Julie Feather - Garrett Transit Service - 2019 TAM Unsung Transit Employee
On almost any given morning Julie can be found at her desk by 5:00am to face the daily task of scheduling demand-response trips that regularly exceed over 250 per day. Garrett Transit operates a totally demand-response service, which means every ride has to be scheduled by Julie. This includes public transportation for a county that covers over 656 square miles, trips to other parts of the tri-state area, Non-emergency medical transportation, the Meals on wheels program and head start. Often times she has to "work her magic" with the schedule and the drivers only to then have to deal with the wrath from the passengers and employees. But at the end of the day this individual manages to get clients where they need to be despite employee call-offs, local weather issues, school closings and delays, appointment cancellations and vehicle breakdowns.
Julie is also on call 24 hours a day which means she is taking after hours calls fromdrivers who may be sick, to scheduling after-hours transports for the NEMT program. For these medical calls, she then has to contact the driver for that particular day, coordinate the trip and still be at her desk at 5am the next morning. Ms. Feather is also usually the first to volunteer for any extra duties that are needed, whether it involves fixing food or desserts for trainings or office parties or agreeing to attend meetings or community events to get the word out about services that her agency provides. When handling scheduling there is never a shortage of last minutes reservations or discharges, sometimes up to 150 miles away, and Julie knows just how to work it out even when the task seems impossible. Her dedication, dependability, and commitment are second to none.
Her agency director describes Julie as going above and beyond her assigned duties to make sure the schedules are done correctly and everyone that the agency we can possibly accommodate gets a ride on a given day. And he knows that no organization should suffer if one employee is out or were to leave, but he is not looking forward to the day this individual retires". Julie will find a way to fix any mess and get everyone picked up that is scheduled to ride and this work is all done before most of us even get out of bed.