“Unwavering. A craftsman among skilled craftsmen. A bus-making machine. Best of the Best.”

There was no shortage of accolades, affection and appreciation today as King County Executive Dow Constantine and Metro leaders announced Rich Polkinghorn is Metro’s 2023 Vehicle Maintenance Employee of the Year.

Polkinghorn, an East Base mechanic since 2003, was cheered on by family and colleagues as he received the award at a surprise ceremony today.

Mechanic Rich Polkinghorn holds his Employee of the year sign in front of a red and yellow Metro RapidRide bus

In his 20 years with Metro, Rich has worked at multiple bases and demonstrated his ability to provide excellent service maintaining Metro’s bus fleet so riders have reliable service.

Besides being a great mechanic, Rich also is a great guy who cares about his co-workers. Rich exemplifies many of the characteristics that keep East Base moving: He is a hardworking, conscientious and highly skilled mechanic. He is outgoing and loves to talk to folks and joke around. If you look closely, and you may even see a “Rich for Governor” signs in the shop.

Rich is not the first person or mechanic from his family to work at Metro. Rich’s uncle Clarence Myers worked at Metro and nudged Rich to apply. Clarence also was nominated the Vehicle Maintenance Employee of the Year in 2005.

“Rich is a guy you enjoy working with because you know you’re going to learn something and be entertained at the same time,” said Chris Parrott, Director of Metro Vehicle Maintenance. “You can always count on Rich to lend a helping hand and to do it with a smile on his face. Rich is someone who is very deserving of this award, and he models what King County Vehicle Maintenance represents.”