Fifty Years Behind the Wheel:
A Journey of Dedication and Service

At the bustling heart of 3636 N Glenn Avenue in Winston-Salem, nestled amidst the ebb and flow of travelers, lies a terminal with a history as rich and enduring as the roads it serves. This terminal, which started out as Piedmont Coach Lines in the late 1960s and is now one of the thriving terminals of Sunway Charters, has been witness to half a century of relentless dedication and unwavering service, all embodied in the life and career of one man – Ronnie Stanley.

For half a century, this terminal has been his sanctuary, a place where he has embarked on adventures and forged connections that transcend the miles traveled.  We asked Ronnie to reflect on his journey, from sweeping floors as a wide-eyed 10-year-old to training the next generation of drivers. Talking with Ronnie, we can’t help but realize the profound impact of a life spent behind the wheel.

The story begins in the late 1950s, as Piedmont Coach Lines opened its doors and embarked on its own journey into the world of transportation, with the senior Mr. Stanley in the role of General Manager. It was during his formative years in the early 1960s, at the tender age of 10, that Ronnie was given the opportunity to take his first steps into this world of wheels and roads, earning his stripes with a broom and mop, courtesy of his father’s guidance and a modest payment of 25 cents.

Fast forward to 1974 when Ronnie, now a seasoned presence at the terminal, approached Kenneth Chilton, Piedmont Coach Lines’ owner, with a simple request: to test the waters behind the wheel. What began as a fleeting curiosity evolved into a lifelong passion, spanning six different bus companies over five decades of service. From Piedmont Coach Lines to Sunway Charters and every organization in between, these transitions marked another chapter in Ronnie’s enduring love affair with driving.

But what truly sets this journey apart is not just the miles covered or the companies served; it’s the ethos that defines his every moment behind the wheel. For Ronnie, being a bus driver has been more than just a profession; it’s been a calling – a commitment to excellence and service that transcended mere duty.

Throughout the years, Ronnie honed not only his driving skills but also his dedication to the passengers entrusted to his care. From meticulously maintaining his appearance to fostering a warm and welcoming environment onboard, every detail mattered. Whether it was keeping the windshield spotless or personally providing cup holders for added comfort, his attention to the little things spoke volumes about his commitment to passenger satisfaction.

But perhaps the true measure of his legacy lies in his role as a mentor and trainer. With retirement on the horizon, Ronnie has taken it upon himself to impart his knowledge and experience to the next generation of Sunway drivers. Armed with a handbook crafted from years of hands-on expertise, he guides new recruits and tenured drivers alike, through the nuances of the job, emphasizing not just the technicalities but also the personal touch that sets great drivers apart.

As he reflects on his journey, Ronnie leaves behind a simple yet profound message for those who follow in his footsteps: driving is more than just a job; it’s a vocation, a privilege, and a responsibility. It’s about embracing the challenges, cherishing the moments, and above all, putting passengers first.

In an ever-changing world, where technology reigns supreme and trends come and go, the timeless virtues of dedication, service, and compassion endure. And at the heart of 3636 Glenn Avenue in Winston-Salem, amidst the hustle and bustle of the Sunway Charters terminal, one man’s journey serves as a testament to the enduring spirit of the open road.

Here’s to you Ronnie – Sunway Charters is grateful for your many years and we look forward to exploring this new journey of onboarding new drivers and having them all take a chapter from your book.