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Metro Transit Is Looking To Hire A Bathroom Tsar

King County Metro Transit buses will be running on snow routes starting with Monday morning's service, a precautionary move with the possibility of snow in the forecast.


King County Metro is looking to hire a Comfort Coordinator. This person will be in charge of making sure bus drivers can go to the bathroom when they need to. It’s part of Metro’s response to a fine from the state last year.

Last November Metro was cited by the State Department of Labor and Industries for a lack of access to toilets and not giving drivers enough time for bathroom breaks. Some bus drivers say they’ve had to relieve themselves into coffee cups and trash bags.


Metro spokesperson Jeff Switzer says the Comfort Coordinator will reach out to business and restaurants, to see if drivers can get  keys to those locations. Another strategy is to tweak routes.


“Is this bus route on the right path or can we steer it over one more block so it gets close to a facility an operator can use? We’re already doing that now,” says Switzer.


Metro anticipates the additional funding from Proposition 1, which will add more busses to routes, will end up giving drivers more time to go to the bathroom. Metro says it’s also open to the idea of constructing bathrooms for drivers in high needs areas.


The issue of having enough time to go to the bathroom is separate from having access to a toilet  Allowing time in a driver’s schedule so they can use the facilities is part of ongoing contract negotiations between the county and the transit union.


Jennifer Wing is a former KNKX reporter and producer who worked on the show Sound Effect and Transmission podcast.

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