King County welcomed U.S. Army veteran Craig Foster as its new Chief of Rideshare Fleet Operations Tuesday, June 14.
A native of Boston, MA, Craig’s military service found him at Ft. Knox (Kentucky), Korea, Ft. Hood (Texas), Germany, here at Ft. Lewis, at Ft. Stewart (Georgia), and then back at Ft. Knox as a Drill Sergeant. After his second tour at Ft. Knox, he became a Warrant Officer in the Automotive Maintenance field and continued on to Ft. Rucker (Alabama) and Germany, finally returning to Ft. Lewis in 2012.
Craig said his role with the County is similar to the roles he enjoyed in uniform, but more Operations-oriented. “What I did in the Army was more maintenance-intensive. Here, it’s more the Operations side,” he said. “There are a lot of different RideShare operations. Primary are VanPool and VanShare, and we supply vans to a lot of the other RideShare programs.”
His experiences also relate well to his new opportunity with King County. “..flexibility …adaptability …teamwork. In the military, you move around so often that you have to learn to integrate yourself and find the best in people,” he said. “You have to be able to adapt to the situation, infuse yourself into the team in the most effective way, with a team first mentality …and make a positive impact.”
Teamwork and service are two of the things Craig likes most about being part of the King County team. “I think it’s very similar to being in the military. There are a lot of people who come to work and they’re happy to be here, and they’re happy to have you here. It’s a tight-knit team,” he said[CDL1] .
“A lot of the employees, I’ve noticed, go out of their way to serve the customer. Their job is important, but it’s not the paycheck, its public service. There’s a lot of pride in being a King County employee.”
When asked what he would like to see Rideshare achieve, Craig mentioned the history of the program, and how proud the County is of it. Rideshare is the largest publicly owned and operated commuter van program in the nation. “Metropool is ours, too. The electric vehicle fleet; all of the Nissan LEAFs,” added Craig. “I would like to see the (County’s) program continue to be that premier program. I’d like to see the program continue to modernize itself in the areas of – specifically – alternative fuel technologies and becoming a greener fleet.”
How does Metropool fit in? “It’s a bridge,” says Craig. “We want to be here, the technology is not there yet, but we’re going to take steps to move us in that direction. We’re taking steps by using the Nissan LEAF as a platform to familiarize the VanPool program with electric vehicles and electric fleets.”
For more information about the County’s Rideshare program, visit Metro Online.