Coos Bay home to taxi driver of the year

COOS BAY, Ore. -- Coos Bay is home to many things, and you can now call them the home of the taxicab driver of the year!

The Taxicab, Limousine and Paratransit Association represents over 200,000 drivers around the nation, and they have named Coos Bay's Jeremy Oliver the driver of the year.

Jeremy sums up how it makes him feel in one word: "Proud. I would say, you know, that someone would think I deserve something like this when I just thought I was doing my everyday thing."

Perhaps what took Oliver to the top is his philosophy on what is most important in the taxi business. "I am a firm believer that without the customer there is no need for the driver, so I take that everyday, I take it very serious," he said. "Every person that hops in my cab is a friend of mine, and they became a friend of mine for life."

Oliver has made the transition from behind the wheel to behind the desk as he takes over the day to day tasks which used to be handled by owner Dick Leshley. "When you see quality you grab a hold of it and don't let it get away," Dick said.

The move has Oliver missing his daily interaction with his riders. "I do miss the conversations we have in the ride, because we could talk a little bit longer, I miss the people that even if they were having a bad day, I had 10 to 15 minutes to turn that around and make it a good day," Oliver said.

After brightening the day for his passengers over the years, Oliver now gets to have his day on Tuesday, October 29.

That's when he will receive his award at a conference in Boston.