MTA Bus Driver dies shortly after awarded "Bus Driver of the Year"

MTA Bus Driver dies shortly after awarded "Bus Driver of the Year"

Ernest Robinson had a perfect Macon Transit Authority driving record.
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - A Macon Transit Authority (MTA) bus driver recently named “2013 MTA's Bus Driver of the Year, died after learning about his award.

Ernest Robinson was told two weeks prior to his death, that he won the title because of his outstanding service with the bus company. Robinson passed away on March 1, at age 66.

“You meet folks in life that have a job that they are suited for and gives their all to serve,” says the General Manager and CEO of MTA, Richard Jones. “They will go above and beyond always, and that's what he did. Everybody knew they could depend on him.”

Robinson started with MTA in July of 2010, and drove bus number 521, on the Macon Mall route.

He has never had an accident while driving for MTA. Robinson worked four years as a MTA bus driver.

His wife of 25 years, Debbie Robinson, says her husband, who she describes as a “sweet and very quiet” man was elated about winning the title.

“I heard one of his passengers say 'Mr. Ernest drives so careful and slow if you have a doctor's appointment you better catch the bus two hours early. If you want to be there on time,”' she laughed.

Debbie says she was concerned about her husband's eyes turning yellow. She feared he was having an issue with his liver and took him to see a doctor on his birthday, Feb. 3.

Robinson was immediately hospitalized and diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma Cancer, which is a rare cancer that attacks the bile duct attached to the liver.

“On Feb. 5, we were told he may have two to three weeks to live,” continues Debbie.

The news hit the couple hard, after all Ernest had just bought lots of yard equipment he planned to use after his retirement in March. They have four children.

Her husband never drank, smoke or got a chance to retire from MTA.

However, he did retire in 2004 from Brown & Williamson after 30 years of service as an “FAB” technician. He also drove a school bus for Bibb County School System for more than a year. Robinson also drove tractor trailers from 1999-2008.

Debbie says he husband lived longer than the doctors had anticipated.

“Those were the best 25 days we had ever spent together,” she added. “I only came home for two hours out of the 25 days we had together.”

Robinson was in a semi private room at the Medical Center of Central Georgia.

“Because of his illness and impending death, they placed me in the other bed so I could spend his last weeks with him,” she continued.

It was at MCCG, that Jones, Allengood, Jade Daniels and Andy Stroud gave the Robinsons the news, Ernest won “Bus Driver of the Year.”

“We will miss him,” says Jones.

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