Bus Driver Appreciation Week chance to show gratitude to the “lifeblood of public transit”
StoryThey are the men and women who greet you daily, take you where you need to go, point you in the right direction if you’re not sure where you need to be, and act as tour guide and entertainment director for the over 100 million passengers who ride with them every year. They are the 2,700 transit operators for Metro Transit and the Metropolitan King County Council today showed their appreciation for the work performed by these county employees by proclaiming the week of February 22 Bus Driver Appreciation Week.
“Our transit operators are the lifeblood of our public transportation system, providing mobility for those who are transit dependent and an environmentally-friendly alternative to congestion for commuters,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips, sponsor of the proclamation. “I am personally very grateful for what they do, and if you are too, I hope you’ll take a little extra time this week to say ‘thanks’ to your bus driver.”
“For many of the residents of my district, public transportation is the only form of transportation available,” said Councilmember Larry Gossett, chair of the Council’s Regional Transit Committee. “The job done by these drivers is worthy of praise. I join my colleagues and bus riders throughout the region in showing our appreciation to these county employees.”
“Bus drivers are the heart of our transit system,” said Council Chair Bob Ferguson. “As a bus commuter, I appreciate the great job Metro’s drivers do every day.”
Metro’s 2,700 bus operators are skilled employees who perform many functions, including providing safe, professional, and on-time transportation for the public; providing information about fares, routes, schedules, and transfer points; and operating the coach wheelchair lift and fastening wheelchairs for passengers with disabilities. All Metro drivers go through an extensive training program, must have a Commercial Drivers License, learn to operate various coach types, and complete many customer service programs.
“If you take the bus this week, please thank your bus driver for the great job they do,” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague. “These men and women work to make King County more connected and they deserve our appreciation.”
“I always appreciate how friendly the bus drivers are to passengers, and how they call out the stops so that when I am busy reading on the bus, I’ll know when to get off at the right stop,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “They have a demanding job, and they do it well.”
“It takes a lot of skill, training and dedication to run one of the ten largest public bus systems in the country, and we thank Metro’s drivers for everything they do,” said Councilmember Jan Drago.
Last year, Metro operators worked a total of over three million hours, logging about 43 million miles while providing about 112 million passenger trips and received over 2000 commendations from customers. After a passenger assault last month resulted in the hospitalization of a Metro driver, the Council wanted to recognize transit operators, thank them for their work, and encourage the public to acknowledge the drivers they see every day.
Councilmembers join Amalgamated Transit Union Vice President Rick Sepolen and Metro Transit General Manager Kevin Desmond as the County celebrates Bus Driver Appreciation Week in King County