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Favorite STOAG bus driver

The Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) recognizes the efforts of STOAG bus driver Thorsten Mielke.
It was early in the morning and still dark when STOAG bus driver Thorsten Mielke was on the way with bus number 954 to use the vehicle at the Hirschkamp stop. At the Dinslaken-Süd motorway exit, the 52-year-old saw a car on the left side of the road that had overturned and remained on its roof. The driver was unable to free himself and was still in the vehicle. Without a moment's hesitation, bus driver Thorsten Mielke stopped the bus, switched on the hazard lights and immediately called the STOAG control center to arrange for help. He then went to the accident vehicle and managed to free the 23-year-old driver, who was fortunately uninjured, from the vehicle. He looked after the driver in the bus until the emergency services arrived.

22 stories selected nationwide
The incident was eight years ago, and now Thorsten Mielke has been nominated as one of 22 nationwide favorite bus drivers for this mission.

As part of the nationwide competition “Favorite Bus Driver Wanted”, a joint initiative by the PRO BAHN passenger association, DB Regio, the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) and the Federal Association of German Bus Companies (bdo), passengers were able to suggest their favorite bus driver and choose their personal bus -Tell a story about it. With the competition, which is being held for the first time, the initiators want to focus on the dedicated work of around 100.000 bus drivers in the country. 

Over 2.300 entries were submitted, from which the jury of experts from the bus and transport industry selected a total of 22 stories. The story about Thorsten Mielke's deployment was included. STOAG managing director Werner Overkamp is happy for the bus driver. “We have great employees who take responsibility for reliable, punctual and safe transport every day and who look after their passengers in their own special way.” And adds: “There are 333 bus drivers at STOAG every day and night, on weekends and public holidays for customers. Unfortunately, there is hardly any public recognition of this. I am all the more pleased that Thorsten Mielke’s efforts have now been recognized in this way.”

Of course, as part of a small ceremony, the bus driver couldn't avoid recounting the incident again in detail. “You don’t forget an event like this, even after several years,” says Thorsten Mielke, who has been at the wheel for STOAG for 27 years. A polo shirt with the imprint “Favorite Bus Driver” is given as a souvenir of the award. The competition will be held again next year.