May 2015: Penny Fariss
This month, RTD recognizes Route 0 driver, Penny Fariss, who was nominated by passenger Cathy Issac for her great driving skills and exceptional customer service. Penny drives the 0 from Union Station along Broadway to the Highlands Ranch Town Center Park-n-Ride.
“ I wanted to let you know how delightful it is at 5:40 a.m. to get on the bus and have Penny as the driver! She smiles and greets every person boarding the bus. She is very careful to let people know about which buses are available at the next stop, and she will also advise that there is number such and such behind us if anyone needs to catch that one. And when the bus is in motion, she is all business, driving us safely to our destination. I wanted to be able to have her name to tell you about her and to my surprise she asked my name and has remembered it and uses it when I board! It is easy to see that she genuinely cares about the people she serves. One day when I got to the stop before she did, I was walking back and forth as I do to get my daily walking in and when I got on the bus, she asked if I needed to go back to my car for something as she saw me walking the other direction. I explained it was just my “laps”. She is certainly a great face for your organization! ”
After receiving the commendation from Cathy, we wanted to know more about Penny and she graciously agreed to answer a few of our questions.
- How long have you worked for RTD and have you always been a bus driver?
- I’ve been with RTD for 19 years, and I’ve always been a driver.
- What were you in a previous life?
- I don’t believe in humans having more than one life.
- What do you like best about your job?
- My passengers – each one is so interesting. I learn a lot about my passengers – different jobs, and different hopes and dreams in life.
- If you could listen to music while working, what type?
- I wouldn’t listen to music while driving – it’s too distracting, but I love all types of music. In my school years, I played the accordion in an all accordion symphony – that was a great time in my life.
- If you could deck out your bus, what style?
- I love the brightly painted buses – we had one a few years back with all the Warner Brothers cartoon characters on it and I loved driving it!
- If you could change your uniform color, what color or does brown/gray go with your eyes?
- Anything but brown or gray – I don’t even own any personal clothes that are brown or gray. I like bright, cheerful colors.
- What type of service would you drive if given the choice and/or favorite service to drive or operate?
- I like driving local routes. I love the people. They’re craftsmen, clerks, etc. just plain folk. I guess it’s like being around country people.
- What are your favorite hobbies or activities?
- I read every time I have a five minute break on my bus. I love animals, especially dogs and horses. When I retire next year, I will buy the best horse I can afford and ride every day. I can see myself sitting in the stall or pasture keeping the horse company and listening to music or reading a book. A piece of heaven on earth!
Nominate an operator of the month
Do you have a favorite RTD bus or light rail operator? Nominate them for our next Operator of the Month Award!