UTA is marking national Transit Driver Appreciation Day by celebrating the operator who received the most customer commendations in 2016 and 2017. This year, we’d like to recognize Jeremy Martin, a bus operator who has worked in UTA’s Salt Lake Business Unit for 2.5 years.

UTA Operations Supervisor Douglas Malmborg said Martin always puts the customer first, whether it’s waiting until all passengers are safely seated before pulling away from a stop or tracking down a tissue for a tearful rider having a bad day.

“In general, he just does whatever he can to help someone,” Malmborg said. 

Martin said that before he worked at UTA, he was a regular bus rider. This has given him a unique perspective on what it takes to make an everyday ride extraordinary.

“I like to take a little extra time and make sure that they’re welcomed on the bus. I want it to be a great experience,” he said.

Recently, Martin was driving a ski bus and encountered a young rider who had suffered a concussion on the slopes. He helped the rider off the bus with his equipment and waited with him at his stop until his father was able to pick him up.

The skier’s father later contacted UTA to share the experience.

“I wanted to point out how grateful I am for someone like the driver to be concerned over a situation like this with my son,” he said. “He showed kindness, and concern and did not just drop him off at a stop where he could have had a serious medical reaction.”

Other riders have reached out to UTA to mention Martin’s courtesy and kindness. 

“He always says, ‘Is everybody settled?’ I'm in a walker so it makes me feel so good. He is just really, really, really nice.” – UTA customer commendation

“Driver was exceptionally courteous to passengers, announcing stops and treating every rider like a VIP. He even went out of his way to take a minute to help a senior rider who'd tripped and fallen making his way to the bus. We have a lot of good drivers in SLC but this was a truly exceptional experience.” – UTA customer commendation

Congratulations to Jeremy Martin on his accomplishment, and thank you from everyone at UTA. As one of your riders told us, you love job and it shows.

Transit Driver Appreciation Day has been celebrated since 2009. The day is usually held March 18, but it is being recognized on Friday, March 17 this year. For more information, visit www.transitdriverday.org.

Other Top UTA Operators, According to Customer Commendations:

Utah County Bus: Janice Roberts

Davis/Weber/Box Elder County Bus: Linda Deboe

Paratransit: Jerry Whitledge

Flex Route: Leslee Larsen

TRAX: Walter Hernandez

FrontRunner: (tie) Mary Gibson, Brett Pralle, William Tatton, Dwight Neilson and Paul Liddiard