A former digger driver who upgraded to a bus, has become a lifeline to many people in Port Chalmers.
Jimmy Richards lives in Aramoana and drives a bus six days a week from Port Chalmers to Dunedin.
In Port Chalmers many of the people don't travel under their own steam - and the children, elderly and disabled all rely on Richards to get around town.
He obliges by being as cheerful as possible at all times.
"I've found that by being happy, I'm not so stressed out," Richards told Hadyn Jones for Goodsorts.
He even dressed up around Christmas as Santa.
Anne Marie Deveraux is one of Jimmy's regulars and describes him as the "best bus driver in the world".
"I reckon he'd win a competition any day," she says.
Elizabeth Rodgers and her daughter Sadie have been taking Jimmy's bus since he started six years ago. Sadie is intellectually disabled and would not have had the same degree of independence if it weren't for his service - and feeling comfortable using it
"My philosophy is I treat everybody the same regardless and that seems to have worked," Jimmy saids.
Recently Sadie had to give up work because her Down Syndrome has caused Alzheimer's Disease but Jimmy is still there at her birthdays and other occasions.
"I love him," she says.
She's not alone. Many of Jimmy Richards' customers have become more than friends.
One older woman told ONE News he's different to any other bus driver.
"He's so kind and cheerful, he's a good person. He greets you as a friend and if anybody is in need or help, he's only too willing."
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