King County Metro “Mentors Moving Metro” Program Sets Drivers up for Success


“Mentors Moving Metro” is a mentorship pilot program developed by King County Metro, Seattle, WA, and ATU 587 that matches experienced drivers with new, part-time drivers for six-12 months.

“Nobody understands what it’s like to operate a bus better than those who have been in the seat,” said King County Metro General Manager Michelle Allison. “‘Mentors Moving Metro’ will pair new drivers with experienced operators who want to provide knowledge and support to the next generation. Being a bus driver is a great job and the mentors will welcome our newest ‘rolling ambassadors’ and set them up for success.”

The mentorship pilot is informed by best practices at similar programs at public transit agencies within the U.S. and Canada. In a recent briefing presented by the ATU, Metro chiefs and superintendents learned about a mentorship program at the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA). During that program’s first two years, GCRTA saw a 36 percent increase in employee retention, 30 percent decrease in absenteeism, and 50 percent decrease in late arrivals by employees.

“A mentorship program for new transit operators will provide valuable support and knowledge based on the professional experience of seasoned operators,” said ATU 587 President Ken Price. “Nothing can compare to hands-on experience and guidance from our veteran operators.”