Association Member News
U.S. Navy Veteran Hector F. Ramos,
Driver for Greater San Diego Transportation Company,
Awarded TLPA 2003 Paratransit & Contracting Driver of the Year
KENSINGTON, MD On Friday, October 24, 2003, the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association named Hector F. Ramos, a veteran who served 21 years with the U.S. Navy, as its 2003 Paratransit & Contracting Driver of the Year. Mr. Ramos drives a wheelchair-accessible vehicle for Greater San Diego Transportation Company in San Diego, Calif. The award was presented to him by TLPA President Gene Hauck and TLPA Vice President James Campolongo at the association's 85th Annual Convention & Trade Show, held in Reno, Nev.
Mr. Ramos was awarded with a plaque and a check for $300 by TLPA, who also paid for his airfare, hotel and convention registration. Greater San Diego Transportation Company Executive Vice President Anthony Leone and Vice President of Operations Sharon Geraty also were presented with a plaque for the company's efforts in fostering a work environment that promotes excellent drivers.
"I was really shocked and joyful upon hearing that I was selected as the Paratransit Driver of the Year," Mr. Ramos says.
Hector Ramos was born and raised in Kingsville, Texas. He served more than 21 years in the United States Navy. After retiring, he noticed a DART (Direct Access to Regional Transit) van driving by and decided to find out more about the service and job opportunities. He started as a DART driver in 1994, coming to work for Greater San Diego Transportation when they acquired the DART contract in 2000.
"What I enjoy the most about working with people with disabilities is that all of them have character and a story to tell," Hector Ramos says. "I can see the pleasure in their eyes when someone is interested in them. All of them have a story to tell, whether it's about themselves or someone or something in their lives."
Hector says that character is the foremost quality needed to be a good paratransit driver. He also says, "taking pride upon themselves and in their job and last, but not least, the ability to communicate with others."
Hector says, "There hasn't been one day that I didn't enjoy coming to work. The reason is that the people who work for this company make the time pleasurable. With the fine weather in San Diego, the great people that I work for and the enjoyable customers we have, what else could a person ask for?"
In the letter nominating Hector Ramos for TLPA's Paratansit & Contracting Driver of the Year Award, Anthony Leone, executive vice president and general manager of Greater San Diego Transportation Company wrote, "Mr. Ramos has been a professional driver since 1994. He consistently performs his job in a professional manner. He usually arrives at work an hour-and-a-half early so that he can prepare himself and his vehicle for the day, as well as check the manifest so he can provide the best service for his passengers. He is very attentive to the needs of his passengers. … The passengers call and compliment Hector for his ability to provide on-time service when they have to transfer to another bus line. They are appreciative of his assistance and as a result they continue to utilize our service."
Hector Ramos also is a safe driver, with some 1,050 days driving for DART accident free.
Hector spends "every single spare minute" that he has with his grandson. He says, "Just seeing him grow up is a hobby in itself. God, my country and my family (my daughter and grandson) are the loves of my life, and the interesting thing is that most people tend to forget that."
In honor of dedication to his country, profession and family, and his sensitivity to his disabled clients, the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association proudly recognizes Mr. Hector Ramos as the TLPA 2003 Paratransit & Contracting Driver of the Year.
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