March 18 is Transit Driver Appreciation Day, and Solid Ground wants to take a moment to do just that. Our Solid Ground Transportation (SGT) employs 107 ACCESS van and Downtown Circulator Bus drivers who work diligently to make sure that people who struggle to ride the regular King County Metro bus system have safe, reliable transportation to medical appointments, and can stay connected with family, friends and their community. THANK YOU to all of our fabulous drivers! Here are just a few fun facts highlighting the amazing work that the SGT team achieves, and don’t forget to appreciate your bus or transit driver today!
- SGT ACCESS drivers transport over 300,000 riders each year.
- SGT is the only nonprofit organization providing ACCESS service for King County Metro.
- All SGT drivers are required to complete approximately 22 hours of training every year.
- Drivers are only given seven minutes to board and secure a passenger using a wheelchair or scooter.
- The Solid Ground Circulator has provided over 130,000 rides to date.
- Drivers are given only 15 minutes before their route to check 86 items on their bus before departing the lot.
- Drivers are required to recertify every two years in CPR/First Aid, Smith System Defensive Driving and Passenger Safety and Security.
- Drivers are required to flex their regular start times + or – 60 minutes and must check for their next day’s start time every night after 7pm. They could start as early at 3:45am!
- Much like postal workers, all SGT essential employees are required to show up for work, even in snow, rain, extreme heat and the gloom of night!
- SGT operates up to 90 routes daily, nearly 24/7, 365 days per year and do that all with just 6 dispatchers, 7 supervisors, 8 technicians and 107 drivers, 4 of whom drive the Circulator.
- Drivers can have as many as 14 passengers on their bus at one time all going to different locations.
- There are vehicles in the system with well over 400,000 miles driven.
- On the first day of service, the Solid Ground Circulator carried only 74 riders. Today, they average over 300 riders per day.
- The longest routes will drive over 300 miles in a single day.
- SGT employees represent over 30 different countries around the world!
Read more about the admirable work of Solid Ground Transportation drivers in past Solid Ground Blog posts:
- “They are our family” describes a day in the life of an ACCESS driver, and the passengers who depend upon this service.
- “A really good marriage” highlights the 45-year marriage of Solid Ground Transit employees Ninus and Kathy Hopkins.
- Driving from the Heart & Out of Love is a short video showcasing Ninus and Kathy’s devotion to their selfless work and to each other. They have been driving the elderly and people living with disabilities to appointments throughout Seattle for over 26 years, and as a mixed-race couple, they have endured countless acts of prejudice and racism. Still, they serve in a spirit of community and love.