Team Member Spotlight: Sonseeahray
Sonseeahray (Sara) has been working for Metro Transit for 42 years as a MetroBus Operator, and she is the most senior female operator throughout all of our facilities. She has seen many changes at Metro throughout the years, and through it all she has been behind the wheel of MetroBus, getting passengers to where they needed to go.
Our first female operators were hired in 1977, and when Sara first joined the team in 1979, she was one of two female drivers to be in her new operator class.
“We didn’t have MetroLink or Metro Call-A-Ride back then. I did 15 years of nights and weekends,” Sara said.
Metro Transit has also been a family affair for her – when she first applied for her job, she went with her husband and brother-in-law. All three of them ended up working for Metro. Her husband retired after 30 years. He was a bus operator for 5 years, and then became a supervisor.
Sara loves driving the bus. There is always something happening to keep her alert, and she likes being around people. She has the opportunity to get to know the regular riders on her route, and they will often recognize her during their commutes. Not only does Sara love driving, she also spent 4 years of her time at Metro training new operators. She enjoyed teaching our new classes of operators, but also missed interacting with passengers every day, so she went back behind the wheel.
You can currently catch her on the #30 Arsenal, but she has driven many of our MetroBus routes. One of her favorite routes was the old #8 Bates-Morganford.
Sara and her husband have three adult children that live out of the area. When the pandemic hit, they started a new tradition: Sunday Zooms with the family. Sara plans to continue this tradition even after the world starts getting back to normal.
When she isn’t working, Sara loves to travel. Some of her favorite places she has been is Aruba, Hawaii, Alaska and Sydney, Australia. She also likes to cook and bake. If you are ever craving gooey butter cake or some spaghetti and meat sauce – her kitchen is where you want to be! But she will also happily make you some beef short ribs or macaroni and cheese. She enjoys dancing, horseback riding, snorkeling, swimming and bike riding.
Check out our Q&A with Sara below to get to know her more.
What was your first job?
Working at JCPenney’s.
What are 3 words to describe Metro?
Accurate, punctual and safe.
Do you like driving outside of work?
I still like to drive. When my husband and I were younger we would fight over who would drive, because we both wanted to!
Do you have advice or tips for someone who is new to riding Metro?
If you’re trying to get to a certain place – ask the driver. And then periodically remind the driver because they want to help you get to where you are going, but are also concentrating on the other cars and pedestrians. And a tip: Greet the driver as you would want to be greeted. When you smile at your driver, we smile back.
When you’re out riding with us, make sure to pause and thank our team members for what they do. We could not move the region without them. Thank you, Sara!
Our team members work hard to keep our region moving every single day. From operators to customer service, maintenance to mechanics, and operations to public safety, we bring the best of the best together to bring progress, collaboration and innovation to our communities. We want to share their stories, so stay tuned for more team member spotlights.