d like to shout-out a Nashua Transit staff member, please email NTSFeedback@NashuaNH.gov or share some kind words on Facebook or Twitter.