Route 222 bus driver in Bellevue honored the best

It was 1979 and Richard Boehmer hired on at Metro while he looked for a “real job.”

  • Tuesday, August 19, 2008 1:40pm
  • News
Richard Boehmer

Richard Boehmer

Richard Boehmer voted co-transit operator of year

It was 1979 and Richard Boehmer hired on at Metro while he looked for a “real job.”

Now, 29 years later, he’s still there and has just been voted King County Metro Transit’s Operator of the Year for 2007. Boehmer will share the honor with Nate Chappelle, another Metro driver following a rare tie vote.

“Richard and Nate are great examples of transit employees who not only deliver excellent service, but also go the extra mile to assist customers and their co-workers,” said Metro Operations Manager Jim O’Rourke. “And with Richard and Nate, everything is done with a smile and a kind word.”

Boehmer, 63, has been driving for Metro since 1979. His wife says he hired on at Metro “just to have some money while looking for a real job.” But, he quickly took to bus driving and has always enjoyed interacting with customers. He currently drives Route 222 serving Bellevue.

“Richard’s motto is to always provide the best service possible, be helpful and courteous to all of his customers, and to be a role model for other operators,” said Bellevue Base Supervisor Jeff Wamsley. “Richard is very modest about his accomplishments, but his sense of humor and friendliness is known and appreciated by all who come in contact with him.”

Boehmer received the “George Turner Award” for the second quarter 2007. This award recognizes operators who best exemplify a positive attitude and keen awareness of the elderly and disabled.

While operating from Bellevue Base, Boehmer received a commendation for frequently assisting an elderly passenger in a wheelchair and his attendant with boarding the bus. The attendant commented on Boehmer’s sincere caring attention and his gentleness in providing service. The attendant said, “He made the whole process very easy.”

The annual operator of the year award honors operators who demonstrate safe driving skills, exceptional customer service, and an outstanding overall work record.

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.

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