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Two Prince George women awarded for dedication to safe community transit

Provincial service thanks Cathy Hickman, Rosalind Layton for respective efforts

Transit is a primary form of transportation for many Prince George residents when it comes to getting across town or even travelling around the region.

B.C. Transit has noticed the work of two local women, both putting in long hours to ensure the community has safe, reliable transportation regardless of where they live or what they do.

Cathy Hickman and Rosalind Layton have received the Mike “Doc” Doherty Lifetime Achievement Award and Transit SuperStar Award respectively and were honoured by B.C. Transit President and CEO Erinn Pinkerton at a formal ceremony in Kamloops.

Hickman has worked with the Carefree Society in Prince George for 40 years, starting as a driver in 1979, two years before the city received handyDART buses for local commuters, and moved up the ranks to Executive Director of the organization in 2005.

The society, supported by the City of Prince George, provides low-cost bus services for seniors and disabled residents with transportation to and from places seven days a week.

Hickman was nominated for the Lifetime Achievement Award by B.C. Transit’s Senior Leadership Team.

“Cathy has certainly gone above and beyond in making the handyDART service in Prince George a successful and outstanding service,” said the Team in a statement. “She is an amazing supervisor and co-worker. Carefree employees have incredible respect for Cathy and the work she does to maintain a healthy workplace.”

Hickman plans to retire at the end of the month (June 2019).

She has a Diploma in Business Administration - Accounting and Finance, completed her Canada Payroll Compliance Practitioner certification in 2017, is in the Prince George Toastmasters Club, and also sits on the Accessible Transportation Advisory Committee Board.

Layton’s Transit SuperStar award resonates with her recent move to become the B.C. Bus North Operations Manager when the new regional service began in June 2018.

According to a statement, the Prince George resident worked ‘tirelessly’ to get the long-haul form of transportation on the road once Greyhound left the region due to a lack of ridership.

Today, B.C. Bus North connects over 30 communities in the north, with Layton at the helm of it all, ensuring residents have a critical service when it comes to unique challenges.

Layton was nominated by B.C. Transit Government Relations Manager Rob Ringma.

“Rosalind's passion for providing critical services to the people of the north has been contagious and I have learned to appreciate her intimate knowledge of the north, its communities, transportation networks and unique operational challenges, opportunities and solutions,” said Ringma in the same statement. “Since my entry into managing government relations in northern B.C., I have personally been able to witness first hand Rosalind’s dedication to customer service and her willingness to go the extra mile for her customers in providing operational oversight on the B.C. Bus North service.”

According to Ringma, Layton constructed a transportation plan when an incident on Highway 97 near the Pine Pass earlier this year, causing a five-hour road closure.

She contacted B.C. Transit to make sure a bus was sent to a nearby lodge for passengers to stay warm, have coffee, and eat meals until the road re-opened.

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