March 18th: International Bus Driver Appreciation Day

March 18th: International Bus Driver Appreciation Day

Today is International Bus Driver Appreciation Day but there’s no holiday website and the bus drivers’ union doesn’t mention it. The holiday is the idea of Seattle bus rider Hans Gerwitz. Why March 18th? On that date in 1662, city buses premiered in Paris (for the record: they flopped).

Bus drivers are the unsung heroes of urban commuting, but New York City has given them a moving tribute in bronze. There’s an 8-foot tall, 4,000 pound statue of Gotham Bus Line driver Ralph Kramden outside New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal. If you’re in the Big Apple today, leave a floral tribute, or at least an expired fare card.

Hat tip: Richard Layman.


The Ralph Kramden Statue by sculptor Lawrence J. Nowlan is at 40th St. and Eighth Avenue (N 40° 45.379 W 073° 59.452).  For the full experience, go there by MTA Bus (42, 104, 11, or 34A line — map).

Transit history buffs will want to read Les carrosses à cinq sols ou Les omnibus du dix-septième siècle by Louis-Jean-Nicolas Monmerqué.


Short Link:

Image: Bus driver Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason) and Alice Kramden (Audrie Meadows) ca.1955 (Public Domain via Wikimedia). Download a copy here.

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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