PSTA bus operator and U.S. Army veteran Marcus Hughes prides himself on being dependable.
Dependability, he says, is the asset that most helped him earn PSTA’s highest honor – 2014 Driver of the Year. Hughes was honored with the award at PSTA’s monthly board meeting on Wednesday, September 24.
When asked about his work, the 16-year veteran driver admits it’s a labor of love. “I’ve always loved driving,” Hughes says. “I guess it was just something that I was born to do.” Driving was also his primary duty when he joined the Army in 1989. After going through Army Airborne School – also known as “Jump School” – Hughes was deployed as a truck driver for the 82nd Airborne in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.
Considering that Marcus has not been even one minute late to work in more than six years, his supervisors couldn’t agree more about his dependability. “He’s dependable all the way around; not only for us as an employee, but for our passengers as well,” said PSTA Chief Operating Officer James Bradford. “Marcus delivers excellent service to our riders all while being helpful, respectful and courteous. He’s a model employee, an outstanding operator and best of all, a genuinely all-around good person with strong character. We and our riders are lucky to have him.”
After his time in the Army, Hughes relocated from his Panhandle hometown of Graceville, FL to the Tampa Bay area where he joined PSTA. Once on board, it didn’t take long before he was a top performer, thanks in part to the dependability and discipline honed by his service in the military.
While proud of that service, he’s also quick to point out that there are other important keys to his success. “I just try to be patient, nice and respectful to others,” Hughes said. “If you treat the passengers with respect, they give you respect as well – and that makes for a great relationship.”
When asked about Greenlight Pinellas, Hughes’ concern for his passengers is front and center. “They need buses running later in the evenings and more often,” Hughes said. “It’s stressful for them to know that if they miss a bus, they have to wait an hour for the next one, or the difficulty that second-shift workers have knowing that bus service ends before they get out of work.”