Did you know your bus driver’s artwork might be display on a Metro coach? Or that some of them enjoy working on cars and trucks, running and biking? Or that they relax playing the stock market and working on taxes?
One thing is for sure: They are as unique as the people they provide transportation to every day, and all of them love driving and giving back to their community.
Meet your Operators of the Month for September and October 2022.
We love to hear from our riders about their operators! Please leave your comments about our “rolling ambassadors.” Interested in becoming a transit operator? Visit “Start your Metro career” to explore well-paying positions with full benefits and a pension in transit operations, trades, rail operations, customer information and countless other fields.
(Information and photos provided by the operators)
Atlantic Base | September 2022: Jonathan Bunag
Jonathan joined Metro as a part-time operator in 2016 and went full-time a year later. He has earned multiple Safe Driver Awards and has received five commendations.
Born and raised in the Philippines, Jonathan attended Lyceum Northwestern University. He moved to the United States with his mom and two sisters in 1999.
Married for 22 years with two daughters, Johnathan enjoys using his free time watching TV, and playing games. He’s also into cars, trucks and electronics.
Jonathon’s advice to other operators: “Being a transit operator has its challenges. Have more empathy, and more patience towards each other and to the community we serve.”
Passenger praise: “Our driver this morning was excellent; courteous, helpful, calm, and patient. It’s a pleasure to ride on a bus where the driver inspires confidence, both in his driving and positive attitude.”
Atlantic Base | October 2022: Christine Wiese
Christine started with Metro as a part-time operator in 2016 and in 2017 went full-time. She’s a Safe Driver Award recipient and has received 16 commendations.
Born in Nebraska, Christine attended Green River College and received an Associate of Art Accounting degree.
A proud grandmother, known as “Mimi” to her baby granddaughter, Christine enjoys living a healthy lifestyle through body and mind. She’s a volunteer at stage theaters around Seattle, and likes to hike, craft and work on taxes!
Christine’s advice to other operators: “Your attitude is your best defense!”
Passenger praise: “She waited quite a while for me to cross a busy street. I was having a bad day and she truly made it better.”
Bellevue Base | September 2022: Acacia Cadorette
Acacia has been with Metro as a part-time operator in 2014. She has received 11 commendations from her customers.
Born in Marysville, Acacia decided to become a Transit Operator at Metro because when she moved to Seattle, she didn’t have a car and took the bus a lot. She thought that it looked fun, and a friend talked her into applying.
Acacia has many cats and in her free time enjoys writing, needle felting, riding her bike and running.
Acacia’s advice to other operators: “If you greet each passenger as they board, acknowledge their presence, and smile, your incidents will drop dramatically. People like to be seen.”
Passenger praise: “I had a great experience today with this driver. The driver was very polite and was so kind to wait during my on-boarding.”
Bellevue Base | October 2022: Chan Da
Chan has been with Metro since 2017, earning several Safe Driver Awards.
Born in Cambodia, Chan and his family fled the country when he was 12 to escape communist persecution. In 1980 Chan and his family were able to come to the United States as refugees, becoming U.S. citizens several years later.
Chan is married and has two sons, one of whom now works for Metro as part-time transit operator.
Chan is grateful to work at Metro, and he enjoys helping his fellow employees. He is always there to help the dispatcher when they are experiencing workforce shortages.
Chan’s advice to other operators:
“Be humble and kind. Treat customers like you want to be treated.”
Passenger praise: “My bus driver this morning was welcoming, cordial, and apologetic to those who he could not fit on the bus, promising those he had to turn away that he would report the incident to Metro.”
Central Base | September 2022: Arays Yusuf
Arays started at Metro as a part-time operator in 2015 and went full-time in 2016. He has earned Safe Driving Awards and has received five customer commendations.
Arays was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, and moved to Seattle in 1993. He received his associate degree from High Tech Institute in Phoenix, AZ. Arays joined Metro because it’s a great company that welcomes people from many different backgrounds.
Married with three children, Arays loves to spend time with his family. He also enjoys running, soccer, basketball and bicycling.
Arays’ advice to other operators: “Feel how important you are to yourself and to the public you serve.”
Passenger praise: “The driver saw me running towards my stop with about a block-and-a-half to go. He slowed, gave me a thumbs-up, and I made it onto the bus!”
Central Base | October 2022: Lisa Mamon
Lisa has been with Metro as a part-time operator since 2017. She has earned multiple Safe Driving Awards and three customer commendations.
Lisa is a Seattle native and a graduate of the University of Washington, where she received a degree in communications and social services. She joined King County Metro after retiring from Boeing so that she could give back to the community she grew up in.
In her free time, Lisa enjoys spending time with her family, gardening and riding her motorcycle.
Lisa’s advice to other operators: “Be kind to one another, you never know what they may be going through.”
Passenger praise: “Lisa is a wonderful driver: Pleasant, kind, and respectful of all passengers, she is punctual and drives very well.”
East Base | September 2022: Richard Miller
Richard started with Metro as a part-time operator in 2010 and went full-time in 2013. He has earned several Safe Driver Awards and has received nine customer commendations.
Born in Sacramento, Richard became an operator because he was seeking out new opportunities that he had not done before.
Married with four kids, Richard spends his free time being a soccer coach and crafting beer. He is an avid record and vintage stereo equipment collector and collects ’80s pop art.
Richard’s advice to other operators: “It’s important to get up and walk at the end of every trip.”
Passenger praise: “Our driver did a terrific job dealing with the reroute for the marathon. Please thank him for all his hard work.”
East Base | October 2022: Johnnie Alfred
Johnnie has been with Metro since 2017, earning multiple Safe Driver Awards and six customer commendations.
A native of Freeport, Grand Bahama, Johnnie attended Renton Technical College and received a degree in computer networking. He became an operator because he wanted to learn as he navigated the streets of Seattle.
Married with five kids, Johnnie spends his free time playing basketball and building computers.
Johnnie’s advice to other operators: “Don’t be in a hurry. Take your time and be safe.”
Passenger praise: “Great driver. Always kind, professional and happy. Considerate to elderly in that he lowers the bus or ramp for them.”
North Base | September 2022: Hakan Kosar
Hakan started with Metro as a part-time operator in 2017 and went full-time a year later. He has earned several Safe Driver Awards and has received two commendations from his customers.
Hakan was born in Istanbul, Turkey, and is a graduate of Suleymen Demirel High School and attended Anadolu University. Hakan came to the United States in 2000 and worked at the University of Pennsylvania Business Services for four years.
Hakan became a Transit Operator because he loves to help people and to serve his community
Hakan is married and has an eight-year-old son. In his free time, Hakan likes fixing things at home and enjoys playing soccer with his son.
Hakan’s advice to other operators:
“Always smile and treat others the way you want to be treated.”
Passenger praise: “Our driver is very considerate. He waits until everyone is seated before he starts driving and he smiles at everyone.”
North Base | October 2022: Ram Dahal
Ram joined Metro as a part-time operator in 2018 and went full-time in 2019. He has earned several Safe Driver Awards and has received two commendations.
Ram was born in Sindhupalchok, Nepal, moving to the United States in 2005. He became an operator because he was impressed with the benefits that came with the job. Plus, he enjoys meeting new people on the job and at the worksite.
Ram is married with three children and enjoys watching and playing volleyball.
Ram’s advice to other operators: “Be kind, helpful and respect everyone, no matter what the situation is.”
Passenger praise: “Driver let us know about a road closure and answered questions. He also helped a man in a wheelchair who needed to turn back because of the route changes. He was very patient.”
Ryerson Base | September 2022: Sharon Patterson
Sharon has been with Metro since 2005 when she started as a part-time operator and has been full-time since 2007. She has earned numerous Safe Driver Awards and has 30 customer commendations.
Sharon is a native of Los Angeles, and enjoys using her free time performing home renovations, sewing and shooting pool.
Sharon’s advice to other operators: “Deal with life diligently and straight forth. What you put in is what you get.”
Passenger praise: “My driver from this morning was the friendliest. She was warm to everyone and greeted each passenger as we got on and off the bus. Her friendliness was genuine and such a great start to my day.”
Ryerson Base | October 2022: Samantha Mackey
Samantha has been with Metro since 2018. She started as a part-time operator because she heard it was a great place to work and found a true love for the job and went full-time a year later. Samantha has earned several Safe Driver Awards and has 19 customer commendations.
In her free time, Samantha enjoys watching live comedy, getting her nails done, and taking long naps.
Samantha’s advice to other operators: “Try to be happy!”
Passenger praise: “I received a very friendly greeting when I boarded, and thanks to her assertive driving, we were able to make it through West Seattle Bridge traffic in great time.”
South Base | September 2022: Robert Horton
Robert joined Metro as a part-time operator in 1989 and went full-time in 1992. He has earned multiple Safe Driver Awards and two customer commendations.
Robert was born and raised in Seattle and attended Seattle Central College, where he received a degree in Advertising Art. He currently also works as a contractor and graphic designer.
Robert joined King County Metro because he enjoys the flexibility that allows him to continue with his art. His Black Lives Matter Mural is displayed on Metro coaches.
In his free time, Robert is involved in community arts organizations and the Onyx Fine Arts Collection.
Robert’s advice to other operators:
“Know when to adjust to a situation because each one is different. Always do your job in a professional manner.”
South Base | October 2022: Antonio Hart
Antonio started with Metro as a part-time operator in 2005 and went full-time in 2007. He has earned several Safe Driver Awards and five customer commendations
A Seattle native, Antonio attended Western Culinary Institute in Portland for hospitality management. He served in the customer service industry, managing a restaurant most of his career before joining Metro.
In his free time, Antonio enjoys traveling, investing in stocks and playing sports.
Antonio’s advice to other operators: “Come to work with a good attitude. Don’t take it personal what passengers say and make sure to make it home safely every night.”
Passenger praise: “Driver did a great job navigating traffic. The driver seemed to have an easy time getting through traffic smoothly. Customer was able to observe the driver displaying his skill and training by maintaining a smooth ride, despite the challenges that the trip posed.”
Every month, operators from King County Metro’s seven transit bases select an Operator of the Month. Each demonstrate safe driving skills, are courteous and helpful, and pay conscientious attention to attendance, appearance and discipline.
Please join us in congratulating them. Our Operators of the Month later vote on who among them will be Metro’s Operator of the Year!