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It’s all in the family for five GRT operators2 min read

Jul 26, 2023 2 min

It’s all in the family for five GRT operators2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Sonya Taha is surrounded by family at Grand River Transit.

Originally from Newfoundland, Sonya was raised in Kitchener and was working as a school bus driver before starting with Grand River Transit in 2009. Since joining GRT’s ranks, Sonya has paved the way for four other members of her family to become operators as well.

Her brother Heath Abbott joined in 2012, followed by her niece Sasha Kuepfer in April of 2018. Her son Ibrahim Taha joined in October of 2022 and her nephew Jaret Abbott completed the operator training course in February of 2023.

“Hearing me talk about it all the time made them want to give it a try,” said Sonya.

“The benefits are great, the pension is great, and everything sounded good to them.”

For Heath, GRT was a welcome change from working in construction, and he has been enjoying the job for the last 10 years.

Both Sasha and Ibrahim enjoy their interactions with the community, with every day bringing something new, and Jaret is looking forward to using his customer service experience in his work as an operator.

“With my new position, I’m looking forward to further helping GRT and the Region of Waterloo maintain and further build a relationship of commitment and trust with the community,” said Jaret. “It also helps that I’ll get to work with the support of my family, as well as the support of the overall transit team.”

Sonya recommends being an operator to anyone looking for a solid job in the Region.

“Just like I told my son, it’s a great career, it’s a lifelong job, and it’s got all the pluses,” said Sonya.

“Flexibility: If your lifestyle changes, you’re able to change with that too. There’s always going to be a need for transit, and you’ll never be out of work.”