Bernardo “Bernie” Turingan, a 21-year veteran with SamTrans’ maintenance department and bus operator Elizabeth Dabu, a 17-year employee, have been named the agency’s 2015 Employees of the Year.
SamTrans annually recognizes the achievements of its maintenance and bus operators with Employee of the Year honors, and Turingan and Dabu received those awards at the agency’s board of directors meeting today.
Turingan is a “C” class mechanic working out of SamTrans’ North Base facility, where his regular duties include assisting in the maintenance and repairs all of the SamTrans bus fleets. As a “C” mechanic, he is responsible for assisting “A” and “B” mechanics in the upkeep of the SamTrans bus fleet. Prior to qualifying for the “C” mechanic position, he spent 17 years as a utility worker, where his daily responsibilities included shop cleaning, assisting mechanics, cleaning and fueling buses. Hired in November 1995, he’s been named Employee of the Month three times in his SamTrans career, most recently in June 2015.
“I’m so proud to serve the residents of San Mateo County,” said Turingan. “I live here and am part of this community, so it’s very important for me to make sure that our customers travel on safe and reliable buses every day.”
Dabu joined SamTrans in July 1999 and she regularly drives the Route 120, 130, 131, 133, and 138 buses. She has been named Employee of the Month four times, the most recently coming in June 2015. She has achieved more than 16 years of driving without any preventable accidents.
“It was overwhelming when I found out I had been named Operator of the Year,” said Dabu. “To work at this job, you have to love it, and I really do. There are so many other great operators at our agency, so to win this award is truly meaningful for me.”
“Elizabeth and Bernie’s records speak for themselves,” said David Olmeda, the Chief Operating Officer for SamTrans' Bus Division. “They truly embody the values that SamTrans believes in and promote a culture that is committed to safety, reliability and strong customer service. Their actions showcase that dedication every day they arrive to work.”
Turingan, a native of the Philippines, lives with his wife Rosalinda in San Bruno. He has four daughters, including three that are currently attending Skyline Community College in San Bruno. His twin 18-year-old daughters Bernadette and Briana are in their freshman year, and his 20-year-old daughter Roniela is a sophomore. His eldest daughter, May Anne, lives in Hawaii with her three children. Turingan said he enjoys spending time with his family and checking out the history book section at Barnes and Noble when he’s not working.
Dabu, also a native of the Philippines, lives in Daly City with her husband Martin and relishes taking care of her seven-year-old Chihuahua-Dachshund mix, Bugoy. When not driving for SamTrans, Dabu likes to tend to her gardens and embark on fixer-upper projects at her Daly City apartment. She owns a home in the Philippines and plans on spending more time with her husband there when she retires.
To be considered for the Employee of the Year Award, the SamTrans workers couldn’t have any preventable accidents, unexcused absences or disciplinary actions on their 2015 record.
About SamTrans: SamTrans operates 76 routes throughout San Mateo County. Funded in part by a half-cent sales tax, the San Mateo County Transit District also provides administrative support for Caltrain and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. SamTrans has provided bus service to San Mateo County customers since 1976.