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Seattle-area Metro Transport seeking bathroom czar for bus drivers

The Metro Transit "Comfort Station Coordinator" would be responsible for finding readily available bathrooms for some 2,600 bus drivers in the Seattle area.

By Ben Hooper

SEATTLE, March 4 (UPI) -- Transit officials in King County, Wash., are seeking a bathroom czar -- a "Comfort Station Coordinator -- to find facilities for about 2,600 bus drivers.

A Metro Transit spokesman said the agency is offering a salary of up to $97,000 for a "Comfort Station Coordinator" who would be responsible for remedying the lack of unrestricted access to restrooms identified by a November audit from the state Department of Labor and Industries.

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"It's not just somebody running around telling drivers where they can pee. We have an obligation under the law. We take it really seriously," Metro Transit spokesman Jeff Switzer told KOMO-TV.

"It's our job to make sure they have access to restrooms, so when we're driving commuters, when we're driving passengers downtown, bus drivers can also stop and use the bathroom, too," Switzer said.

Kenny Troy, a Metro Transit buys driver for 10 years, welcomed the news. He said it can often be difficult to find a bathroom along a bus' scheduled route.

"If there's not a bathroom there, we have to kind of hold it until we can find one," Troy said. "Because of the uniform, most people are pretty nice to us. They'll let us use them."

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An interim bathroom czar is working to find restrooms for drivers while the agency searches for a permanent official.

"We've got partnerships with restaurants, gas stations, where ever there's a restroom we want to talk with them to see if they can make accommodations for our drivers." Switzer told KING-TV.

Troy said the efforts are already showing results.

"We used to have a porta-potty. It wasn't too sanitary," Troy said. "Now we're able to use the Y. We feel a lot more comfortable now."

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