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THE MBTA EMPLOYEENEWSLETTER.FOR YOU, BY YOU,ABOUT YOU.T E A M W O R K SVOLUME 5JUNE 2010TWO EMPLOYEES WIN YMCA ACHIEVERS AWARDSuHaYlaH SHaBaZZOn April 13 the YMCA of GreaterBoston held its 35th Annual RecognitionAwards Gala to honorthe recipients of the 2010 YMCAAchievers Award, which recognizesminority professionals forthe exemplary success they haveachieved in their careers. Theiremployers nominated the recipients.The two MBTA award winners – MichaelLe and Marvin Jones – werecheered by an enthusiastic groupof colleagues: Mary Fernandes,Assistant General Manager, Offi ceof Diversity & Civil Rights (ODCR);Priscilla Jackson, ADR/MediationManager, ODCR; Cheryl Hinton,Director of Bus Operations, whonominated Jones for the award;and John Lewis, Chief OperatingOffi cer, who nominated Le for theaward. Everyone agreed that itwas a wonderful event, especiallythe inspiring speech delivered byMichael Le, who, because of hisleadership qualities, was selectedby the more than 40 members ofthe 2010 Achievers Class to serveas president.Le, Section Chief, Electric VehicleTechnology – Bus Operations,has worked at the MBTAfor 22 years. He supervises approximately100 employees inthe North Cambridge Car House,Silver Line Maintenance Facilities,and the Arlington Avenue andCabot Automotive Non-RevenueGarages. The computer managementprograms on absenteeism,production effi ciencies, materialspending, and database recordinghe developed have resulted inimprovements in Bus Operations.To foster good management andjob training, he is championinga mentoring program for Operationspersonnel with Human Resources.Jones is a 20-year employee of theMBTA. Beginning as a part-timebus operator in 1989, he was promotedto Supervisor of Transportation– Charlestown Bus Garagein 2008. His many duties includeresponsibility for scheduling dailyoperator and inspector work assignments;scheduling training,physicals, and drug tests; andfi elding and responding to customercomplaints. Jones supervises189 full-time operators, 67continued on page 4TEAMWORKS editors asked –the GM answered!I N T H I S I S S U EARTICLESRead all about it in the Juneissue ofTwo Employees Win YMCA Achievers Award .............1Thirty-eight Years on the Job: A Lifetime of Service .....2Good Grade for Student CharlieCards ......................2THE RIDE Receives High Praise…from a Non-User .....3Workshop Educates Materials Management andDesign & Construction Employees About TransitProcurement ...........................................................3Going the Distance: Two Employees Team-upfor the Marathon .....................................................3Learn How to Protect Your Back…and Your Productivity ...............................................4


Thirty-eight Years on the Job: A Lifetime of ServiceBrenda McDonaldWhen Mike Bowler drove his first bus route out of Dudley, hewas nervous about getting lost so he asked a passenger for directions.The unfazed passenger gladly helped out.Bowler figured bus riders needed to get somewhere, to workor to school, and if he treated them well there wouldn’t be anyproblems.“It helped being big,” Bowler jokes.Bowler recalls buses without air conditioning, radios, or powersteering. Operators wore wool pants, even in summer. Duringthe Blizzard of ‘78, Bowler parked his bus on East BerkeleyIn the pink: Mike Bowler (seated) celebrates with Cabot Supervisors Carmen Pizarro (front) and(standing from left) Pete Zagami, Ira Parris, Jean Clark and Val Mayo.Street and walked to Cabot. Three days later, he spent threehours walking home to Somerville, for once thankful for the woolpants.In addition to driving for 16 years, Bowler also worked as aninspector, supervisor, and superintendent. In each of these positions,he applied lessons learned in the Marine Corps abouteffective communication and problem solving.“Bus operators have the toughest job,” Bowler says. He alwayspaid attention to the concerns of his passengers and urged thosehe worked with to do the same, to listen. He would always remindnew operators to be friendly and respectful and rememberif angered to never show it. For 38 years, he heeded his ownadvice, gaining the admiration and respect of all.Cabot Supervisor Pete Zagami notes, “Mike’s managementapproach boosted morale, which in turn improved customerservice.” Referring to his penchant for wearing pink, Zagamiadds, “Mike was not only a fashion plate, he was a fountain ofinformation.”Supervisor Carmen Pizarro says, “Mike is a unique, wonderfulperson. He’ll always be in our hearts.”Married for 37 years, Bowler has two children and three grandchildren.On his final workday, after a retirement luncheon at Cabot,Bowler turned in his radio, and said good-bye. “That’s all,” hesaid. “That’s enough.”Cabot Operator Paul Shaw spoke for all: “It was an absolutepleasure working for and with Mike.”Good Grade for Student CharlieCardsWilliam KingkadePrior to the transition to CharlieCards, students were issuedpasses on a monthly basis. Beginning September 2009,students were able to load monthly passes on Student CharlieCards.As a result, the Student CharlieCard eliminated theneed for monthly distribution of passes. Students, through theirschools, now receive passes that are valid for the entire tenmonthschool year (September 1st through June 30th).As the 2009-2010 school year ends, Joseph P. Kelley, DeputyGeneral Manager of Systemwide Modernization, is pleased toannounce that the first year was a success. The MBTA converted128 schools and districts to the Student CharlieCard program,with Boston Public Schools as the largest customer. On average,over 20,000 students depend on a monthly pass to travelto and from school during the academic year.2


The ride receives high Praise…from a non-usercarol JoYce-HarringTonThe MBTA’s ADA Paratransit Program, THE RIDE, is receivingglowing compliments from users. THE RIDE provides door-todoortransportation for eligible customers who, because of aphysical, mental, or cognitive disability, are unable to use publictransportation all or some of the time. After all, without THERIDE, many people with disabilities would have their mobility –and their ability to easily keep doctors appointments, visit stores,and enjoy other activities that most of us take for granted –greatly curtailed.driver has shown toward their customers... Whoever runs the program,whoever trains the staff, each and every RIDE employeedeserves kudos.Again, I just wanted to let you know how much you are appreciated!“Whoever runs the program,whoever trains the staff,each and every RIDE employeedeserves kudos.”Rita HolmesRecently, THE RIDE received a letter of commendation from anunusual source: a non-user. Rita Holmes of West Roxbury wrote:I just want you to know how impressed I am with the wonderfulservice you provide. I have been voluntarily helping out anelderly couple each morning to prepare for their day at adultday care, to which The RIDE takes them. I am awestruck by thecourtesy, compassion and respect, not to mention patience, eachworkshoP educaTes maTeriaLsmanagemenT and design & consTrucTionemPLoyees abouT TransiT ProcuremenTVinTon WongDuring the week of April 26th Materials Management andDesign & Construction staff attended a Federal TransitAdministration (FTA) procurement workshop. The MassachusettsBay Commuter Railroad purchasing staff also attended.Philip Hanley, who works for the National TransitInstitute (NTI) at Rutgers University, taught a class entitled,“Orientation to Transit Procurement.”The course covered various public procurement issues suchas planning, specifi cations, bidding, negotiations, and contractadministration. The majority of MBTA procurementsare federally funded so the information learned at the workshopis critical to developing and implementing strategiesfor effective procurement.going The disTance: Two emPLoyeesTeam-uP for The maraThonBus Operations Workforce Coordinator Patricia Spragueand Superintendent of Bennett Garage Kathleen Balernacompeted in the 114th Boston Marathon on April 19. Thetwo athletes ran the race together and fi nished with excellentresults. You keep going, girls!3


Learn How to Protect Your Back…and Your ProductivitySundae GreeneBack injuries are a major cause of work-related injuries. Approximatelyone out of every four employees who is forced tospend time away from work suffered an injury caused by improperlylifting moderate-to-heavy objects.Back injuries are not only costly in terms of productivity butcan be very painful, debilitating, and persistent. By engagingin regular exercise* and maintaining a healthy diet, and bylearning and utilizing proper lifting techniques, you can greatlyreduce your risk of back injury.Here are some simple rules we can all follow:• Lift Securely and Comfortably. Lift with your legs, not yourback.• Avoid Unnecessary Bending. Do not place objects on theground if they must be picked up again later. Use a table,platform or hoist if these items are available.• Avoid Unnecessary Twisting. Turn your feet, not your hipsor shoulders. Leave enough room to shift your feet whenhandling a heavy object so you don’t have to twist your body.• Avoid Reaching Out. Handle heavy objects close to thebody. Avoid the long reach to pick up an object. Get helpwith bulky loads.• Avoid Excessive Weight. If the load is too heavy, don’t tryto lift it yourself. Get help or use a mechanical aid if one isavailable.• Lift Gradually. Lift slowly and smoothly. Avoid jerking to liftor pull a load. Get a good grip on an object to prevent itfrom slipping.• Stay in Good Physical Shape. Get proper exercise.* Maintaina healthy well-balanced diet and keep your weight downto minimize stress on the lower back.*NOTE: Before starting any exercise program or using a backbelt support, consult your personal physician.Continued from coverpart-time operators, and 21 inspectors. He actively trains thenext generation of supervisors and eagerly mentors operatorsand inspectors. He also developed a PowerPoint presentation forinspectors to use as a training aid. Through all of his efforts, heis ensuring that the MBTA is providing optimal customer serviceto each passenger.The MBTA enthusiastically congratulates Michael Le and MarvinL. Jones for being Achievers Award recipients.(From left): John Lewis, Michael Le, Cheryl Hinton and Marvin Jones.4

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