Hero on Wheels: A CTtransit Driver’s Actions Reunite a Family


Ann Marie Bucknor and her CTtransit bus.

What’s the cost of one ride? CTtransit (Hartford, CT) bus driver Ann Marie Bucknor was asked that question when a young girl approached her door.

It was a day just like any other as Bucknor drove her regular route from Farmington to downtown Hartford. Fares came and went, and it seemed like the day would end just as it began, without incident. That is, until fate intervened, and one young customer stood at her door.

“When I first pulled up, she looked scared. She had a blanket and a backpack, and it was raining,” said Bucknor. “The look on her face, she was scared. And she was wet. And it was getting dark.”

Bucknor was faced with a decision. Let this customer board, despite not having money for the ride, or deny her access and leave her behind. Fortunately, it wasn’t a difficult decision to make.

“After I got her on the bus, we started talking, and I found out how old she was,” said Bucknor. “She said I’m running away. And when she said those words, that got me. So, I called dispatch.”

Now this story has a happy ending. Dispatch contacted local law enforcement and safely reunited the girl with her family—a family who’d spent the day frantically searching for her.

What’s the cost of one ride?

Bus drivers face a million decisions every day on and off the road. When passengers aren’t just numbers on a sheet but real people boarding our buses, in our community, that’s when we’re at our best. When we pay attention to our customers and authentically care about them, heroes like Ann Marie Bucknor emerge.

In a bustling city like Hartford, CT, the job of a professional bus driver goes beyond simply driving a route. At CTtransit, we believe that our drivers have a much more significant responsibility. They are our ambassadors—attentive and compassionate men and women committed to getting our customers to their destination safely, efficiently, and courteously.

Ann Marie Bucknor was crucial in reuniting a distressed teenager with her family. Her prompt and caring response serves as a powerful reminder of the profound impact that paying attention and showing empathy can have in ensuring the well-being of our customers and fostering a sense of trust and security within our public transit system.

“It goes to show that the person operating the bus is not just a driver, but a true professional who takes safety and security to the utmost level,” said Thomas Stringer Jr., CTtransit general manager. “Who knows what would’ve happened or what could’ve happened if our operator didn’t take the extra step and go above and beyond to ensure that that individual was well taken care of.”