Metro Transit’s newest best-of-the-best bus driver doesn’t mind donning an antique uniform to play characters from the past, but Bruce Kennedy likes his work drama-free.
Kennedy, a Mountlake Terrace resident, works at Metro’s North Base.
“Bruce is one of our best,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “He takes the job seriously, does it safely and well, and doesn’t get drawn into any of the drama he may encounter on the road.”
Kennedy, 59, was honored Tuesday as Metro’s 2011 Transit Operator of the Year. He was chosen by other Metro operators for his combination of safe driving skills, exceptional customer service, and an excellent overall work record.
“Bruce has been a consistently outstanding operator for his entire 36-year career,” said Metro Transit Operations Manager Jim O’Rourke. “He exemplifies the best characteristics of a Metro Transit Operator – a near-perfect safety record, excellent reliability, and a professional attention to quality service. Bruce clearly takes pride in the service he provides; and it is my pleasure to be associated with him and the many other operators of his caliber.”
Kennedy was born in Seattle and attended the University of Washington. He has earned a Safe Driving Award in 34 of his 36 years with Metro. He is an avid reader and loves books related to historical events, especially the Civil War. As a Civil War buff, he has visited many battlefields and has been a re-enactor in the past. He is devoted to his family, and enjoys vacations with his wife, daughters, and grandsons.
He currently drives the Route 346 serving North Seattle. His customers say Kennedy treats them with respect and good cheer when they ride on his bus. Some of the words they have used to praise him are: “great attitude,” “patient,” “courteous,” and “on time.”
“Professional transit operators do so much more than just drive a large vehicle,” said Metro Transit General Manager Kevin Desmond. “Bruce typifies so many of our great Metro operators who combine demonstrated skills with an outstanding attitude to provide quality service for our customers.”
Since 1978, the drivers themselves have selected the best of their peers to hold the title of Metro Transit’s Operator of the Year. In order to receive the award, a driver must be chosen as Operator of the Month from one of the seven transit bases. At the end of the year, the Operator of the Year is selected by a vote of all fellow Operators of the Month. The annual ceremony is usually held the following summer.