Thursday, October 6, 2016

"I'm Emmett. And I Guide It."

As the Chief Executive Officer of Community Transit, Emmett Heath is uniquely positioned to affect change. Having spent the majority of his career in public transportation, he is keenly aware that our agency has a great responsibility to serve the community, both now and in the future. We provide nearly 40,000 trips each weekday to people who rely on us to connect them with jobs, healthcare, schools, and their community. That's up to 10 million riders a year! Emmett keeps these 10 million riders, our customers, close to heart when guiding Community Transit into the dynamic future of public transportation.

Thanks to local support, Community Transit has recently expanded service. Emmett's short term vision includes ensuring we deliver on our promises. "The community values the service we provide. They have supported us and now we need to deliver on their desire for expanded transit service." Even while plans for proposed new routes in 2016 and 2017 begin to roll out, along with the subsequent buses and drivers needed to make them happen, Emmett stresses the importance of looking ahead even further. "This generation is building something that will benefit the next one. We are laying the foundation for those that will come in the future." Our route ahead will include a network of Swift Bus Rapid Transit lines and expanding our overall service to connect communities in new and exciting ways.

Making a difference in our community goes beyond strategic planning for the future. It also includes growing relationships, both internally and externally. "It starts with each person in this agency, and that includes me. Anything I can do to role model, to show the care we should be giving customers. This means interfacing directly with customers when issues come to my attention. It's a great opportunity to listen, learn how to improve, and turn someone into an advocate."

This hands-on approach is important for engaging employees, too. "It's important to have face-to-face time. I always have an open door policy and make a point to frequently visit different work groups. It goes a long way to fostering harmony. When you invest in harmony, this wonderful synergy happens and it empowers our employees to contribute to a positive workplace culture and deliver what our customers want and need."

In his role as CEO, Emmett Heath guides our agency as we prepare to meet the increased transit demands of significant projected growth for 2030, shaping an environment where individuals work collectively as a team to bring forth Community Transit's vision of the future: providing 40 more years of safe, reliable, and friendly service to Snohomish County.

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