Thirteen bus operators with HART were recognized last month for driving one million miles without a preventable accident.

Two Brandon-area bus drivers received a special honor last month. Jimmy Suarez and Marc Henry were two of 13 HART operators recognized during the Authority’s third annual HART Million Mile Safe Driver Awards luncheon as drivers who achieved outstanding safely milestones in driving and service.

Both operators were recognized for driving more than one million miles without a preventable accident.
“I am honored to have received this award,” said Henry, who drives Route 37 from Brandon to Netpark Transfer Center. “My family is very proud of this great achievement. They know how passionate I am about my job and how I enjoy helping others.”

HART honors drivers reaching the million mile milestone annually.

“In today’s driving conditions these operators have accomplished something that demonstrates their high level of safety consciousness and commitment to the safety of their passengers, fellow motorists, pedestrians and cyclists,” said HART Interim CEO Jeff Seward. “We congratulate these accomplished bus operators and thank them for their hard work and dedication.”

According to HART Deputy Press Secretary Sandra Morrison, a million miles is the equivalent to driving 769 one-way trips from Tampa to New York City and is longer than driving to the moon and back twice.
Brandon resident and 15 year HART operator, Suarez, drives Route 1 and Route 39 in Tampa. “This is a wonderful recognition and I feel truly honored to have been given the Million Mile Award,” said Suarez. “I take my job very seriously because I have a responsibility to protect my customers and get them to their destinations safely. I take much pride in my job as a HART Bus Operator.”

Additionally, two operators, Cosma Garcia and Tony Hernandez, were recognized for driving two million miles without a preventable accident.

“HART’s Safe Driver Awards program allows executive leadership and management to recognize and honor those who have served the public in a safe and customer-centric manner,” said Chief Administrative Officer and Interim Chief of Staff Kenyatta Lee. “This is a great opportunity to show our appreciation for the best of the best, who take great care of the Authorirty’s customers and vehicles.”

Henry has some words of advice for new bus operators. “Always take your time, watch your surroundings and always use your mirrors,” he said.

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Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.