Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Meet Jon Elmgren: Community Transit's 2015 Transportation Employee of the Year

The lure of the open road and making a difference in one's community are motivators for many of our Coach Operators to choose driving for us as a second career. We are lucky to have drivers from all walks of life, with prior careers that are interesting and varied. From former pastors to French chefs, you may be surprised by the story of how your bus driver ended up behind the wheel.

Jon Elmgren started his career as a Data Analyst for Boeing before transitioning to the insurance industry where he worked for 25 years. The desire to be of public service led Jon to investigate a second career that he could be passionate about. He found his way to us in May 2008 (he was in the same training class as Dispatcher Jessica Greene). A former rider who knew the area well (he and his wife built their home in NE Monroe in 1980), Jon just knew driving for us would be a career he would really enjoy. "I like the variety of driving different routes in different areas. I get to drive for awhile and use my breaks to take a walk, get some exercise, and stay active."

When our Coach Operators go above and beyond in their service, sometimes our riders are kind enough to give a commendation so we can recognize them. When Jon was driving the Boeing to Gold Bar route, a serious traffic situation encouraged Jon to call Dispatch to problem solve how to reroute so our customers wouldn't be further delayed. One Boeing employee was so impressed with Jon's commitment to customer service, he called to say thank you for getting him home on time. This commendation earned Jon the honor of Transportation Employee of the Month, which translated to Transportation Employee of the Quarter to Transportation Employee of the Year.

"It feels good to be acknowledged. Community Transit drivers are a notch above in terms of how friendly they are and the service they provide. To be chosen for this honor was a real surprise." Funny enough, Jon says he saw the customer who complemented him not that long ago. "I was getting ready to start my route, but I saw him standing in line for a different bus. I jumped out of my bus to tell him the news. He was really excited."

Small acts of kindness can make a huge difference in someone's day, month, or even year. Congratulations, Jon, on being chosen as Community Transit's 2015 Transportation Employee of the Year. We are so pleased your dedication to service was recognized by your customer, your peers, and our agency. Thank you for being part of the Community Transit family.

Has a Coach Operator made a difference in your day? Don't wait for Bus Driver Appreciation Day to tell them; let us know in the comments below!

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