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Greater Cleveland RTA bus operator retires after 45 years of flawless driving

“I’ll enjoy having someone else drive me around for a change!”

CLEVELAND — Editor's Note: The above video is from a previously published story 

For the last 45 years, Godwin McNeal has been driving a bus for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA). McNeal has logged more than 1.3 million miles during his time on the roadways of Northeast Ohio.

On Wednesday, he drove the bus one last time before parking it for good. 

McNeal is retiring after a distinguished career that includes a perfect driving record. He finished his final run in the afternoon, then was greeted by a surprise reception at the Louis Stokes-Windermere Station. Transit Police escorted McNeal into the parking lot, where he was met by cheering staff. 

McNeal, who never had a preventable accident during his career, recently drove the #7 Monticello. He also logged many hours driving the HealthLine in downtown Cleveland.

“I’m really looking forward to the time I’ll get to spend with my family,” says McNeal in a statement shared by RTA. “I’ll enjoy having someone else drive me around for a change!”

Among his many safety awards, McNeal most recently was named the 2021 Lytx Driver of the Year. The Lytx Drivecam Program is an event-based operator performance program that monitors high-risk driving behavior on the road.

“We wish Mr. McNeal all the best in his retirement and express our gratitude for his tireless service on behalf of the RTA family, as well as the people of this community,” said RTA CEO and General Manager India Birdsong. "Mr. McNeal embodies excellence and is an outstanding example to us all of exceptional customer service. The diligence he displayed every day makes Mr. McNeal a leader in our industry and a bright star among our staff. He will be greatly missed."

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