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Local Man Wins Paratransit Driver of the Year Award
Maurice Davis Jr., 27, a Washington D.C. native who found his dream job at the age of 22, drove more than 150,000 miles over the past three years.
As a paratransit driver for Gaithersburg’s Challenger Transportation since early 2006, Davis provides special public transportation options for senior citizens and persons with disabilities. He drives about 75 costumers all around the district’s metropolitan area every week.
“I love my job. I love what I do,” said Davis, who is known for his reliability, professionalism and positive attitude. “It’s a chance for me to get to know people and go to different areas,” he said.
Last month, Davis received the Paratransit Driver of the Year Award for his “exemplary service to the disability and elderly communities.”
Davis said he was “shocked” at being recognized by a national organization.
He was honored in San Francisco at the annual conference for the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association, a non-profit trade association.
This was the second time that Michael Healy, vice president for Challenger Transportation and Regency Cab, nominated Davis for the best paratransit driver award.
“Maurice basically goes by example,” said Healy. “He does not talk much or seek the limelight but does about everything right that you want to have him done right: as far as showing up on time, as far as attendance, as far as attentiveness to the costumers, loading the wheelchairs, proper securement, everything.”
According to Healy, Challenger drivers take about 20 percent of the costumers using MetroAccess, transporting people to see a doctor, see a friend or get groceries.
“It allows the opportunity for them to have a fuller life,” said Healy. “Maurice recognizes that.”
In addition to driving, Davis also carefully assists seniors and people with disabilities when providing door-to-door services for them.
“Sometimes they need help with their bags, or might need help around the building, or it might be their first time riding,” said Davis.
Thankful costumers always commend him for being reliable. In the past two years, nine costumers contacted MetroAccess, complimenting Davis’ excellent service.
“It’s obvious that Davis truly cares about each and every one of his passengers,” said Alfred LaGasse, TLPA’s chief executive officer.
Maurice also trains rookie drivers at Challenger’s “cadet training,” the third step of a 3-week training process. He stresses the importance of being courteous to costumers and, especially, of safely taking them to their destination.
“It does not matter if you are running late, don’t be in a rush. Make sure safety is first,” said Davis, pointing out that the wheelchair climb needs to be properly secured.
Back in 2006, after cleaning buses at First Transit and holding multiple jobs, Davis was looking for a long-term job. Challenger Transportation was his first stop.
Davis’ impeccable driving record prompted the company to make an exception and hire him when he was 22 years old, when most drivers hired were over 25.
After five years with the company, Davis found a home with a job that helps others. He also said that interacting with costumers teaches him a lot.
“I find satisfaction in my daily duties—helping others, gratitude at my own health, and [I] am impressed with the resiliency of the human spirit,” said Davis in a questioner for TLAP.
When he is not behind the wheel, Davis spends time with family, friends and his three-year-old daughter.
Paratransit Driver of the Year
Each year, the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA)...