Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

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By David Ganezer
Observer Staff Writer 

Santa Monica Bus Driver William Alvarenga Retires After 37 Years of Driving Passengers

The most senior driver among the Big Blue Bus' drivers, Alvarenga bids goodbye



William Alvarenga, from the Big Blue Busses facebook page, wears a mask on a bus on his last day on the job.

7/13/20: Big Blue Bus bid farewell to William Alvarenga, its longest-tenured bus "Operator," or driver. Alvarenga had driven for the company for 37 years.

"(Alvarenga) was an exceptional Operator. He skillfully drove 30 – 60 ft. buses in dense LA traffic, with no preventable accidents for a record-setting 37 consecutive years," said the company in a statement.

"He was (and still is) a dedicated, hard-working, and family-oriented man, who is admired by many, and respected by all. Each morning, he greeted his colleagues and customers with a smile big enough to see a mile away, even through his face mask! His daughter was kind enough to share with us the following:

"As a little girl, I remember my dad getting up at la madrugada (dawn) to get ready for work. He was gone from 5am until 7pm most days. But despite the long hours, and putting up with some difficult personalities on the job, he would still make time to come to any dance/theater performance, or sporting event me and my siblings had." Said Alvarenga.

Enter through rear door sign on a big blue bus

"He made it so that my mom could be home and invest 100% in our education - ensuring we had the best education, healthy meals, and access to whatever we needed. He did his work with pride, and was one of the safest, most reliable, most energetic employees on the job."

The Santa Monica Big Blue Bus has continued to operate, despite the fact that they have very few passengers. People are apparently afraid to encounter germs, including Covid19, during a bus ride.

The company has previously said it is committed to continue operating. Some first responders, and also essential workers such as grocery store workers depend on bus rides.

Riders are required to enter the busses through the rear doors. They are not expected to interact with the drivers because they do not have to pay fares.


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