MTA awards handed out to 34 exemplary, heroic transit workers

Juliet Papa
January 17, 2020 - 1:55 pm
Bus driver Christer Beckford given MTA award

Juliet Papa

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- It was a good day for the MTA.

Nearly three dozen MTA employees were honored Friday for going the extra mile on the job.

The 34 workers included bus operators, superintendants, conductors and signal workers who received commendations for heroism and exemplary service at the annual awards ceremony at MTA headquarters in lower Manhattan.

The awardswere given to those who went above and beyond the call of duty, 1010 WINS' Juliet Papa reported.

Some saved lives, others rendered aid to a sick or troubled person while some literally kept trains running during storms.

And one man does outreach on his own to help homeless at his bus depot on Staten Island.

Tony Ventimiglia has worked for the transit system for 41 years, but that's not why he got an award. Ventimiglia is a bus dispatcher at the Eltingville Transit Center in the Arden Heights section of the borough, 1010 WINS Juliet Papa reported.

"On any given day, I can point anywhere from two to five homeless people just sleeping on the benches. It's a tough thing to see," Ventimiglia said.

So he decided to lend a hand and started working with Dominique at Project Hospitality -- a group committed to serving the needs of hungry and homeless people. "I developed a good relationship with her and she placed about five people for me, so I'm really happy about that," Ventimiglia told Papa.

And last winter, bus driver Christer Beckford was geting ready to pull out from the College Point stop when he heard heard a baby crying out in the freezing cold in the middle of the night. Beckford put the 2-year-old boy inside his bus and covered him with his jacket, Papa reported.

"My employees, my colleagues my 50,000 men and women out there want to get you from A to B - they want to do a great job," said a very proud MTA President Andy Byford. 

Byford said they not only do their job, they go above and beyond.

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