On Wednesday, March 17, we begin a week of recognizing and celebrating everyone who is involved in the operation of one of best transit systems in America. March 17-25 is Transit Appreciation Week, which includes Transit Operator Appreciation Day on Thursday, March 18.
Our operators are the faces you see every day, but they are also part of a regional mobility system that has thousands of people working to get you where you need to go comfortably and safely. Whether you ride every day, or use one of our mobility options for a trip to the store, a medical appointment, or a night on the town, all Metro employees work together to get you where you need to go.
Transit Appreciation Week is an opportunity to acknowledge the transit employees who keep our buses, Water Taxi, Light Rail, Streetcar, and Access fleet moving. It’s also a time to let you know about the Metro staff that you might not see, but who are vital to the smooth operation of your trip.
So, thank you to:
The Vehicle Maintenance staff who maintain our vehicles, trains, and vessels. In 2020, they were not only responsible for the regular cleaning, maintenance, and repair, they took on the additional responsibility of increased sanitizing to ensure the safety of passengers and our operators. Vehicle Maintenance was also responsible for designing, fabricating, and installing the plexiglass safety partitions and adding mask dispensers to every bus in our fleet. And during the February snowstorm, the Vehicle Maintenance team was out chaining up buses!
The employees in Facilities who tirelessly work to keep bus shelters, transit bases, and transit offices safe and sanitary. Most of the work done by Facilities starts after dark, with crews pressure washing bus shelters and emptying trash cans throughout the region. They clean offices and disinfect workstations. They keep the trolley wires in good operating order and maintain radio and electrical systems, as well as the Water Taxi dock at Pier 50.
The Bus Operations staff who manage the daily operation of Metro’s seven bus bases and 190 routes.
The employees in the Transit Control Center who provide 24/7 support, monitoring, and answering operator calls, and manage Metro’s response to events throughout the system in real time.
The Service Development team members that analyze, implement, and help prepare Metro for changes in our service.
Our System Impacts members who prepare for events that can impact Metro’s regularly planned service, everything from weather to construction to civic celebrations.
Our Service Quality team supports operators on the road, responding to emerging situation such as accidents and security incidents.
The Training Group that has the dual responsibility of keeping drivers up to date on current operating procedures and training and preparing our drivers for taking on new routes during our spring and fall service changes.
Our Marine staff who keep Metro’s water-based services afloat! The team is responsible for the operation of Metro’s Water Taxi Fleet, including the moorage and maintenance of the ships providing passenger-only ferry services from Pier 50 in downtown Seattle to Vashon and West Seattle.
The Rail team who operate Link light rail, as well as the South Lake Union and First Hill Streetcar lines. From Kent to the University of Washington (soon to extend to Northgate), and from downtown Seattle to Capitol Hill to the shores of Lake Union, the rail staff are responsible for the maintenance and management of close to 24 miles of rail along with the facilities and grounds.
The staff of Mobility and Contracted Services who provide services that reduce the number of cars on the road and provide mobility options for geographic areas where our buses can’t reach. They work on the Vanpool system that brings neighbors together for rides to work, the DART (Dial-A-Ride Transit) program, and Access, which provide needed transportation options for seniors and those with mobility challenges.
Our Customer Communications and Services staff who are Metro’s “voice,” providing customers with information in a number of areas, including trip planning and options for paying their fares.
Metro Transit Police who keep our passengers and operators safe. Their duties cover a number of areas off the buses, too, from investigating crimes that occur at transit facilities to quickly responding to real-time threats, such as human trafficking. They also assist as part of the local and regional network to identify and prevent potential terrorist activity.
Metro’s Security team members who maintain a safe workplace throughout our mobility system, including buses, trains, streetcars, and Water Taxis, along with all of our transit bases and facilities.
Metro’s employees make our nationally-recognized regional mobility system great, and our goal never changes: When you get on bus, train, water taxi, streetcar, or light rail, all of us at Metro want you to have a safe and enjoyable trip!
Thank you for riding with us, and for being part of a mobility system we are proud to provide every day!