Skip to content

Longest Serving Para Transpo Operator Retires After 45 Years

Image - Longest Serving Para Transpo Operator Retires After 45 Years

In February, OC Transpo’s longest serving Para Transpo Operator handed in her keys for the last time.

After 45 years behind the wheel, Para Transpo Operator Trish is celebrating a successful career helping Para Transpo customers get to where they need to be, with a smile.

The Next Stop Blog Team caught up with Trish on her last day of work to reflect on her time with Para Transpo and what her secret was to achieving a successful and fulfilling career.

Trish celebrates the start of her retirement with Renee Amilcar, General Manager of Transit Services.

Pictured above: Trish celebrates the start of her retirement with Renee Amilcar, General Manager of Transit Services.

Click the image above for a closer look.

When did your career in transit begin?

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I graduated high school,” said Trish.

It was 1979 and a family friend had started M&O Bus Lines and hired her as an operator when she was 19.

“Taxis at the time were not equipped to transport people who were in a wheelchair and required assistance. Our family friends saw this need in the community and started M&O,” mentioned Trish.

Four years before this, OC Transpo had launched a pilot project for a permanent, accessible transit service in 1975. The service began with five wheelchair vans and three cars. In 1981, this service became known as Para Transpo.

Trish worked for M&O who were contracted out to support Para Transpo. In 2007, Para Transpo services were brought in-house to OC Transpo.

Trish has witnessed some big changes to the service over her 45-year tenure. Over the years, different contractors have provided different aspects of service, and the vehicles themselves have changed.

Technology has brought many changes to the booking process, most recently, with the introduction of My Para Transpo.

“I’ve seen every change. We’ve gone from accepting trips in writing to booking them online,” said Trish.

What’s your secret?

When asked what her secret was to a happy 45-year career, Trish simply said “my attitude”.

Trish continued, “I have deep level of compassion for the people who use Para Transpo. Since starting this job at 19, I have grown up with Para Transpo and many of my customers. I always said, if you didn’t get on my vehicle with a smile, I guarantee you would be leaving with one.”

Trish said, “I always felt good at the end of the day. I helped people get to where they needed to go. I loved the people I worked with and those I helped. It feels good to know that I did good and they appreciated me.”

What’s your message to your customers?

On her last afternoon at work, Trish said, “I’ve worked with amazing drivers and passengers, it’s been a great career.”

When asked what her message was to her customers, Trish told us, “I want them to know I will miss them, I loved working with them, and I loved what I did. I hope they feel the same way.”

On behalf of the OC Transpo team, congratulations to Trish on your 45-year career. We wish you all the best in your retirement.

Are you interested in starting a career in transit? For more information on the ongoing job opportunities with OC Transpo, visit here.

Let us know

Was this information helpful? Do you have a story to suggest? Let us know by emailing