August 5, 2010

Madison transit system adds names of employee children to buses


Approximately 95 Metro employees entered the names of family members and friends into a drawing. Twenty, including Cass', were picked at random for the late July installation.


As part of a new internal program aimed at fostering positive labor relations and heightened employee morale, Madison, Wis.-based Metro Transit recently added the names of individual employees' children, grandchildren, and other special children in their lives to 20 fixed-route buses.

The program is based on a long standing tradition at Federal Express where the names of employees' children are installed on company aircraft. A similar program is done on transit vehicles at the Rochester Genesee Regional Transit Authority in the New York area.

According to GM Chuck Kamp, adding these names to buses honors the dedication of employees to both Metro and its customers by recognizing their hard work and hours spent away from home.

"We are currently looking at many ideas to foster a positive work environment here at Metro," Kamp said. "Employees spend most of their awake hours at their jobs. This program is a small reminder of how our families and friends support us while we're away at work."

This program was created and implemented by Metro's Advisory Respect Group (MARG). The MARG group is a collection of representatives from each Metro work unit charged with finding and carrying out ways to improve employee morale and promote respect in the workplace.

Approximately 95 Metro employees entered the names of family members and friends into a drawing. Twenty were picked at random for the installation in 2010.

The following names were installed on buses in late July:

Calina, Peyton, Katy, Justin, Blair, Cass, Zack, Hope, Bryant, Aviel, AnaBelle, Ahnaijah, Lucas, Austin, Rachel, Marcus, Martin, Luella, Preston, Oliver

Gary Poulson, chair of the City of Madison Transit and Parking Commission, described the names on buses program as a fun and exciting way for employees to include the special children in their lives into their workplace and allow them to be part of the Metro system.

"This fun new program encourages families to come together to celebrate Mom and Dad's workplace," Poulson said. "It brings kids into their parents' Metro family. It's a source of pride for both the parent or grandparent and the child alike to be recognized and included in this type of program."

Kamp further described this program as a simple way to feel good about your family and the place you work.

"It's just a fun thing to do," he said.

The recently installed names will remain on buses into next summer. In 2011, the MARG group plans to build on the success and popularity of the program by drawing another set for future installation on Metro vehicles.

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