Friday, March 18, 2022 is Transit Driver Appreciation Day, an annual day of celebration, recognizing the public service transit operators provide. BARTA operators are front-line employees who assist BARTA customers using our Berks County bus service, through collecting fares, answering questions, on-time performance and safely maneuvering and navigating thirty-five and forty foot vehicles through all kinds of traffic, detours and weather. Their service and our appreciation for the job they do is especially important given the last two years of providing this service during and while in the middle of a global pandemic.
This Friday, March 18th, BARTA is encouraging customers to express their appreciation for our operators with encouraging words when riding our service or by posting on BARTA social media accounts via Facebook or Twitter or by email at [email protected].
March 18th was selected as Transit Driver Appreciation Day to commemorate the first bus line, Blaise Pascal’s Carosses à cinq sols (in English means, five-sol coaches) in Paris 1662. This is widely recognized as the first modern form of public transport in the world. The vehicles used for the service were pulled by four horses and staffed by a coach driver and a valet. Each employee wore a blue jersey with the coat of arms for the king and the city of Paris. The vehicles themselves, which carried eight passengers, only stopped on their routes when passengers requested to board or alight at stops.
BARTA employs 75 operators that require a CDL Class B Driver’s License, airbrake certification and passenger endorsement. BARTA Drivers provide close to 1.8 million one way trips annually and travel 7.3 million passenger miles across Berks County.