NFTA Transporter

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

Operator. Mike Mercado, in Metro uniform (center)
with marching team

The 16th annual Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade and Festival sponsored by the Hispanic Heritage Counsel was held August 18-19, and NFTA Metro was thrilled to be a part of the festivities again this year. 

As part of its participation, Metro provided two "floats" in Saturday's parade; one 40 foot Metro bus driven by Operator Mike Mercado, who also helped organize Metro's participation in the parade, and a new low-floor paratransit van driven by Operator Lance Zee.  Both vehicles were accompanied by 25 proud and dedicated Metro employees donning specially designed festival T-shirts.  The team walked along in the parade from Niagara Square to LaSalle Park while handing out token Puerto Rico flags and candy to parade-goers of all ages. Later that day, the Metro marching team were thrilled to learn that they had received third place in the float competition.

Saturday morning's Metro
community engagement team
"It was so great to be a part of this event on behalf of Metro and to witness the comradery between our riding public and our operators.  Individuals were coming up and warmly embracing our operations staff out of mutual respect and friendship.  It just goes to show how important Metro and its drivers are within this community," said Misael (Mike) Hernandez, a former bus driver whose current position is in Metro accounting.

Festival-goers also had the opportunity to visit the Metro community tent where staff was on hand to discuss
Metro services, job opportunities as well obtain responses to Metro's newest customer survey. Visitors who took the survey had a chance to enter to win one of three monthly passes.

There were over 8,000 attendees at this year's esperanza-themed event meaning "hope," which helped serve as a reminder of the ongoing hurricane relief efforts for
Puerto Rico.