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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Recognizing People Who Keep Us Moving

By Terry White

All of us at King County Metro are proud to provide you with innovative, integrated, safe, equitable and sustainable transit. Each year, we recognize employees and teams who demonstrate outstanding dedication and service to Metro’s customers and community. And the winners are…

Wall of Fame Team Winner: Metro’s Shelter Appearance Team in Transit Facilities

Shelters are the first and last touchpoint riders have with Metro and provide protection from wet and snowy weather. Our dedicated Utility Laborers on the Shelter Appearance Team are committed to creating a safe, clean environment for customers to wait to board and exit transit.

Not only do Utility Laborers provide expertise and skill in maintaining approximately 1,800 shelters in our region, they demonstrate outstanding care and pride in the work they do to keep transit moving. It’s not an easy job and these employees face daily challenges, yet they consistently go above and beyond to ensure a welcoming experience for all who rely on our bus shelters.

Wall of Fame Team Honorable Mention: Metro’s Fleet Engineering Team in Vehicle Maintenance

Our Fleet Engineering Team provides excellent customer service to our bases and operations divisions on a 24/7 basis, and recently launched the innovative Battery Electric Bus (BEB) Training Academy.

This team was lauded during the nomination process for their, “untouchable integrity, open hearts and outstanding attitudes.” It also was noted that, “every member of the team is a leader and lives the Equity and Social Justice creed of King County.”

Our Fleet Engineering Team contributes to the success of Metro by enhancing education and training, so our Vehicle Maintenance technicians are successful in providing safe and efficient repairs. Thank you for your incredible service and contribution to Metro.

Wall of Fame Individual Award Winner: Dani Hurula, Mobility Division

This year’s Wall of Fame Individual Award goes to Dani Hurula, Metro’s Youth Mobility Program Manager, from the Mobility and Market Innovation team.

Hurula is passionate about making transportation more accessible, especially for youth.She started her Metro journey in 2018 as an intern and is now leading an interagency effort to launch the Free Youth Transit Fare initiative—an integral part of the Move Ahead Washington legislation.

During her time at Metro, Hurula has advocated across multiple school districts, focusing on those serving a high percentage of low-income students, to successfully implement subsidized transit fares as part of the Summer Youth ORCA program and spearheaded the Youth for Equitable Streets campaign to learn how the diverse backgrounds and identities of high school students impact their experiences in navigating public transportation. Thank you, Dani, for making a difference to so many.

General Manager’s Award: Elie Kourdahi, Vehicle Maintenance Division

Elie Kourdahi began his Metro journey in 1991 as a mechanic in Vehicle Maintenance. Since day one, Kourdahi has brought enthusiasm and energy to Metro, which has spanned across the multiple roles he’s had since.

Kourdahi’s intuitive nature, empathy and sincerity has made him a natural leader and mentor. During his years at Metro, he has provided invaluable training and expertise to help make our system safer. He leads with a “True North” mindset and lives our values. He is a passionate advocate and champion of Equity and Social Justice.

In his 31 years with Metro, his top priority has always been, and remains, the people—especially his team. It’s not an understatement to say that everyone who knows Elie will say he is one of the kindest people you will ever meet. Thank you, Elie, for modeling true leadership and outstanding service to our employees, customers and community.

Terry White is general manager of King County Metro. Metro provides bus, paratransit, vanpool, and water taxi services, and operates Seattle Streetcar, Sound Transit Link light rail, and Sound Transit Express bus service. Visit kingcounty.gov/careers to view job opportunities with great salary, outstanding benefits and a pension.

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