Like father, like son: family duo bonds on the SkyTrain rails

Like father, like son: family duo bonds on the SkyTrain rails

Working together wasn’t in the plan for Keith and Michael Edema, a father-son duo at SkyTrain — but they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Keith is a Principal Asset Engineer for electrical, while Michael is an Asset Managment Supervisor. Michael first joined the company as a Student Asset Associate before progressing to his current role, while Keith was one of the first employees when SkyTrain opened.

This is their story of how they came to work together at British Columbia Rapid Transit Company (BCRTC), what they value the most about it, and the unique experiences they have been able to share. Watch the video to learn more!

BCRTC operates and maintains the SkyTrain’s Expo and Millennium Lines, as well as the West Coast Express commuter rail. It also manages the agreement for the operation and maintenance of the SkyTrain’s Canada Line.

Video Transcript

Keith: It was not something that was planned in any way. It kind of naturally happened. Michael was just out of school at the time and the Asset Management department was hiring a lot of students at that time to be involved in data collection. Then I said, “Oh, I have one of those.” And basically sent over his resume and he had an interview. I guess he did well in the interview and that was how he was hired.

Michael: I’m an Asset Management Supervisor. Asset management is basically the coordinated activities of an organization. At home, if you were to use your car as an example. You know that’s an asset and it needs maintenance, and it needs parts. It needs attention basically in order to keep it running, make sure that you can get the best life out of it during its lifecycle. So similarly here at SkyTrain, we want to achieve that with our assets.

Keith: I have to admit it’s kind of strange at times, but I would totally recommend it. Yeah. When Michael was younger, like he never, sort of knew, what I did. And sometimes we never find out what our parents, you know, do at work, right. The best part, I think, is Michael, like, you know, appreciates what it takes to run SkyTrain and what goes on here and just having that connection.

Ride to work with him in the car, you know. Sometimes you lose connection with your kids. This is just a great opportunity to still be able to connect, you know, as father and son. There’s a limited number of people who get that opportunity, right, of going up the SkyBridge. It was a nice day, thankfully. And it was a great experience. Michael still uses that picture as his identity on Teams there.

Michael: Growing up, we had these train sets. These toy train sets and I remember, he actually built a little wooden SkyTrain that was compatible with the tracks and the different pieces for the trains. And so little things like that, I think went a long way with me. It kind of rubbed off on me.

I did notice my dad’s dedication. That was something that always stood out to me. He was clearly very dedicated and passionate about what he did. And that’s something that really resonated with me.