Monday, November 30, 2009


On the Move

John Sturdavant, from journey mechanic to LRV assistant supervisor

Service Milestones

35 years: Paul Sharp, rail supervisor
20 years: Dan Caufield, director operations planning and development
10 years: Tobbi Countryman, Jeff Grimes, Deborah Moyle, Jeannine Simonsen and Anita Underwood, operators
1 year: David Hupperich, marketing associate; Sydeny Nguyen, program scheduling engineer; Janet Portillo, customer service specialist; and Denise Woodward, communication specialist


David Bennett, rail operator,

10 years of service

Tom Gonzales, journey mechanic,13 years of service

Garald Ottoboni, track maintainer,34 years of service

Michael Wilson, journey mechanic30 years of service


TriMet offers a critical service in a very complex environment. More than 300,000 times a day, someone boards a TriMet bus or train. In the vast majority of cases, they have a good customer service experience and complete their trip without incident. But, as recent unfortunate events have reminded us, sometimes the customer’s experience isn’t what we’d like it to be.

I know that each of you has to balance multiple demands from internal and external customers—not just the people who ride the system, but also coworkers, managers, the public and other stakeholders. As always, I trust you to rise to that challenge with compassion and professionalism. Sometimes it’s as simple as imagining yourself in the other person’s shoes. When there’s a delay, most of us like to be thanked for our patience. When we’re concerned about safety, we need to know that our concerns are being taken seriously. When we give feedback, we expect and value a timely response.

We are a customer service organization that goes the extra mile. I know for a fact that there are numerous examples of employees who “do the right thing” countless times throughout the day. Often, it takes almost no extra time or special skill to let the other person know that you understand what they’re going through.

Yet when something goes wrong, we can run the risk of losing sight of the reason we’re all here —the customer. Today, I am asking each of you to think about how your decisions and actions each day can renew your commitment to customer safety and customer service. With this focus, there is no doubt we can not only meet, but exceed our customers’ expectations.

Thank you.