Dept. of Transportation
Metro Transit Division

King Street Center
201 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98104
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WHEREAS, on February 13, 1973, Richard C. Walsh followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather to become gainfully employed as a transit operator. Fresh from the classrooms and playing fields of the University of Washington, he applied with Metro Transit because of the "good pay, benefits and the opportunity to serve the public" - or so he said in his application; and

WHEREAS, Rick availed himself of every opportunity that came along to learn something different, to do more for the agency and to advance his skills by working up through the organization as a planner, Supervisor of Service Planning, Manager of Service Development, Deputy Director of Operations, then eventually General Manager; and

WHEREAS, Rick's skills and personal creativity guided Metro in the development of innovative programs, facilities, and services such as the construction of the downtown bus tunnel, the implementation of the UPass program at the University of Washington, the installation of wheelchair lifts and bike racks on all buses, the creation of a comprehensive Web site for customer information, and the expansion of the paratransit program into a model for the rest of the nation; and

WHEREAS, under Rick's leadership Metro developed more than 500 partnerships with businesses, schools and cities to provide subsidized passes to employees, students, and residents; making the agency a leader in leveraging dollars and using public-private partnerships; and

WHEREAS, Rick played an active and key role in Metro twice being named "Best Large Transit System in the Country" by the American Public Transportation Association and during his tenure as general manager, Metro achieved a milestone of providing 100 million passenger trips in a single year; and

WHEREAS, across the nation, Rick is known as a leader in the transit industry and is always willing to share his knowledge and experience with other transit properties looking to serve customers differently and better. Rick has always been an outspoken advocate for Metro, not hesitating to go up against legislators, councilmembers or county executives in the best interests of his agency, yet he never once disagreed with me when I described him as the best transit manager in this country;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ron Sims, King County Executive, do hereby proclaim Monday, February 9, 2004, to be

Rick Walsh Day

in King County. I encourage all employees and residents to join me in honoring Rick for 30 years of outstanding service to King County government and the surrounding region. We thank Rick for putting his brains and brawn into making King County Metro Transit the gold standard by which all other transit agencies in this nation are measured.

Ron Sims
King County Executive

Updated: Feb. 2004