Mohinder Dhanota, a 16-year bus operator, and Antonio Pascual, a five-year maintenance mechanic, have been named SamTrans’ 2017 Employees of the Year.
Each year, SamTrans recognizes the achievements of its bus operators and maintenance workers with Employee of the Year honors, and Dhanota and Pascual were formally recognized at the agency’s April Board of Directors meeting this week. To be considered for the Employee of the Year award, SamTrans employees must not have had any preventable accidents, unexcused absences or disciplinary actions on their 2017 record.
Dhanota began his career with SamTrans in 2002 as a full-time bus operator. Before joining SamTrans he worked has a bus operator for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). Dhanota is currently assigned to the ECR and route 295.He says he enjoys working with the students and taking seniors to their medical appointments.
“Through all these years, Mohinder is always smiling and in a good mood. Although he takes his job seriously, he comes to work every day as if it’s his first day – always professional, polite and punctual,” said Superintendent of Bus Transportation Said El-khatib.
Dhanota was born in India and immigrated to the United States in 1975; he currently lives in San Jose with his wife and son. Additionally, he has two daughters who are married with families of their own.
Pascual has climbed the ranks within SamTrans Bus Maintenance to be one of the top mechanics at the bus agency after coming over from the automotive industry where he worked and gained experience as an automotive technician. He was hired at SamTrans as a Mechanic ‘B’ and was promoted to Mechanic ‘A’ a little more than two years ago. In less than a year of being promoted to Mechanic ‘A’, Pascual was further promoted to Lead Mechanic, a role that sees him take on a bevy of important tasks each day.
As Elliott Rivas, Superintendent of Bus Maintenance, puts it, “Tony is highly influential in the day-to-day success of the team. We are all very proud and grateful for Tony. He is one of those people that makes you smile, who makes work fun, and is ultimately someone you can count on to get the job done.”
Pascual has been married to his wife Wendy for 25 years and has two children, Matthew, 14, and Alyssa, 12.
About SamTrans: SamTrans operates 77 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.
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