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Write on METRO

Oct 15
Q Cards for Veterans

 VeteransStandUpQCardEvent.jpg

 

Veteran's Day is coming up in a month, and now is the perfect time for qualified veterans to apply for a METRO Veterans Pass.

The pass gives qualified disabled or decorated veterans free unlimited local bus, Park & Ride and METRORail service.

U.S. vets must have suffered a service-connected disability, or earned a medal of valor. Applications can be picked up at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at 6900 Almeda Rd. or you can download an application.

METRO reached out to veterans at the Houston Stand Down event at MacGregor Park on Oct. 5, an annual event designed to assist veterans. METRO hosted pop-up tents erected near three light-rail platforms along the Red Line. Public Affairs staff, along with Street Team members, were stationed near Wheeler Transit Center, McGowen and Northline Transit Center/HCC Station.

"It is important to reach out to military veterans because mobility needs are critical to ensuring that they can access medical services, jobs and other destinations," said Mike Martinez, director of Public Engagement, and a former Marine.

METRO issued more than 80 reloadable METRO Q® Fare Cards to veterans at the event. If you don't have a Q Card yet, pick up one at any of these retailers. For every 50 paid rides, you get five free rides. Plus, to show our appreciation, we have Rider Rewards for you. Simply show your Q Card to any of these eateries, shops or museums – and get a discount.

 

 

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I wanted to post this comment under the appropriate posting but comments were closed so my apologies to any veterans that may read this rant. 

My name is Jason Liggins.  I'm someone well acquainted with the Metropolitan Transit Authority in a variety of ways and after being on the outside looking in all these years, on September 21, 2018 I decided to toss my hat in the ring and become a bus operator. 

I drove to the Kashmere Bus Operating Facility, completed my application and was scheduled for the pre-employment assessments the following week.  I came in Tuesday, September 25, 2018 and took the Customer Service and Reading Assessments.  On Friday September 28, I was told I passed the assessment and to come in for an interview on Monday, October 1, 2018.

On that date I drove back to the Kashmere BOF, gave my driver's license to the staffing representative on duty so she could make a copy and filled out a package of paperwork which included my assessment scores (90 for the CSA and 100 for the RA).  Prior to the interview, I showed my license to the interviewer (won't list any names on this public forum), was interviewed, accepted and given the conditional offer.  I took my drug test that same day. 

On October 3, 2018, I drove to Fallbrook BOF to do the Physical Performance Evaluation.  One of the trainers took my license and held on to to it and others for some time before giving them back later in the process.  It felt nice to sit in the bus and I was finally starting to understand the reality of what I'd be doing and I loved it.  Metro's background department needed my high school diploma/transcript so I had to go to my high school to obtain that (though the information had actually been emailed out the same day).  I also had to research who exactly handles employment inquiries at one of my former employers, TSA, which took some time but soon enough all of that was settled. 

There was an issue with the drug test due to a prescription medication I take that had to be resolved which involved me going to my doctor, twice, to get a letter faxed to the Medical Officer and to Concentra where I took my DOT physical. 

After three weeks of this process I would finally be getting my DOT health card which would allow me to take the CDL written tests I needed to pass prior to my October 29th start date, or so I thought.  On October 12, 2018 I received a call from the staffing representative stating that I'd been disqualified from the position due to a restriction on my license.  No where in the paperwork I signed, the job announcement or even the DPS CDL manual did it state this restriction would be an issue.  Three people saw my license prior to this call and nothing was said that could have saved everyone time and grief. 

Removing this restriction would be an easy remedy but I was told if I removed it that day I would not be eligible to reapply for three years.  Obviously this restriction is quite the non starter in Metro's eyes, so why then was I allowed to go through this entire process?  There were a number of other opportunities and hiring events that I passed on because I was going through this process with Metro.  My advice to you all would be to put disqualifiers in the job post so that you nor potential candidates waste valuable time.  Obtaining employment is a lengthy process and expenses do not halt while you engage in the process.  Every day counts and now I have three weeks I can't get back and opportunities that have been closed off to me. 

I am upset but not angry, just overall disappointed.  For an agency short of 200+ bus drivers with a number of end of year retirements looming I'd think you'd be more open to giving a chance to qualified applicants and not toss them based upon technicalities.  The standards are the standards, I understand, but at least detail those standards so people aren't left disappointed and ashamed after going through such an involved process.  It's not fair to them nor you.   I applied for another position at Metro which I'm qualified for and have the appropriate license in (insurance) but I dread dealing with the same staffing reps after this experience.  They didn't do anything wrong but them having knowledge of this situation is embarrassing and would they even take me seriously?  Who knows, I suppose it's worth a shot.

Please follow up with me at jason_1912_1922@yahoo.com, thank you and have a good afternoon.  Sorry I had to put this here but I saw no other recourse except the much too public Facebook page. 

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  • System Account
 on 10/16/2018 12:46 PM

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