Bus Talk - Our other top driver is…

Bus Talk column - 21 November 2019

In the last issue of Bus Talk we celebrated Dean Grigg from Go Bus, who was one of two drivers to get Driver of the Month for October. This time we’re excited to celebrate Mike – a big congratulations to both Orbus drivers, and thanks to all of you who nominated them.

Meet Mike TeMoana Nui from Ritchies

The key concept for Mike when it comes to his job is “Manaakitanga”. This is the hospitality that he likes to establish when people step aboard.

“That’s what I put it down to; how you greet people who walk through your door. I see my bus as my whare and I like to make people feel welcome. Passing on this culture is rewarding.”

This comes across as he describes how he feels about his passengers.

“I really like the regular customers, the elderly and the young ones particularly. It feels good to give them a helping hand because the young ones are tomorrow’s leaders. It can be daunting for kids to hop on a bus. I do get a whole range of passengers though and it’s good to see them get to their destination safely.”

Mike has been driving for Ritchies for two years and for him it’s all in the family.

“My wife also drives for the company; we’ve been together for 35 years.”

Mike’s spare time is used connecting with his whanau, which numbers 10 children aged between seven and 30. Two of his children excel in playing darts, even making a trip over to China accompanied by Mike.

So, how does Mike feel about being nominated for the award?

“I feel blown away to be nominated. I’m stoked to win it.”

And what’s a family man to do with his well-earned reward?

“I’m going to take my wife out to dinner.”

  

   

Keeping things moving

As the weather warms up toward summer and the early mornings are light, more of us are catching the bus.

We encourage you to be ready for your ride to keep things moving.

Clearly signal your bus by raising your hand, and wait at the curb so the driver can see you. Keep your GoCard handy so you can quickly pay your fare and allow the next person to do the same. If you don’t have a GoCard, please have your change ready.

If you want to mount a bike, become familiar with the process, have your bike ready and let the driver know you will mount the bike. Drivers are unable to help as they need to stay behind the wheel in a stationary idling bus.

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