Top 40 Under 40 2013: Amanda Nightingale

With 14 years of experience in rail operations, Amanda Nightingale has continuously shown her dedication to maintaining a culture of safety in rail transit, fostering a positive work environment and striving to produce operational efficiencies that benefit the agency and the public.

Nightingale is currently the assistant superintendent of organizational development and training for King County Metro’s (KCM) Rail Section. Prior to working for KCM she held the position of operations manager at both the historic Seattle Center Monorail and for the McKinley Explorer, a passenger heavy rail service operating out of Anchorage, Alaska.

Nightingale’s tenure with KCM began in 2008 as a member of the start-up team for the Sound Transit Central Link light rail system. She was instrumental in the design, development and implementation of the system’s governing documents and training program. In the years since she has managed the operations training department -- including the creation and development of training programs for rail operators, the operations control center, roadway worker protection and rail supervisors -- the effectiveness of these programs has directly contributed to KCM’s strong safety record and low employee turnover.

Today, Nightingale oversees all operations training for Seattle’s light rail and streetcar systems and leads an ongoing, organization-wide analysis of the current and future needs. Her latest projects include spearheading the operations training for both the First Hill Streetcar (new start, scheduled to open in 2014), and University Link light rail extension (scheduled to open in 2016), and the creation of rail section employee development programs.

Nightingale is an active member in several rail transit industry groups. She believes that these groups are essential conduits for sharing and learning industry best practices and lessons learned. As a current member of the American Public Transportation Association’s Operating Practices Working Group, she has participated in numerous standards reviews and has been recognized as a primary contributor on two published standards. She is a member of the APTA International Rail Rodeo Committee and has led the operations team in the APTA International Rail Rodeo in 2011-2013. She is also a Transportation Safety Institute (TSI) associate instructor, selected for her expertise in operations supervision and training.

Nightingale has been recognized as a leader within KCM with a 2009 Metro Wall of Fame nomination and was selected to participate in the Eno Center for Transportation Leadership 2012 Transit Mid-Manager Seminar in Seattle, Wash. She is an active member of the American Society for Training and Development, Puget Sound Chapter.

"Working with the employees who keep our system running every day is a privilege. I strive to provide them with the best training, tools and resources available so that they enjoy their work and our passengers enjoy a great transit system.

"The dynamic work environment of rail start-ups and rail line extensions is exciting. Every day is a new challenge and with teamwork and creativity we have been able to successfully enhance our community’s options for safe and efficient transportation.

"I have greatly benefited from having strong mentors throughout my transit career. These mentors have provided opportunities for me to learn from their experience, challenged me to try new things and encouraged me to embrace a habit of life-long learning. Without their guidance and support I would not have made it to where I am today, and in return, I hope to be a strong role model and mentor for others in their transit careers."