Congratulations to Jerry Goodman who received runner up for Driver of the Year by the Florida Public Transportation Association (FPTA). Mr. Goodman was presented the award last week at a special ceremony during FPTA's annual conference, which took place this year in Daytona Beach.
Mr. Goodman has been with HART for 28 years, starting off as a service attendant and then getting behind the wheel a year later.
"My supervisor had come to me at the time about the opportunity to drive the bus," Goodman said. "I thought, well, if I don't like it, I can always go back to being a service attendant." He never went back.
Mr. Goodman is one of a handful of HART employees to reach 2 million miles of safe driving. He marked this milestone earlier this year. On average, it takes about 14 years for a bus operator to reach 1 million miles of driving without a preventable accident.
Working at HART almost since its inception, Mr. Goodman has witnessed its many changes. In fact, he was one of the operators to initiate the streetcar system when it opened in 2002 and drove as a streetcar operator for about five years.
"It seems like HART has become more service-oriented over the years," Mr. Goodman said in summarizing the agency's direction over his time here. "The best part of my job is helping a customer get from Point A to Point B."
On weekdays, customers will find Mr. Goodman operating Routes 5 and 53LX. A native of Tampa and graduate of Plant High School, Mr. Goodman now lives in Brandon with his wife of 35 years.