Excellence: Migrants among the best bus drivers in New Zealand

(caption for the above picture: all 11 finalists at the Wigram Airforce Museum)

Two migrant drivers based in Christchurch can now claim they are among the country’s best, after winning the top two awards at Go Bus Transport’s Bus Roadeo at the Airforce Museum in Christchurch on Saturday March 11.

 Raymund Llamas - Driver of the Year

Raymund Llamas, who is from the Philippines and has driven buses in his home country and in Dubai, was named Go Bus Driver of the Year, and Arvinder Singh from India, won the runner-up.

The bi-annual competition saw 2200 drivers from across the country going head-to-head for the bragging rights, which tested them on their knowledge of the New Zealand Road Code, customer service attitudes, and pre-drive test skills. The 11 finalists, of which five were from the South Island, were then had to showcase their driving skills on a driving track with 11 hurdles, including reverse parallel parking. Winners received a range of prizes, including the top prize of a $2000 travel voucher won by Llamas.  

Arvinder Singh, who has been with the company since September 2015, noted, “I credit my success to my trainers John and Jim, who enabled me to be among the top three drivers from almost 400 of us here in Christchurch. I have always wanted to be the best in whatever I do. This achievement is a continuation of that.”

 Arvinder Singh with the certificate and runners-up trophy

“It is an honour to be named Go Bus Driver of the Year. I aim to be the very best bus driver for my passengers every day, and it is great to be acknowledged for this service,” added Llamas.

Meanwhile, Invercargill-based Go Bus driver Fiji-Indian Anoop Kumar won the award for top theory test result for getting all answers correct in a 40-question-theoretical-written-exam. Kumar has been driving buses for over a decade in deep South.

Go Bus Managing Director Calum Haslop had this to say for the winners, “The Bus Roadeo is a celebration of the exceptional driving and customer service skills we strive to have all our drivers demonstrate. Both Raymund and Arvinder are outstanding drivers and we are very proud to have them as part of the Go Bus team.”