Rodgers honored for 10 years with CCAT

When Susan Rodgers applied for a job with the Coos County Area Transportation District, she had no idea it would be the last job she would ever apply for.

But a decade after being hired, Rodgers is adamant that driving a bus with CCAT is a dream come true.

On Monday, the CCATD Board of Directors honored Rodgers for 10 years of service and named her the employee of the quarter, saying her dedication to the district and to her riders is one of the things that makes CCAT a success.

Rodgers decided almost two decades ago that she wanted to be a bus driver, but she struggled to afford the training in Coos Bay and North Bend. But she was so determined to start a new career that she moved to Arizona and started working as a school bus driver.

After a few years, Rodgers moved back to Coos Bay and started driving for the Coos Bay School District. After six years as a school bus driver, Rodgers needed more hours, so she turned to CCAT.

“I had been a Mid Columbia bus driver, and my daughter was going to graduate from Marshfield High School,” Rodgers said. “I wanted more hours, so I came to CCAT.”

Rodgers spent the first six months in the office, answering phones, training and dispatching, but when she got on a bus, she never looked back.

“I have done all the loops,” she said. “I’ve gone to Coquille. I’ve done Myrtle Point. I’ve been to Powers and Roseburg. You get such an array of people. They come from all over.”

After spending several years driving in Bandon, Rodgers found her true love when she started driving the bus to Florence. For the last four years, Rodgers has made the twice daily run from Coos Bay to Florence and back four or five days a week.

She said she has met some wonderful people along the way, including visitors from as far away as Norway and France.

So, what is the biggest difference Rodgers sees today as opposed to a decade ago when she started?

“We’ve done better with our communication between staff members and management,” Rodgers told the board of directors. “We have brand new buses. Overall, the new buses are really good. We have a new place for parking our buses at the VA. That’s a great place there. Right now, we have a lot of good drivers. As a company, I think we’ve grown better every day, and I’m glad to be part of the growth.”

Rodgers said she enjoys working for the transportation district because she believes it fills a need in the community.

“I toot the horn of CCAT every day,” she said. “I tell people if you don’t have a car, you should get on CCAT. This is a necessary system. It really is because there are a lot of people who don’t have cars.”

And after 10 years driving buses around Coos County, Rodgers said she has plenty left to give.

“This is my last job,” she said. “I have no need to go anywhere else. I’ve really enjoyed it.”