Treat every cyclist as a friend

De’Sean Quinn

By De’Sean Quinn, King County Metro Deputy General Manager for Strategy and Partnerships

Most King County residents have at least a few stories about bus operators making their day a little brighter. As riders return to transit, Metro is hiring more part-time operators and offering paid training, full benefits and a generous starting salary.

If you have a call to serve your community, I strongly encourage you to visit kingcounty.gov/DriveForMetro to learn more. But, even if you don’t apply, please take advantage of the following shared wisdom from some of the subway operators who have been chosen by their peers as Operator of the Month.

Each month, drivers from each of Metro’s seven bus bases nominate a colleague who embodies courtesy, professionalism and safety. We asked the winners what advice they would give to their fellow bus drivers. Their responses provide insightful advice that often goes far beyond public transit.

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“Be kind. The kindness you show may be the only kindness your passenger sees in their day.

“We have the best jobs in the world, and although there are times, don’t let them get to you.”

“Remember that we are here to serve the riders and to show as much grace, patience and mercy as possible.”

“Keep a positive attitude and it will come back to you.”

“Be patient and polite. Enjoy the ride.”

“Everyone has a purpose. Everyone has a story. Kindness always comes first! I sincerely believe that you cannot judge someone by their outward appearance. You never know what hand has been extended to them in life.

“If you want to see the big picture of the ride, always look at the smaller mirror.”

“Don’t worry about the coach personally. You can meet the best person on the worst day of their life. And we all have those days!

“To my Metro family: always stand firm on what is right. Be quick to make someone smile and remember it’s a privilege to serve the public. Lots of love to you all.”

“There are a lot of nice people there. Thank them when they pay and note how they react. It helps the day go more smoothly.

“Physical activity like cycling helps relieve the pressure of work even when it’s raining outside.”

“Keep calm and drive carefully.”

“As your responsibility, be patient and ultimately think about what’s most important to you: your family.”

“Take one day at a time.”

“Be careful, always be kind and respectful to others, and you will have a good day.”

“Every passenger should be treated like you would treat your best friend.”

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Along with having fond memories of growing up in Seattle using public transportation, my stepfather worked as a subway operator and was fueled by a desire to give back. Having started my own career working for King County over a decade ago, I was thrilled to accept a role with Metro in 2018 and am proud to now be one of the leaders of such a remarkable organization.

I invite you to join a very special group of people who step forward to serve all members of our community every day. In addition to bus operator, there is an incredible range of other positions – in communications, employee services, engineering, facilities, finance, legal, marine, awareness, project management, rail, security, vehicle maintenance and many more. Please visit kingcounty.gov/metro/jobs to see the wealth of exciting career opportunities at Metro.

De’Sean Quinn is King County Metro’s assistant general manager for strategy and partnerships. Metro provides bus, paratransit, rideshare, and water taxi services, and operates the Seattle Streetcar, Sound Transit Link light rail, and Sound Transit Express bus service. Metro is committed to providing safe, equitable and sustainable mobility, and to prioritizing service where the needs are greatest.

Earnest L. Veasey