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2 boro bus drivers make bus driver hall of fame

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Two employees of Triboro Coach Corp. buses in Queens have been named to the New York City Bus Operator Hall of Fame for their dedication in helping the blind and disabled among their passengers.

More than a dozen other bus operators on Queens routes served by the New York City Transit Authority and private bus lines also were recognized for exemplary service to handicapped and blind passengers over the past year.

The Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association, in cooperation with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, awarded Certificates of Appreciation and lapel pins to a total of 45 bus operators on routes throughout the city. All were praised for consistently providing what the EPVA and MTA said was outstanding service to such passengers.

The new members of the Hall of Fame award, which is accorded to those who have been cited for certificates of appreciation three times, included Lawrence Bacon and Salvatore Mancuso. All those recognized were given citations Tuesday at The Lighthouse, 111 E. 59th St. in Manhattan.

Mancuso lives in Little Neck and regularly operates Q39 buses, which run through such areas as Ridgewood and Maspeth. Bacon, of Deer Park, L.I., is an instructor for Triboro and also an operator of buses on various routes of the Triboro system in Queens. Mancuso has 12 years experience as an operator and Bacon 33 years.

“New York City can be proud of the most highly used accessible bus service in the nation,” said Terry Moakley of EPVA’s public affairs office. “More persons with disabilities use the accessibility features on city buses each year. Because bus operators like today’s winners understand how important the ability to travel is to the independence of individuals with disabilities.”

More than 700,000 people used the wheelchair lifts on New York City Transit Authority and private buses last year.

New York City Transit Authority Operators on Queens bus routes who received citations of appreciation for helping the handicapped during the year 2001 were:

Queens Village Depot: Mike Hanlon and Roberto Stuart.

Jamaica Depot: Ashok Khandi.

Triboro Coach Corp.

Carlton Ashley, Lawrence Bacon (also Hall of Fame recipient), Gary Blitz, Michael Breslin, John Danyi, Chester Freeman and Salvatore Mancuso (also Hall of Fame recipient)

Queens Surface Transportation Co.

James Beihl

Green Bus Lines

John Chiarenza, Henry Gregory, John Heckle and William Mazyck.

Those receiving such awards are chosen by mail ballot. Ballots are printed in the Daily News, El Diario and New York Able, a publication of an advocacy organization for the disabled.

The ballots invite passengers to check boxes indicating whether a bus operator consistently announces stops, curbs the bus, asks non-disabled passengers to give their seats to the disabled, offers help in using the lift and seat belts when the users cannot help themselves, is courteous and is proficient at using the wheelchair lift.

It was the 15th year the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association and the MTA had conducted the bus operator awards program. The EPVA, with headquarters in Jackson Heights, is dedicated to helping veterans with a spinal cord injury or disease by assuring quality health care, promoting research and advocating for civil rights and independence.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 136.

Updated 10:26 am, October 12, 2011
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