We spotted this ad for Metrobus at the Clarendon station the other day.
The driver pictured is Lance Campbell, and according to the sign, he has driven 2 MILLION miles without an accident. That is the "equivalent of four round-trips to the moon," the sign says.
That's pretty effin' incredible, especially in a town where the roads are largely the domain of the most potent and vile concentration of a-hole drivers, seemingly hand picked from around the country for their prodigious a-holeian tendencies.
This guy Campbell is doing some serious unsucking!
Campbell's story made us curious about what WMATA does to reinforce super-mega excellence like this, since it seems they have a problem getting rid of the super mega failures.
We also wanted to know what Metro does to reinforce this kind of amazing dedication and what they do to try to get it to percolate throughout the operator culture.
So, besides personal pride and being featured in an ad, what sort of extravagant awards are bestowed upon the best WMATA has to offer? Jewel encrusted steering wheels? Working radios? Extra comfy seats with 100,000 thread count Egyptian cotton seat covers? Piles of cash money? Access to the velvet rope area of the WMATA cafeteria? Keys to the executive bathroom?
"It's Authority recognition, a patch and pin," said WMATA. Period.
"$500, $1,000 and $1,500 for 1, 2 and 3 million miles." Metro divulged after a little prodding. They added that it takes 10-12 years for a bus operator to achieve one million miles. So the awards work out to about 45 bucks a year.
Do you think that's too much, about right or a pittance?
Recently, we posted a story about a station manager who GOT ON THE TRACKS to fetch a rider's MP3 player. Metro contacted us to see if we could help them identify the manager so as to reward him, which we thought was impressive. (No word on if they were able to or not.)
The award for that guy, if they find him?
Recognition and 100 bucks. No ham. Possibly a plaque.
Depending on the MP3 player, the manager might have made out better refusing to retrieve it and going back later to get it for himself!
So, if not through lavish awards, how is this excellence highlighted and promoted throughout WMATA?
According to Metro, if/when" drivers like Campbell "decide to change from driving, the next logical step is training instructors. They also speak to new hires at training graduation."
Metro said Campbell still drives a bus daily.
If you see him, thank him. He truly delivers on the WMATA slogan, "best ride in the nation."
Live chat with Metro Board member Chris Zimmerman (GGW)