“Patience,” Andy Belanger said.
The Sudbury Transit veteran said it's the single most important character trait to have when behind the wheel. It's vital to ensuring everyone riding the bus gets to their destination safely and on time.
Not only does Belanger speak from experience, he also currently holds the title of the city's best driver, earned at the Greater Sudbury Transit “Roadeo” June 21.
Belanger took the crown after completing an obstacle course made up of orange pylons, tight turns and a pedestrian pick-up area against other drivers from the city and North Bay.
The recognition is nice, but Belanger said he's only doing his job. For the last 25 years, he's been honing his skills behind the wheels of city buses.
In that time, he's seen many changes — like the implementation of power steering and power breaks.
“You don't feel it in your back at the end of the day,” he said with a laugh.
Belanger has also seen his fair share of accidents and oddities while driving bus.
He said it's common to be on the lookout for missing people and runaways, all while keeping his eyes on the road.
“It's busy,” he said.
Belanger said he looks forward to getting behind the wheel every day, but is also looking forward to retiring. In five-and-a-half years, he will be able to hang up his hat.
Until then, there are plenty more stops along the road for him.
Posted by Arron Pickard