Top Trailways Driver Ends 51-Year, 3 Million Accident-Free-Mile Career

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Chuck Pona Handed Over His Keys after Final Binghamton-Albany Run November 30 to Begin Well-Earned Retirement

Chuck Pona concludes 51-year, 3 million accident-free-mile Trailways driving career in Albany, NY surrounded by TV cameras and well-wishers.

"He's safely delivered hundreds of thousands of passengers to their destinations, and has received 50 annual Safe Driving awards, as well as the prestigious National Trailways Driver of the Year accolade.”

The average automobile driver adds 10,000 miles a year to the odometer. To Chuck Pona, who has driven for Adirondack Trailways since 1964, that's just two month's work: in his career, he has compiled the equivalent of 300 years of average driving.

Last night Chuck Pona concluded his 51-year career with Trailways, logging more than 3 million accident-free miles when he pulled into Trailways' Albany terminal after his final Albany-Binghamton roundtrip, to be greeted by television cameras and hearty congratulations from Trailways executives.

"Chuck has worked with three generations of our family," noted Eugene Berardi, President of Trailways of New York. "He's safely delivered hundreds of thousands of passengers to their destinations, and has received 50 annual Safe Driving awards, as well as the prestigious National Trailways Driver of the Year accolade.”

"His personnel file is full of letters from 'regulars' on his route, as well as happy passengers who have traveled on charters - often more than once - for national tour operators such as Tauck Tours, and local civic and religious organizations, many of whom request him repeatedly as their driver after their first 'Chuck Experience,'” Berardi continued.

Not all of his runs have been routine: a passenger was once found unconscious and unresponsive, and he drove the bus directly to the nearest hospital emergency room. She'd had a stroke, but they were able to save her.

"Though he'd planned to retire before Thanksgiving, when he learned we needed him, he agreed to an extra week: that's just Chuck!," Berardi concluded.

Touched by the outpouring of attention, Chuck expressed his gratitude that he met the love of his life, his recently-deceased wife of 47 years, Karen, at the Port Authority Terminal in New York City, while working for the company he's loved for even longer.

Trailways of New York has been a family-owned company for more than 85 years, and is the largest intercity bus company in New York State. It employs nearly 500 people and carries passengers more than 80 million miles annually. For more information visit http://www.trailwaysny.com

Additional and high resolution images are available upon request.

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