Longtime Trans-Bridge Lines bus driver says passengers are more like friends
David Volk, of Bath, is admirable for many reasons. His 1,912,809 (and counting) miles driven as a Trans-Bridge Lines’ bus operator since 1974 in itself is an amazing achievement. His 41 years of accident-free driving, his strong work ethic and the friendships he has created with customers also are commendable accomplishments.
His enduring passion for driving a bus, however, is arguably his most awe-inspiring quality, especially since from a very early age, he has dreamed about it.
“Ever since I was a child, I would pretend to be driving a bus while riding my bike,” Volk said.
His passion for driving motivates him to be the best in every aspect of his profession. An example of his striving for excellence is evident in his tenacious pursuit of winning the New Jersey Bus Roadeo, which he won in 1991 and 1992. In the same competition, he placed third in 1983 and second in 1989 and 1990. Shortly after these near-wins, he nicknamed himself, “Star Chaser.” He caught his stars with his championship wins in 1991 and 1992, which led to his representing New Jersey in the international roadeo, held in Toronto, Canada, in 1991 and in San Diego, Calif., in 1992.
The roadeo competitions, held in Giants Stadium, included maneuvering a 41-foot coach through a demanding course, while thrilling the crowds of onlookers.
One of Volk’s fondest memories of Trans-Bridge Lines involves the encouragement he received at these competitions, from Trans-Bridge employees, including Kirby Parnell, former senior vice president, who attended these events to cheer him on.
To prepare for the roadeo, Volk practiced for many hours a day, prior to every competition. He set up traffic cones in a vacant lot and repeated extremely tight maneuvers to hone his already ample driving skills. In this sport, the mirrors, brakes and steering are the tools, he said.
When recently asked what he enjoys most about driving a bus, Volk gave us another reason to admire him.
“I enjoy getting out every day, to get my passengers to their destinations, safely, and they show their appreciation all of the time. They are more like my friends than passengers,” he said.
Volk’s advice to the next generation of bus operators helps us to understand why he is highly regarded by co-workers and customers alike.
“Be good and kind to your passengers, and they will do the same back to you,” Volk said.
Trans-Bridge Lines and its related company, Lehigh Valley Motorcoach, operate daily bus service to New York City, Newark and JFK airports from the Lehigh Valley and Doylestown area and provide charter coach service, including a 24-passenger luxury coach. Trans-Bridge also offers daily trips to the Manhattan and Bayonne, N.J., piers. Trans-Bridge Tours Inc., an affiliated company, offers deluxe tours throughout the United States and Canada, air and cruise vacation packages and Atlantic City and Pennsylvania casino trips.