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Safe Driver Awards 2021

Monday, December 20, 2021

Navigating any type of vehicle, no matter the size, through miles of hilly San Francisco terrain and sharing the roadway with others is no easy feat. Add Ubers, private and commercial vehicles, taxis, bicycles, scooters and pedestrians into the mix and the challenge escalates quickly.  

But what is even more truly remarkable is that we have 282 Muni transit operators who've managed this safe driving record with no avoidable safety incidents year after year for more than 15 years. Some for several decades!  

This year, the Muni operators named as honorees for the annual Safe Driver Award Program have met that challenge to be called a Safe Driver. Additionally, 20 new operators were welcomed to this elite club of which three have at least 35 years of safe driving: 

  • Oliverio Valle, Cable Car Division, 47 Years Safe Driving 

  • Lonnie Moore Jr, Green Division, 44 Years Safe Driving 

  • Jason Lao, Green Division, 37 Years Safe Driving 

Typically, we hold a banquet dinner to formally honor these operators who have proven to be the best of the best and the safest of the safe, but as you know, like the previous year, 2020 was anything but typical. While we cannot celebrate in person again this year, the accomplishment does not go unnoticed. A special recognition will take place during the Tuesday, January 18th Board of Director’s meeting at 1 pm. Director of Transportation, Jeff Tumlin and Transit Workers Union Local 250A will be presenting the awards. The meeting will be streamed live through SFGovTV.  

What are the criteria for being a Safe Driver? 

Simply put, operators who have driven a minimum of 1,952 qualifying hours each fiscal year with no avoidable safety incidents on record. Safe drivers are also recognized with belt buckles, patches and certificates at various points. 

Qualifying hours are defined as the sum of actual hours spent operating a transit vehicle (platform hours, including both regular and overtime) plus hours of vacation taken and holiday hours granted (including floating days) within the qualifying period. Due to COVID-19, qualifying hours for FY2021 also include COVID Sick and Furlough. The qualifying period of the fiscal year is July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021. 

It goes without saying that receiving a Safe Drivers Award is a career milestone achievement for transit drivers everywhere. Muni operators who exemplify the term "safe driver" have clearly demonstrated excellence in service and have furthered the SFMTA's ongoing commitment being a transit first city. 

This year the 282 transit operators being honored with the Safe Driver distinction have at least 15 years of Safe Driving experience and will receive a commemorative 2021 token, belt buckles, patches to wear on their uniform shirt or jacket, and a certificate.  

We thank all our drivers for their exemplary work moving San Francisco regardless of the number of years involved. The following list honors those with 15 years or more of safe driving who have earned the coveted distinction of being called a Safe Driver.​  

Safe Driver Awards 2021 token, belt buckles and patches