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The Best of BSD – January 20, 2023

The Best of BSD – January 20, 2023
January 19, 2023 Jerry Vallely
Photos of Transit Service Manager Tamieka Lewis, Transit Service Manager Trina Graham-Walker and ADA Coordinator Amy Parker

The Best of BSD

Customer First is one of Bi-State Development’s core values. Every day, team members throughout our organization bring this value to life by providing our customers with experiences that exceed expectations. A perfect example of this commitment to service can be seen through the efforts of three BSD team members – Transit Service Manager Tamieka Lewis, Transit Service Manager Trina Graham-Walker and ADA Coordinator Amy Parker – who last month went above and beyond to help a passenger in need.

It started with a report to the Bus Operations Control Center of a passenger in a powered wheelchair who was stuck on the ramp of a bus with a dead battery. TSM Lewis and TSM Graham-Walker were dispatched to assist, along with the St. Louis City Fire Department. The firefighters were able to get the passenger and their wheelchair off the ramp and on the bus. The firefighters left, but our TSMs stayed with the bus to make sure everything was ok. Unfortunately, it was not.

When our customer was ready to exit the bus, their wheelchair got stuck again. Instead of waiting for the fire department to assist, which would have created delays for everyone on the bus, TSMs Lewis and Graham-Walker were able to safely get the heavy, unpowered wheelchair unstuck and off the bus.

The next step in our customer’s journey was to cross a busy intersection at Gravois and Jefferson. Realizing the potential danger of the wheelchair getting stuck in the middle of traffic, our TSMs spoke with the customer and they decided that the best course of action was to have them return home to have the wheelchair fully charged before traveling.

This presented its own challenges, because even though Metro Call-A-Ride was able to help with a ride, there was still the issue of figuring out how to get a heavy, unpowered electric wheelchair onto the van.

That’s when they contacted ADA Coordinator Amy Parker for assistance. She met with our TSMs at the scene to work on a solution. First, they tried to figure out a way to get the wheelchair charged. TSM Graham-Walker actually went to the customer’s residence to get the power cord and charger to use at a nearby restaurant to charge the chair. Unfortunately, the restaurant wasn’t able to provide an available outlet.

After some more troubleshooting, TSM Graham-Walker figured out a way to disengage the chair from its electric motor so it could be operated manually. Call-A-Ride was contacted again and a van was dispatched to return the customer home. Amy stayed with the customer the entire journey to make sure they arrived home safe, helping to move the wheelchair on and off the van.

Please join us in celebrating Tamieka Lewis, Trina Graham-Walker and Amy Parker for embodying our core values and doing everything in their power to help a customer when they needed it most. They truly represent the very Best of BSD.