By Ukee Washington

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Early last year, some Center City commuters told Eyewitness News about a SEPTA driver bringing brotherly love. But the pandemic shutdowns separated them. Those viewers thought they’d never see their favorite bus driver again.

It’s a joyous reunion between Colleen Osborne, Mary Zlotnicki, and Curtis Perrin.

“We’ve been wondering all year where you’ve been,” Osborne said.

“I’m right here,” Perrin said.

Osborne and Zlotnicki were regulars on Perrin’s SEPTA shuttle at Cornwells Heights station in Bensalem. We followed him early last year. Osborne said he always made their day.

“It was like coming home. To see Curtis and get home, it was like a little pit stop to see Curtis,” Osborne said.

Perrin seems to have a gift for connecting.

“I’d get out of my seat, I’m not supposed to actually get out of my seat and just hug everybody,” Perrin said.

He’s helpful even off the clock.

“I ran into him in Walmart one time and he was like, ‘Can I help ya? Do you need anything?'” Zlotnicki said.

Then came the pandemic shutdowns.

Osborne and Zlotnicki work for the city. Osborne went remote. Zlotnicki was considered essential. She drove herself to work.

When they went back to their old routine, Perrin wasn’t there.

“We missed him a lot. I was wondering where he was,” Zlotnicki said.

He was driving a new route, the LUCY shuttle loop in University City. With SEPTA’s help, we reconnected them.

“Curtis is the best,” Zlotnicki said.

“He must have been born with positivity in him,” Osborne said.

Perrin has faced loss: a son in a drive-by shooting. two sisters to cancer, and his wife. He says he finds positivity in Jesus.

“He still wanted to do his father’s will,” Osborne said, “and that is to make people happy.”

And that he does.

Ukee Washington