On the field or in his workplace, Myya Bonner’s motivation is seeing his community flourish.
‘I take a lot of personal pride’ in RTD
When Myya Bonner is not motivating and coaching kids in a myriad of sports – football, basketball, lacrosse – he's coaching and encouraging his employees. As the assistant manager of maintenance at RTD’s East Metro division, he helps oversee supervisors, mechanics, and service and cleaning crews.
Bonner started out at RTD as a mechanic in 1999. He loved starting with something broken and fixing it. "I love working with my hands and seeing the progress, and enjoy the challenge.” But he wanted a more influential role. So he worked his way up into a supervisory position and then to assistant manager.
"Being in this position, I can really help out and change somebody’s mode for the day, their mood, how they're moving, just by being present and getting them to smile.”
How does he get them to smile?
"Joking. Also, to me – it’s about self-sacrifice... Testimony. I’m not scared to put my own trials, tribulations and defeats out there. Then a person will start to communicate with you about their fears, anxieties, which allows you to enter in and communicate with them on an open basis,” said Bonner. “You know, let him know you're human. It's not because ‘I'm the supervisor or the manager.’ Hey, we are in the same boat.” Our objective is to produce a reliable product.
Bonner is motivated by seeing people be successful and overcome adversity. “To me that’s the purpose of life. To watch others grow, support them in their growth and push them into being the best they can be, to help them find their happiness. The biggest thing about that, the more people who can be happy, feel good, self-confident, the smoother your environment can be.”
Of RTD’s mission, Bonner’s focus is on safe, clean and reliable.
“The reliable part is the maintenance. With the mechanics, you gotta look him in the eyes and you gotta let him know, ‘Hey I need your quality. I need you attentive.’ And getting the supervisors to recognize how to motivate and be accountable for their crew’s actions.”
When Bonner thinks of the "clean" part of the RTD mission statement, he considers the Service and Cleaning employees who sometimes feel like they are at the bottom of the totem pole. But he tells them “Your work is the first thing a customer sees and really makes a decision on the quality of the bus ride.” If the bus is dirty, a customer may seek other means of transportation.
Safety for Bonner goes all around. “If people didn’t feel safe riding RTD, we wouldn’t be here. Even if you’re riding next to a bus, people want RTD to be safe.”
Bonner reflects on the people that he's had the opportunity to affect during his 21 years at the agency. “[RTD] is part of all of Denver’s metro area suburbs. All the places we touch, I get to be a piece of that from a maintenance aspect. You won’t get much credit being in maintenance, so I take a lot of personal pride and I'm proud of it.”
Click on any photo to read more about each person.