Dept. of Transportation
Metro Transit Division

King Street Center
201 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98104
Metro Online Home

Driver of the Year popular with passengers and peers

Photo: Metro GM Kevin Desmond congratulates Porter Mathis III - 2003 Operator of the Year
General Manager Kevin Desmond, left, congratulates Porter Mathis III on being chosen as Metro's 2003 Operator of the Year.

Every year for the past 26, Metro bus drivers have selected one of their own as Operator of the Year. But, this year's winner has also been endorsed by bus passengers, who have mentioned him as driver of the year material in numerous letters and commendations sent to Metro.

Porter Mathis III was thoroughly surprised last week to find out he had been named to this elite circle of bus drivers who are honored for going the extra mile to deliver safe and courteous service for Metro's customers. Using a little trickery, his supervisors lured Mathis back to South Base where an audience of family, friends and dignitaries waited to pay tribute to him.

Those who know Mathis consider him to be a man of many talents ballplayer, chef, gardener, and counselor. He is a deacon in his church, and he specializes in working with families who are recovering from addictions. His big heart and ability to empathize with all people carries over into his work as a bus driver, where he has helped train other drivers on appropriate protocols for assisting people with disabilities.

Photo: Porter Mathis III

He has received more than 75 commendations from customers and supervisors over the years. Passengers cite his patience, cheerfulness, and outstanding customer service as the reasons they like to ride any route Mathis is driving.

These comments from customers sum up what a great representative Porter is for our agency, said Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond. His dedication to his passengers is a model for all our operators.

Mathis, 52, has been driving for Metro since 1975. He has a 23-year safe driving record. He is a graduate of Garfield High School, where he was a standout athlete in football and baseball. He and his wife have three children and live in Auburn, where he loves to garden and prepare gourmet meals. He currently drives Metro routes 168 (serving Kent and the Kent East Hill area) and 190 (Seattle to Star Lake).