More than 200 people – bus drivers, their passengers and passers-by – were there when the “Bus Driver of the Year” was awarded Friday 2nd September in central Copenhagen.
Six bus drivers were nominated for the title of Greater Copenhagen bus passengers, who had sent text messages with good moments in the busses. The winner – Linda – was the bus driver who most passengers had voted for.
For the Stagis team this party was the culmination of months of hard work getting campaigns, press work and the actual event going. This year, it started in May with a campaign in the busses that urged bus passengers to send their best moments from a bus trip to the webpage www.buschauffor.dk where users could vote on the best moments and from thousands of text messages, and later on the passengers voted on the nominees to win the award “Bus Driver of the Year”.
Danish entertainer Huxi Bach hosted the event and singer-songwriter Alberte went on stage. Three awards were given to outstanding colleagues in the bus industry, and one lucky passenger won his own bus with a driver for a weekend for having sent the best text message. Movia CEO Dorthe Nøhr was on stage, and Movia market manager Anders Due and Jan Aage Hansen of 3F’s transportation group presented the prizes.
Bus driver Avi Achi, who won the prize “Joker of the Year,” thanked his passengers – and Denmark – for giving him the prize in a speech that seemed to touch everyone present. And “Child Friend of the Year”, Jan Willum Jensen, sang a children’s carrol on stage. For me, these moments were the real treat of the day: Meeting Avi, Jan and especially Linda – the Bus Driver of the Year – and seeing the pride and joy in their eyes. As the first winner of the prize Linda will fly to Singapore with her colleague (who is also her husband) to experience public transportation there. One of the things that thrills Linda, she told me, is that it will be her first time on an aeroplane. Ever. You can meet Linda on ChaufførTV (Bus Driver TV) where she’s been active making videos about her life since the spring.
The party gathered bus drivers and passengers to give each other a pat on the shoulder. For the same reason, “Pat Day” (Skulderklappets Dag) was founded – with the bus drivers as ambassadors.
The Pat Day and the party were created to focus on recognition and the bus drivers, who are making an effort to turn bus trips into a good experience for their passengers. The plan is that the awards be given each year, so the focus on good moments and recognition is maintained. It was a proud day for the bus drivers and a proud day for everyone working on the project at Stagis!
Avi Achi is reading a highly unexpected and unusual speech that he prepeared – he thanks his colleagues and Denmark for the life that he now has. The speech touched many in the audience.