PHL Impression Makers: Transdev Bus Operator Liza Johnson

Transdev (formerly First Transit) Bus Operator Liza Johnson recently received the “Impression Makers” award from Philadelphia International Airport’s (PHL) Employee Recognition Program. This award recognizes customer-facing employees who provide direct customer service to passengers.    

LizaAs a bus operator, Johnson transports passengers and employees between parking lots and the airport terminals. She holds a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and has been at PHL for over one year, working the 2:40 p.m. – 12 a.m. shift.  

Although Johnson worked for over 25 years in the healthcare industry, she decided it was time for a change. “This is my dream job,” she said. “I used to drive by the airport often and say, 'I’m going to drive one of those buses one day' and now I am.”    

Johnson is known for her customer-centrism, prioritizing passenger needs, effectiveness, and respect.  

In her nomination of Johnson, passenger Heather Goodman stated, “Thank you so much for hiring Liza. She was wonderful! She waited for us, was very kind, welcoming, and funny. What a lovely way to start a travel day!”  

Johnson is passionate about helping people in any way that she can. “I enjoy being connected to people,” she said. “I want to make them feel important. I’m always ready to get off the bus to help them with their luggage.”   

In reference to Goodman’s nomination of Johnson, Transdev General Manager Latarsha Watson stated, “Liza always displays a helpful and cheerful demeanor. She is a perfect example of the safe and courteous operator we want to be associated with our company.”  

Johnson enjoys working at the airport where she’s able to broaden her scope of knowledge. “Now that I’m driving employees, I listen to their stories and it’s amazing how everyone connects and works together in aviation,” she said. “It fascinates me. I want to make sure passengers feel comfortable in Philly. I want them to say that this was the best airport that they flew into and out of.”   

One of Johnson’s most memorable moments at PHL was meeting Fox 29 Weather Anchor Scott Williams and his daughter.   

Laughing together is one of Johnson's favorite pastimes with her colleagues. They also share good of communication. “We communicate via radio,” she said. “We let one another know about traffic so that we’re able to reroute. We  connect and work together - from the supervisors to drivers and managers, we all communicate via radio.”  

Johnson appreciates it when her authenticity is received by people who thank her while she’s on the job. “When passengers say, ‘you’ve been the best' or 'you made my day’, that’s the impact I have. I want to give a positive experience to someone who may have a stressful day. That’s my intent, even if I say just one thing.”   

In her free time, Johnson is passionate about assisting the geriatric community by volunteering with home care or adult day care. She also participates in food pantries by distributing food to those in need.   

“I thank my family,” said Johnson. “I also thank my boss, Latarsha Watson. She’s the best boss I’ve ever worked for. She listens and sympathizes and empathizes. I thank her for giving me the opportunity to have my dream job. I’ll never forget it.”   

The PHL Employee Recognition Program was established by the airport’s Guest Experience (GX) Department. Honorees are nominated by their peers and selected by the GX Council Steering Committee’s Employee Conduct and Recognition Committee. For more information about the program and to nominate an employee, click here


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