University of Iowa’s CAMBUS recognizes AbiJo Peet as the 2024 Driver of the Year. Transit service providers across Iowa each nominate an employee annually to be honored by the Iowa Public Transit Association (IPTA) for their commitment to providing safe and friendly service.

Peet is from Hudson, Iowa and is currently studying radiation sciences. She started working as a bus operator in Sept. 2022. Peet completed additional training in May 2023 to operate CAMBUS' ADA paratransit service, Bionic Bus, for people with temporary and permanent disabilities. In selecting Peet, the CAMBUS supervisor and management team noted her excellent attendance, safety and work records. The selection team also commended Peet's consistency, reliability, and resiliency as Bionic Bus service grew by up to 50% in the past year and incorporated new technology. In addition to school and her regular shifts, Peet also regularly picked up extra work to shuttle Hawkeye basketball fans during home games.

“I work hard to keep both good attendance and safety records and it is great to be recognized for that,” Peet says.

2024 driver of the year AbiJo Peet poses with her award

“The best part of driving the buses is the freedom.”

-AbiJo Peet, driver

Peet says her time behind the wheel has helped her build community while becoming more decisive. As a student driver, she enjoys having both team and independent responsibilities. “The best part of driving the buses is the freedom,” she says. 

As a student studying radiation sciences, Peet says the flexibility of CAMBUS driver schedules is important for balance. She appreciates how the CAMBUS student community adapts to each other’s needs. “Everyone understands the difficulties you may be experiencing,” Peet says, “like studying for a big test.” She notes that the student focused environment at CAMBUS also allowed her to make fast friends. 

After driving a few routes and gaining a better understanding of the services, many student drivers find a particular route they enjoy driving. Besides her regular Bionic Bus shifts, Peet most enjoys driving the Hawkeye-Pentacrest route. “It’s a longer route with regular riders,” Peet says, “so you get to see familiar faces.”

Peet wants incoming drivers to know the job isn’t as intimidating as it seems. “My freshman year I told my friends that I would never drive the buses,” Peet says, “but the trainers do a great job making you feel comfortable behind the wheel.”

Peet was recognized at the Iowa Public Transit Association’s driver award dinner on June 7 in Ames, alongside the Driver of the Year recipients from transit agencies across Iowa.

Honorable Mentions

The selection committee also recognized the following drivers as honorable mentions for Driver of the Year:

  • Brady Behrend
  • Anna Blobaum
  • Joshie Osborne
About the Driver of the Year award

The Iowa Public Transit Association (IPTA) recognizes a driver from each Iowa public transit agency annually for their service to local communities. IPTA sets minimum criteria drivers must meet to be eligible for the award. Each public transit agency then uses their own process to select a driver to be honored.  

Criteria for award eligibility includes work record, attendance, and safety record. The CAMBUS management and student supervisor team evaluate the list of eligible candidates to select an overall award winner. The CAMBUS team looks at factors such as previous recognitions received throughout the year, feedback from other staff, and their contributions to creating an inclusive and positive workplace experience. 


CAMBUS is the University of Iowa’s student operated, no fare public transit system that provides fixed-route service throughout campus and demand-response paratransit services for qualifying persons. On average, 160 student-employees operate transit services across the university campus. Their responsibilities begin with driving but can grow to include training, dispatching, assisting with maintenance, and supervising.  

CAMBUS works in collaboration with other Parking and Transportation Department units to provide and support access and mobility for students, faculty, staff, patients, and visitors. For more information about our services visit the CAMBUS page or call 319-335-8633.