Ben Franklin Transit bus driver wins state award



Media Contact: 

Brian Lubanski  | [email protected] |  509.734.5141


Vanessa_Walsh-2Ben Franklin Transit bus driver wins state award

(Richland, WA) Ben Franklin Transit (BFT) coach operator Vanessa Walsh will be presented with the Above and Beyond Award from the Washington State Transit Insurance Pool (WSTIP) at the BFT Board of Directors meeting on Thursday, October 12, at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Benton County Administration Building at 7122 W. Okanogan Place, Building E, Room 303, in Kennewick.

Walsh is being recognized for performing CPR on a woman who had collapsed at the BFT Three Rivers Transit Center in Kennewick. When Walsh pulled in on July 13, a bystander ran to her bus asking for her help, and she sprang into action. The woman was cyanotic, had no pulse, and was not breathing. Walsh had been taught CPR 20 years earlier in her training to become an EMT, but she had never performed CPR until that morning; the victim was later transported to medical facilities. She said the woman who needed her help that day looked so young that she remembered thinking, “You are not going to die today.” She acted not only as a public servant but as a humanitarian, ensuring the well-being of this citizen and passenger whom she had never met.

“Vanessa’s care and compassion for others shine through daily,” said BFT General Manager Rachelle Glazier. “She was destined to be at the right place at the right time on July 13. Ben Franklin Transit is proud to have Vanessa as a part of the BFT family.”

About Ben Franklin Transit:

Ben Franklin Transit is the public transportation system for the Tri-Cities area of Benton and Franklin Counties in southeastern Washington State. Our guiding purpose is to provide safe, reliable, affordable transportation to the community to support personal mobility, economic diversity, and growth.

BFT’s Public Transportation Benefit Area (PTBA) covers 616 square miles and serves the cities of Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, West Richland, Benton City, Prosser, and the town of Finley.

In 2022, Ben Franklin Transit celebrated 40 years of providing essential transportation services to this community. Since its inaugural trip in May of 1982, BFT has grown from 45 to over 400 vehicles, including buses, Dial-A-Ride, Vanpool, and CONNECT.  The agency now services almost 1,000 bus stops and has grown from fewer than 60 employees to over 425.

# # #