Metro honors Operator of the Year Jeffery Jackson

You’ve probably seen him driving the 1 or the 14 in downtown Seattle, or the afternoon Route 7 to Rainier Beach. Big smile, great laugh, calm and cool behind the wheel as he navigates his electric trolley bus along the twisting and turning web of overhead wires.

Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond (r) with Jackson.

Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond at the microphone to honor transit Operator of the Year Jeffery Jackson.

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Rhonda Berry, right, King County Chief of Operations, honors transit Operator of the Year Jeffery Jackson in a ceremony May 29.

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Jeffery Jackson, Metro Transit Operator of the Year, was honored May 29, 2014.

Jackson (l) with the 2012 Operator of the Year Robert Duncan.

Robert Duncan, right, Metro Transit’s 2012 Operator of the Year, passes the baton and congratulates Jeffery Jackson on his award.

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Thousands of riders will see the bus placard honoring Jeffery Jackson as Metro Transit’s Operator of the Year.

It’s careful methodical work, and he cautions his fellow electric trolley bus drivers to “take it easy and don’t get in a hurry.”

For his focus on safety and customer service with riders, Jackson was chosen from among Metro Transit’s 2,700 bus operators to be this year’s Metro Transit Operator of the Year. Jackson, 58, was honored with this year’s award in a surprise ceremony Thursday, May 29.

Jackson was chosen by his fellow operators from among Metro’s 84 “Operators of the Month” who were eligible for the “Operator of the Year” award. Winners are Metro’s elite drivers and the best of the best.

Jackson, 58, lives in Seattle’s Central District and drives buses out of Metro’s Central-Atlantic Base in Seattle. He was born in Portland and moved to Seattle in 1970, graduating from Garfield High School in 1974 and attended Shoreline Community College. He first joined Metro as a part-time operator in 1979, shifting to full-time work in 1986. He soon will receive a 29-year safe driving award.

Commendations and kudos from customers say Jackson is a “fantastic” operator, “very professional and courteous” who “waits for customers when they are running to the bus stop.” Jackson is a three-time operator of the month: March 1991, March 2007 and September 2013.

“Jeff is recognizable as one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet,” said Metro Transit Operations Manager Jim O’Rourke. “He usually has something positive to say and he’s usually smiling. I’m not at all surprised that his fellow operators elected him.”