Andrea Benson was awarded Support Staff of the Year in 2020 for her efforts reaching far beyond day-to-day expectations. Andrea provides superior customer service support and is committed to making BFT a quality organization.
Andrea has been with BFT for 19 years! She started as a bus operator and is now a Fixed Route Dispatcher – she provides critical, real-time support to fixed route bus operators, which helps create a better experience for the riders.
One of Andrea’s favorite memories at BFT was when she was a bus operator, “I had this regular passenger, a single mom who shared she was stressing about whether she could afford this toy for her son’s birthday and new school clothes. That conversation stuck with me and thought there must be something I could do, so I spoke with a few coworkers, and we were able to buy some school clothes and even a toy, and after work, I delivered the items. I didn’t want that mom to have to worry whether it was school schools or a gift for this birthday. It was a blessing that I happen to be driving on that particular day and was able to help her.” Stories like that just make you smile! 😊
Andrea thinks of her role at BFT in a broader prospective; she’s an extension of keeping the buses on the road. Part of something that positively impacts our community, “what BFT does for this area is so huge for so many people. Without that freedom that Transit offers people, their lives would be dark, stuck at home, isolated from their community.” We’d like to think that Andrea (and the BFTeam) are part of a collective group that does something so positive for this community. “I’m just so thankful I get to be part of that every day.”
One misconception she would like to set straight is, “drivers are humans, too. Yes, they’re professionals and are doing their absolute best to make sure the service they provide is top-notch, but they can make mistakes and have bad days. Please give them a little bit of grace and understanding. Know that they are doing their best.”
When Andrea isn’t being a superhero at work, she enjoys spending time with her family or getting lost in a book. When she needs to unwind from a busy day, you may see her kayaking in the Columbia River.
We’re so thankful to have Andrea on the BFTeam!