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Saluting decades of service to our customers

The names, accomplishments and reputations of those who have gone before inspire Metro Transit to do its best work.

We honor these members of the Metro Transit family who recently retired with more than 30 years of service.
Thank you for the dedication and your role in keeping the Twin Cities region moving.

Retirees to date (in alphabetical order)

Bruce Bakke

Lee Bennett

Scott Berg

Robert “Bob” Buck

James Chamberlain

Irene Cline

Timothy Coglianese

Lawrence E. Delmore

Carroll Dingemans

Kandy Duchene

Paul “Fred” Eshleman

Beth Fischer

Jeannene Forshee

John Frederick

Sheri Gingerich

Glenn Goetz

James Hannon

Diane Hehr

Steve Hopkins

Robert Horbach

Mike Humphreys

Patricia Jackson Gray

Michael Jawish

Julie Johanson

Mark Johnson

Ralph Juckel

David Jungwirth

Jerome Kaczmarek

Tom Kotila

Richard Krafty

Mike "Kraky" Krakowsky

Ron Keuseman

James Latourneau

Frank Launderville

​Mark Leier

Stephen Lischalk

Bobby Logan

Lorene Love

Bob Marson

Signe Martell

Garfield Martichuski

Richard Maurer

Roxanne "Rocky" McClurg

Mark McGuire

Howie Melco

Mark Miller

Larry Pederson

Charles "Rocky" Pierce

Mike Qualy

Marcia Rossman

Carl Rukavina

Cheryl Selinsky

Thadore "Ted" Stephney

Todd Stevens

Joel Terrell

Gary Turchin

Richard Turnblom

Daniel Underbakke

Jon Uzpen

Glenn Vierling

Thomas Wannarka

Marnell Wilber

Bill Wormwood

Bernadine Woodards

Patricia Wright

Dave Zapata

Kenneth Zimanski

 

Mark McGuire, #391

Assistant Manager, Rail Operations

 

Mark McGuireWhen John McGuire began at Metro Transit in 1976, he drove one of the last Twin City Lines buses still in operation. More than 38 years later he closed his career by helping to open the region’s second light-rail line, the METRO Green Line. Having a hand in the expansion of services isn’t his proudest accomplishment, though. Instead, it’s playing a role in the hiring of so many great employees, he said. McGuire helped hire several rail supervisors and said it is a “privilege to say I was a part of the group that was able to offer employment to folks who were thrilled to come and work here.” McGuire knows the feeling, too. A Robbinsdale native, he was managing a convenience store when his wife urged him to become a operator because of the good wages. He applied during a hiring freeze and waited several weeks before hearing back. His first day on the job was March 22, 1976, at the old Northside Garage. He drove Route 14, passing his own home and transporting many friends and neighbors. McGuire transferred to Heywood Garage when it opened in 1984 and was among the first operators to work with Project Mobility. That experience was also among the most rewarding parts of his career. In 2003, McGuire joined the first class of rail operators hired for the Hiawatha LRT (now the Blue Line). While he drove test trains, McGuire became a supervisor before the line opened and never operated an in-service train. In his time at light-rail, McGuire saw one-car consists become three-car consists and the fleet expand to nearly 60 vehicles. He was also a part of the Operations and Maintenance Facility expansion, light-rail platform extensions and the track extension to Target Field. In his final six years of his career, McGuire worked as an assistant manager and played an active role in the construction, testing and opening of the Green Line. In retirement, McGuire plans to spend more time with his family and move to his cabin in northern Minnesota.


Beth Fischer, #705

Operator

 

Beth FischerGrowing up, Beth Fishcher was deathly afraid of buses. Looking for a new line of work and attracted by a Metro Transit hiring campaign, she decided to face her fears. Fischer applied and was hired as an operator in February 1980. Her fear faded and she spent the next 34 years of her life driving customers throughout the metro. Fishcher started her career at Nicollet Garage and spent time at nearly every other service garage before ending her career at East Metro, her favorite location. Fischer said she enjoyed interacting with customers, many of whom became close friends, and was especially fond of driving on quiet winter nights. “There’s a tranquility that just absorbs you as you’re driving down the street,” she said. “It’s one of the most beautiful things.” Fischer operated many different routes from Mound to Stillwater and everywhere in between. But Route 67 was among her favorites because it served a close-knit group of residents whom she came to know well. “It was a very personal route,” she said. In retirement, Fischer said she plans to spend time relaxing, fishing, gardening and playing Bingo.


Paul “Fred” Eshleman, #3004

Head stockkeeper

 

Fred EshlemanPaul “Fred” Eshleman was working an auto dealership when a friend suggested he consider joining Metro Transit. Eshleman followed that advice, started at Metro Transit in early 1976 and spent the next 38 years working in various departments at Metro Transit’s Overhaul Base. After spending time in the brake and body shops, Eshleman ended his career as head stockeeper, where he was responsible for making sure mechanics at Metro Transit’s Overhaul Base and service garages had all the parts they needed to maintain and repair buses. Eshleman said technology made it easier to track the tens of thousands of parts in Metro Transit’s inventory, but that he missed the personal connections he had when purchasing was a more manual task. Eshleman retired on July 8, 2014, with over 38 years of service. A self-described “creature of habit,” Eshleman said he would miss the people he worked with and the routine of coming into work every day. In retirement, he plans to spend more time with his family and volunteering.


Stephen Lischalk, #538

Operator

 

Stephen LischalkStephen Lischalk couldn’t see himself kneading dough for the rest of his life. So, early in his career, he stopped working at Wonder Bread and started driving buses. Lischalk began at Metro Transit on April 12, 1976, and retired in July 2014 with 38 years of service. During his time at Metro Transit, Lischalk drove dozens of routes and worked at the old Northside Garage, the old Snelling Garage and Nicollet Garage before spending the last 15 years at South Garage. Lischalk also spent several years working as a driver with Project Mobility. Lischalk said he enjoyed working with the public as well as being outside and having some independence. In retirement, he planned to travel the country in an RV with his wife Doreen.


Richard Maurer, #564

Operator

 

Richard MaurerRichard Maurer never envisioned himself as a bus driver. But that’s exactly what he became. Maurer began his career at Metro Transit on May 27, 1975, and drove for the next 39 years. Maurer said the job had its challenges but that he enjoyed learning new routes and becoming familiar with regular customers. “It’s a tough job. We do it well and I’m proud of that,” he said at his retirement. Maurer started at Nicollet Garage but spent more than three decades at South Garage. In addition to being an operator, Maurer worked as a trainer, instructor and a garage coordinator. In retirement, he plans to spend time working on house projects, traveling, golfing and fishing.


Mark Johnson, #205

Garage Manager

 

Mark JohnsonAfter leaving the military, Mark Johnson returned to the Twin Cities to look for work. He saw a job posting in the newspaper that said operators could earn $3.46 an hour, plus overtime. Looking for a way to put himself through school, Johnson responded and began as an operator at Nicollet Garage on May 4, 1970. Though he graduated with an accounting degree, he spent the next 40 years working at Metro Transit. After 16 years as an operator Johnson became an instructor. In 1993, he began a one-year stint as the Assistant Transportation Manager for the old Snelling Garage. He moved to South Garage to become manager a year later. Johnson also worked as a manager at Martin J. Ruter, Heywood and Snelling. Johnson described himself as a “driver’s manager” and said the best part of working at Metro Transit was developing friendships and giving others the opportunity to succeed. Johnson retired in January 2010. In retirement, he is active in church and spends time at his home in Florida.


Linda Seidl, #03107

Transit Store Cashier

 

Linda SeidlWhen Linda Seidl’s father took a job as an operator at Metro Transit, she followed his lead. The decision led to a 40-year career serving transit customers, first as a representative in the Transit Information Center and later as a cashier at Metro Transit’s St. Paul store. Seidl joined Metro Transit on Aug. 20, 1973, helped open the downtown St. Paul store in 1988 and retired from that same location on June 2, 2014. Seidl delighted customers and others walking past the skyway storefront by decorating the store and the Snoopy statue in the front window with a variety of seasonal outfits. Seidl said the best part of her job was the opportunity to interact with people and personally represent Metro Transit to those who walked through the door to purchase fares or ask questions. “I got to know people on a very personal level after seeing them so often over the years,” Seidl said. “There’s a (ticket-vending) machine right there, but a lot of people don’t want to use it. They’d rather wait in line and work with someone directly.”


Carl Rukavina, #305

Operator

 

Carl RukavinaAfter graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1973, Carl Rukavina hit the road and wound up in Alaska bussing workers to and from work sites on the Trans-Alaska pipeline. After returning to the Twin Cities a few years later, he found his second-act as a bus driver, joining Metro Transit on June 19, 1978. Rukavina began his career at the old Snelling Garage and moved to the East Metro Garage when it opened in 2001. Rukavina retired in May 2014 with 35 years of service. Rukavina drove several East Metro routes during his career and was especially active during State Fair service. “The State Fair was always enjoyable because you’re helping people have fun,” he said. Rukavina also spent time as an instructor and a driver for the precursor to Metro Mobility, Project Mobility, which he said was particularly rewarding. “I felt like I was really helping people,” Rukavina said. “You very quickly realize all the problems you don’t have. It was very rewarding.” In retirement, Rukavina plans to travel, write and record music and spend time with his family.


Bobby Logan, #769

Operator

 

Bobby LoganAs soon as Bobby Logan got hired at Metro Transit, he knew he’d never want to look for another job. And he didn’t. Logan spent nearly 39 years as an operator, working from October 1975 through April 2014. “I thought, as long as I could be here, I’d be here,” Logan said. “This was it.” Logan was committed to the job not only because it offered security and the means to raise his family of three children but because he truly enjoyed the work. At 23-years-old, Logan began his career at the old Northside Garage. After Northside closed, he moved to Nicollet and later to Snelling Garage. He spent the end of his career at East Metro Garage, where he came to know many of his regular customers as friends (among them was his next door neighbor). A 37-year Safe Operator, Logan grew up in rural Mississippi where he worked as a chauffeur and school bus driver. He and his family moved to Minnesota to find work and settled in St. Paul. Logan’s two brothers also worked for Metro Transit. In retirement, Logan plans to take fishing trips to Canada and spend his winters in Mississippi.


Patricia Wright, #611

Operator

 

PatriciaWrightWhen she began her job as a Metro Transit operator on June 1, 1976, Patricia Wright figured she’d be around a couple of years and then move on. She ended up sticking around nearly four decades, retiring in May 2014. “At first, I was just challenging myself to get the job,” said Wright, who was among just over a dozen female operators at Metro Transit when she was hired. “But once I got here I found I really liked the job so I stayed.” Wright spent the majority of her 38-year career at Metro Transit at Nicollet Garage, driving dozens of routes throughout the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs. She said the best part of the job was getting to enjoy the time outside in a constantly-changing environment. “I don’t like being cooped up,” she said. “I tried that kind of work and it wasn’t me.” Wright said she also enjoyed interacting with the public and having the opportunity to offer encouragement to customers in need of support. In retirement, Wright plans to spend time with her father and family members and to travel to Florida, California and her hometown of Monroe, La.


Mark Leier, #2745

Operator

 

Mark LeierIn 1975, Mark Leier applied to work at Metro Transit and the U.S. Postal Office. When he got calls from each on the same day, he decided to go with Metro Transit. “I couldn’t see myself being a postman so I picked Metro Transit and it was the best decision I ever made,” Leier said. Leier started at the old Snelling Garage on Feb. 10, 1975. He drove several different routes before spending his last 18 years driving Route 63, with service on Grand Avenue. Leier developed such strong relationships with his customers that he became a godparent to four children whose parents he met on the bus. He also attended weddings for eight different customers. “I had such a rapport with the people,” he said. “They all treated me like family.” Leier retired in 2014 with 39 years of service. The River Falls, Wis. resident plans to spend his time hunting and fishing in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, South Dakota and North Dakota.


Jeannene Forshee, #727

Operator

 

JeanneneForsheeJeannene Forshee started her career at Metro Transit on Feb. 20, 1980 and retired in 2014 with nearly 34 years of service. Forshee began at the old Snelling Garage and later spent time at South, East Metro and Heywood. For the last ten years of her career, Forshee worked at Martin J. Ruter Garage. A part-time driver, Forshee said it didn’t take long for her to discover the job “fit her personality.” “I loved the job because you were outside, but still protected from the elements,” she said. “I loved seeing the weather while not actually being in it.” In retirement, Forshee plans to develop a library of Christian literature that will be open to the community.


 

Bob Marson, #3477

Mechanic Technician

 

BobMarsonBob Marson was working as a mechanic at a service station in St. Paul when a Metro Transit supervisor suggested he apply to work at the agency. When the service station closed, Marson made the move. He began at the old Snelling Garage on Oct. 17, 1977. After a year as a sweeper, Marson became a mechanic. Marson worked at several garages and the Overhaul Base before ending his career at Nicollet Garage in January 2014. In addition to vehicle maintenance, Marson spent time working on bus shelters, building maintenance and in the brake and body shops. “I just wanted to learn more and some of the people were so skilled at what they were doing,” Marson explained. “I wanted to get the expertise and it worked very well.” In retirement, Marson plans to travel with his two children and continue working as a part-time casino card dealer.


Patricia Jackson Gray, #248

Operator

 

MPatriciaJacksonGrayPatricia Jackson Gray joined Metro Transit on March 2, 1981. Though she didn’t expect to stay on the job for the duration of her career, Gray learned to enjoy driving and interacting with customers on her routes. Gray spent most of her career at Nicollet Garage. As an extraboard driver, she came to learn every route that operated out of Nicollet. Recalling her experience, Gray said she enjoyed watching her youngest customers grow older and have children of their own. As a driver, Gray said she found strength in her faith and developed a friendly but stern attitude that allowed her to keep buses on time and customers safe. Gray retired in January 2013 with 32 years of service. In retirement, Gray said she hopes to become more active at church and spend time volunteering.


Mike Qualy, #293

Operator

 

MikeQualyMike Qualy was working at a St. Louis Park candy factory when he found he could make more money driving buses. He started his career in transit in 1973 and spent the next 40 years behind the wheel. Qualy started at Nicollet Garage and learned all the Nicollet routes in less than two weeks simply by riding around the city on buses. He later spent time at the old Northside Garage, Shingle Creek Garage (now the Martin J. Ruter Garage), the old Snelling Garage and Heywood Garage. Qualy spent the last 23 years of his career at South Garage. Over the course of his career, Qualy drove nearly 50 local and express routes. Qualy also served as a relief dispatcher. He was also a driver for Dial-A-Ride and for Project Mobility, the precursor to Metro Mobility. Reflecting on his career, Qualy said he will miss challenging himself to stay on schedule. In retirement, he plans to pick up golf, take up watercolor painting, and try to relax by reading, watching movies and traveling.


Robert "Bob" Buck, #3000

Stockkeeper

 

BobBuckRobert “Bob” Buck spent his 34-year career at Metro Transit making mechanics happy. Working in parts management, Buck was responsible for keeping the stockroom full of the thousands of parts mechanics use while working on buses. He also spent time as a parts coordinator and driving the parts truck. “That was my number one job – to keep the mechanics happy,” said Buck, who worked at Jefferson Lines before moving to Metro Transit. After joining Metro Transit in 1980, Buck spent 25 years at the Overhaul Base in St. Paul. He moved to the stockroom at the Martin J. Ruter Garage for the last six years of his career. Buck said the biggest change over his career was the move to electronic records, which improve organization and led to more efficient ordering. Buck retired in February 2014 with plans to spend more time golfing, fishing and visiting family in his native state of California.


Thomas Wannarka, #476

Operator

 

ThomasWannarkaThomas Wannarka spent six months working at the Bloomington Bus Company before it was bought out by the Metropolitan Transit Commission in 1974. After moving to MTC, Wannarka worked at the old Northside Garage and Heywood Garage driving a variety of routes. For the last five years of his career, Wannarka worked at Nicollet Garage. As a driver, Wannarka was not shy about speaking with customers and said he enjoyed meeting new people. Wannarka even met his wife on the bus. Wannarka retired in April 2012 with 38 years of service. In retirement, he enjoys exercising, spending time with his family and traveling.


Lee Bennett, #912

Assistant Manager of Street Operations

 

Lee BennettWith a love for motoring, Lee Bennett began his career at Metro Transit in March 1980 as a part-time bus operator out of the old Northside Garage. After seven years behind the wheel, Bennett became a Transit Supervisor. As a Transit Supervisor, Bennett worked in the field with operators on detours and schedule adherence. One of the major projects Bennett worked on during his time as a Transit Supervisor was the construction of Interstate 394, which led to frequent route changes. Bennett later became the Assistant Manager of Street Operations where he organized and directed Metro Transit’s team of Transit Supervisors. Between 2010 and 2013, Bennett oversaw service to the Minnesota State Fair. Bennett retired in January 2014 with 33 years of service. In retirement, he plans to return to his roots of driving commercial vehicles but will also spend time traveling, including visits to his northern Minnesota cabin.


Frank Launderville, #3209

Coordinator

 

Frank LaundervilleFrank Launderville joined Metro Transit’s Bus Maintenance division in 1980, following a career with the U.S. Navy where he was a machinist.  Shortly after joining Metro Transit, Frank went became a stockkeeper with the Material Management Department. Frank spent  22 years in support of bus maintenance and in 2002 became the first stockkeeper for the METRO Blue Line.  For the last twelve years of his career, Frank worked at the Light Rail Operations and Maintenance Facility. As the Material Management Rail Coordinator, Frank was instrumental in leading the day-to-day operations of the light and Northstar Commuter Rail stockroom operations. After 33 years at Metro Transit, Frank retired on Jan. 4, 2014. In retirement, Frank plans to ride his Harley Davidson motorcycle and spend time with his wife and children.


Lorene Love, #838

Operator

 

Lorene LoveLorene Love began at Metro Transit on Oct. 11, 1976, becoming one of the first black female operators to work at the Martin J. Ruter Garage, then known as Shingle Creek. Except for a brief stint at Nicollet Garage, Lorene spent her entire career working at Ruter. Lorene drove many routes, but spent most of her time on Route 14 and Route 22. A committed professional, Lorene retired in February 2013 as a 30-year Safe Operator. “My years of safe driving meant so much to me because we were trained this was live cargo – not butter or anything else,” she said. “This was the real deal.” In retirement, Love spends time with her dogs and helps her two sons follow their pursuits.


Jon Uzpen, #2602

Safety Specialist

 

Jon UzpenJon Uzpen began his career at Metro Transit on May 21, 1973 as an operator out of the old Snelling Garage. Uzpen worked as a bus operator for 15 years, including nine years as an instructor, before becoming a Safety Specialist. As a Safety Specialist, Uzpen performed in-service road tests and worked with operators to improve their driving skills. Uzpen spent time at each of Metro Transit's garages, working with hundreds of operators over the course of his 40-year career. Upon retirement, Uzpen said the favorite part of his job was watching other drivers succeed. Uzpen was named Rookie of the Year at the 1985 bus Roadeo and helped continue the annual driving competition in the latter part of his career (Uzpen was featured in a 2013 news story about the competition). Uzpen worked at Nicollet Garage from 1991 until his retirement on Oct. 4, 2013. In retirement, Uzpen said he plans to travel and spend time with his wife Cheri and grandchildren.


Joel Terrell, #716

Bus Operator

 

Joel Terrell spent more than 30 years at Metro Transit, working his way up from a bus operator to an instructor and, finally, garage coordinator at Nicollet Garage. Before moving to Nicollet Garage, Terrell spent time at the Snelling, South and Heywood garages. A 25-year Safe Operator, Terrell was one of the original Transit Ambassador trainers, a Roadeo participant and longtime peer support member. He retired on July 6, 2013. An avid camper and traveler, Terrell plans to hit the road in his retirement and to continue rooting for his beloved Chicago Bears.


Signe Martell, #150

Bus Operator

 

Signe Martell spent three decades moving around the Twin Cities as a bus driver. Following her May 16, 2013, retirement, she won't be in a driver's seat and she certainly won't be sitting still. Signe plans to do yoga, hike in national parks bike, travel (she just returned from India) and spend more time with her grandkids. Signe was regularly involved in United Way campaigns at the three garages – Northside, Nicollet and East Metro – where she worked. In addition to achieving 29 of her 30 years of service without an accident, Signe's supervisor stated she received "too many awards to count!"


Irene Cline, #3169

Administrative Lead Money Counter

 

Irene ClinePerhaps Irene Cline's earlier experience as a bank teller was the reason for her success in Metro Transit's Finance division. She came to Metro Transit in 1977, working in the main administrative office. Over the next 19 years, she occupied positions in nearly every area in Finance. In 1996, Irene transferred to the Central Counting Money Room and became the first Administrative Lead position in that department. Her colleagues will miss her dedication, professionalism, willingness to help and the huge fresh tomatoes she would share from her garden each fall. Irene retired on May 10, 2013.


Garfield Martichuski, #1207

Bus Operator

 

Garfield Martichuski retired May 1, 2013, after being a bus driver at Metro Transit for 33 years and six months. He began work in 1979 at the Northside garage on 24th & Washington Avenue, then moved to Heywood Garage when it was built in 1984. Garfield was awarded a gold watch for 25-years of safe driving. He'll spend his retirement with his wife, children and grandchildren.


Larry Pederson

Mark Up Distpatcher

 

Larry Pederson joined Metro Transit in 1979 and retired after 33 years of service. As a bus operator, Perderson worked at both Snelling and South garages and received 18 Safe Operator Awards, 12 Distinguished Driver Awards and was a Rodeo finalist. Pederson also served as an instructor and relief dispatcher. In 1999, he became a full-time dispatcher and worked at the Fred T. Heywood, Martin J. Ruter and South garages. In retirement, Pederson is spending time with his family, fishing and camping.


Julie Johanson, #4222

Deputy Chief Operations Officer – Bus

 

Julie JohansonJulie Johanson started with then-MTC as Director of Human Resources in 1976 – a job she held for 16 years. In 1992, she became Director of Transportation, responsible for the day-to-day operations of one of the nation's largest bus systems. She had a turn serving as Acting General Manager in 1996 and 1997. For the next decade, Julie was Assistant General Manager – Administration. In 2008, Julie returned to bus operations as Deputy Chief of Operations. Julie has been a strong advocate of diversity in the workplace – in particular as a voice for developing women as leaders. Julie also cultivated relationships with local civic leaders and national industry leaders. When she retired on March 6, 2013, General Manager Brian Lamb said, "Her leadership and her contributions to this organization have been profound and enduring. We are better because of her."


Mike Humphreys

Mechanic Technician

 

Mike HumphreysMike Humphreys didn't know much about buses when he joined Metro Transit on Aug. 30, 1979. But after a decade as a cleaner he'd learned enough to "turn wrenches" as a mechanic technician. Humphreys started his career at the old North Side Garage and also spent time at the Nicollet and Snelling garages and the St. Paul Overhaul Base. Humphreys spent the end of his career at Nicollet Garage, retiring on Jan. 4, 2013. In retirement, Humphreys plans to spend time with his dog, repair his old motorcycle and travel Minnesota searching for artifacts.


Timothy Coglianese, #119

Bus Operator

 

Tim joined Metro Transit on Jan. 27, 1975, and worked at Nicollet Garage for most of his career, except for a short time when the garage was being rebuilt. An avid golfer, Tim retired Aug. 3, 2012, with 37 years of service. He was joined by his wife, two children and two grandchildren at a party held in his honor at Nicollet Garage.


Glenn Vierling, #802

Bus Operator

 

Glenn worked first as a bus operator from 1969-1973 and then returned from 1975 to September of 2012. In Glenn's 41 years of service he has worked at four bus garages throughout the metro area. Glenn's driving skills earned him 35 years of safe driving awards and 35 years outstanding operator awards. His skills and dedication also earned him the first pitch in 2009 representing Metro Transit at a St. Paul Saints game. Glenn's two uncles, father, and son Justin have also operated Metro Transit vehicles - providing nearly a century of service to transit customers with the Vierling name.


James Hannon, #2721

Bus Operator

 

Though short in stature – a fellow employee once jokes that he needed wood blocks to reach the pedals in the bus – Jim was long on staying power. He served just shy of 38 years, working at each of Metro Transit's bus garages. During his lengthy career, he was awarded the Prestige Master Operator Award, given to the rare group of drivers who achieve high standards of service for 30+ years. He also served on the Employee Fund Committee. Jim retired on Aug. 28, 2012, and will pursue his love of golf.


Gary Turchin

Mechanic Technician

 

Gary retired from Metro Transit on July 28, 2012. He had 36 years of service.


Steve Hopkins

Facilities Technician

 

Steve was a bus operator when he first joined Metro Transit and ended his 37-year career as a facilities technician. He was one of the original members of Public Facilities Maintenance when the work group first started. He was the department's go-to person when colleagues wanted information about a specific bus shelter. Steve had a keen recollection of what type of shelter (including size, manufacturer and orientation on the street) was at any location in the system. Outside of work, his interests included computer/video games and collecting watches. Steve retired from Metro Transit on July 23, 2012.


Randall Burzynski, #1170

Bus Operator

 

Randy started at #1 – driving the old Route 1 Kenwood/Stinson line – when he began with Metro Transit as a part-time driver in 1979. After four years, he became a full-time driver, working at the Snelling, Heywood and Ruter garages. Nearly 33 years later, Randall retired after qualifying for the Outstanding Operator award several times and achieving a 30-Year Safe Driving Award, marking three decades without an accident. Randy retired on July 16, 2012.


Marcia Rossman

Scheduling Manager

 

Marcia RossmanMarcia began her career in the Transit Information Center in 1977 and was promoted to supervisor less than a year later. She transferred to Scheduling in 1979, working there for 33 years as a Schedule Maker, Lead Schedule Maker and ultimately Manager of Scheduling, before retiring July 6, 2012. Throughout her career, Marcia was dedicated to the highest levels of customer service and schedule efficiency. She earned Employee of the Month honors for her technical expertise and ability to interpret schedule specifications and translate them into cost-effective runs. Marcia was a leader, guiding schedule makers through countless service restructurings, work rule changes and challenges of three different computerized scheduling systems. She always took great pride in her work, and was not satisfied until the puzzle was solved and the job was done right.


Sheri Gingerich, #1307

Deputy Chief Operations Officer – Rail

 

Sheri GingerichSheri began her 31-year career with Metro Transit in 1979 as a bus driver and instructor. She worked in four bus garages as a driver and safety supervisor and was the first woman Transportation Manager in Metro Transit history. She transferred to the fledgling rail division in 2003 as one of the first employees of the Hiawatha Light-Rail Line, and ended her career leading the light-rail division. Sheri distinguished herself as a mentor and a strong leader known for her patience, flexibility, kindness and attention to employees' concerns. She retired June 1, 2012.


Daniel Underbakke

Helper

 

Daniel retired from Metro Transit on May 16, 2012. He had 33 years of service.


Michael Jawish, #433

Bus Operator

 

After nearly 38 years with Metro Transit, Michael retired on May 11, 2012. Michael was recognized for 36 years of safe driving and worked at Nicollet and North Side garages before finishing his career at South Garage in Bloomington. In retirement, Michael plans to travel, pursue his interest in golf and American history and spend time with his grandchildren.


Jerome Kaczmarek, #1408

Rail Operator

 

Jerome began his career as a bus operator in 1972 at the North Side garage. In 2003, he joined the inaugural class of train operators on the Hiawatha light-rail line. Jerome was well-known as a safe, friendly and helpful operator who operated buses and trains accident-free for more than 39 years. He retired on May 4, 2012.


Richard Turnblom, #2512

Bus Operator

 

Richard TurnblomThen 21-years-old and intending to drive for about six months, Richard started his career with Metro Transit (then "MTC") in 1972. He retired on April 13, 2012 with more than 40 years of service and an accident-free driving record. Besides working at four bus garages and also as a supervisor in the Transit Control Center, Richard was a participant in Metro Transit's Bus Roadeo.


Todd Stevens, #1273

Bus Operator

 

Todd retired on April 7, 2012, with 31 years of service. 


Marnell Wilber, #1157

Bus Operator

 

Marnell WilberMarnell was recognized for 24 years of Safe Driving and received numerous Outstanding Operator Awards during her 32-year career at Metro Transit. She worked at four bus garages throughout her tenure and also has a son and grandson who have worked at Metro Transit. Marnell retired on April 3, 2012.


Dave Zapata

Skilled Helper

 

Dave said goodbye to Metro Transit on April 2, 2012, after 32 years of service. A skilled helper, Dave was known for his attention to detail and for taking pride in his work. He spent most of his career at Nicollet Garage. He was a member of Nicollet Club, an employee organization at his garage, and often cooked meals at events that the Nicollet Maintenance department sponsored. Dave also was a representative for ATU #1005 during his career.


Ron Keuseman, #1112

Bus Operator

 

Ron KeusemanA 36-year Safe Operator, "Big Ron" particularly enjoyed driving express service to the State Fair every year. He was also known for assisting other operators as they learned new routes. Ron worked most of his career at the Fred T. Heywood Garage in Minneapolis and at Martin J. Ruter Garage in Brooklyn Center, from which he retired on Feb. 24, 2012.


Tom Kotila, #2632

Rail Operator

 

Tom KotilaTom began driving bus at Snelling Garage in August 1973. He worked at Shingle Creek Garage, was at Northside Garage when it closed and at Heywood Garage when it opened. Tom finished 30 years of bus driving at Ruter Garage, but his transit career wasn't finished. He moved to Rail Operations as one of the first operators on the Hiawatha light-rail system, and left his mark in helping with the start-up of light rail. Tom, known as Tom4 on the railroad, safety-tested the first four light-rail vehicles, putting them through technical tests and ensuring they met operational standards prior to carrying customers. He also was among the first class of operators to become instructors to future operators. Tom retired Jan. 25, 2012, with 38 years of service.


Diane Hehr, #1068

Bus Operator

 

Diane retired Jan. 4, 2012, from Heywood Garage. She had 32 years of service.


Bernadine Woodards, #545

Bus Operator

 

Bernadine retired Jan. 4, 2012, with 35 years of service. She was a bus driver at Nicollet Garage. She spent her entire transit career at that location, except for a brief time when the garage was closed for renovation. Bernie looks forward to retirement to spend time with her two children and grandchildren and to enjoy her love of gardening and travel.


David Jungwirth, #2840

Bus Operator

 

David retired Jan. 2, 2012, from East Metro Garage. He had 36 years of service.


Kenneth Zimanski, #2741

Bus Operator

 

Ken was born in London, England, and served in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He began his transit career in January 1972, driving Route 4. The first bus he drove, a GMC "Jimmy" #1399, currently resides at the Minnesota Transportation Museum. He drove out of Northside for nearly three years then transferred to Snelling Garage, then finally to East Metro Garage when Snelling was closed. He retired after driving in St. Paul for 37 years. Within his 39 years of service, he posted 33 years and 8 months of safe driving. Ken retired Sept. 23, 2011, and plans to travel to England with his family to visit relatives. 


John Frederick, #879

Bus Operator

 

John retired from South Garage on Sept. 9, 2011, with more than 32 years of service. He was among the first group of drivers to begin work from the then brand-new South Garage upon its opening in 1980. During his career, John received Metro Transit's Safe Operator Award 28 times. He received the Outstanding Operator Award 20 times, qualifying him as an Elite Master Operator – one of only 26 Metro Transit employees to have attained that status.


Cecelia Blakely

Data Collector

 

Cecelia BlakelyCecelia joined Metro Transit in April 1975. She retired Aug. 25, 2011, with 36 years, four months and seven days of service – all of them in the same job as a Data Collector. Her accurate passenger counts helped Service Development make decisions about routing and which types of vehicles and levels of service were needed to match demand. It is estimated that over the course of her career, she has counted more than 16 million passengers, equal to the populations of Iowa and Illinois combined.


Robert Horbach, #2626

Bus Operator

 

Robert retired Aug. 1, 2011, with 38 years of service. He completed his transit career at East Metro Garage.


Mark Miller, #3005

Rail Operator

 

Photo not availableMark was hired as a bus driver in July 1972, driving for 32 years at several garages, and ending his career at East Metro. Mark enjoyed the people aspect of driving, but his heart belonged to trains. Prior to Metro Transit, he applied at Burlington Northern but taking that job would require leaving Minnesota. As a young father he chose to stay and drive buses. When light-rail service began in 2004, Mark jumped at the chanced to become a train operator. He was known for his attention to detail and love of a clean train cab – he always washed the windows so they were spotless. Mark retired on July 10, 2011, and lives with his family in western Wisconsin.


Ralph Juckel, #513

Bus Operator

 

Ralph JuckelRalph was hired by Metro Transit in April of 1981. He began his career at Snelling Garage, moved on to Nicollet and ended at Heywood with 30+ years of service. He received the Safe Driving award 24 times. He retired on July 1, 2011. In his spare time, Ralph enjoys fishing, hunting and gardening.


Richard Krafty, #761

Bus Operator

 

Richard KraftyRichard started with Metro Transit on June 11, 1979. He spent most of his career working from Heywood Garage. In his 32 years of service, Richard logged 29 years of accident-free driving and earned numerous customer commendations. He earned the agency's Outstanding Operator Award – the agency's mark of excellence in customer service, attendance and safety – 25 times, earning him the title of Elite Operator. Richard retired on June 11, 2011.


Cheryl Selinsky

TDM Program Administrator

 

Cheryl SelinskyCheryl began her career as temporary employee with a pilot project known as MTC Commuter Services. The group was tasked with promoting transportation options to employers in the Pentagon Park area of the Twin Cities. The program grew into Minnesota Rideshare and finally became part of Metro Transit's Customer Services & Marketing division. Throughout her 32+ years as Program Administrator, Cheryl helped scores of commuters and employers find alternatives to driving alone, preventing the release of many millions of tons of greenhouse gases. She left service on June 3, 2011.


Bill Wormwood, #561

Rail Operator

 

Bill WormwoodBill began his transit career at Northside Garage, worked at Nicollet and South garages, and drove mainly from Snelling/East Metro Garage. Bill worked swing shifts for many years and he could often be found on Rice Street, Grand Avenue or East/West Seventh Street. In 2003 Bill began training as one of the first operators for the Hiawatha light-rail line, a position he held until his retirement on June 3, 2011. "The many friends I've met at Metro Transit I expect to have for the rest of my life," he said.


Carroll Dingemans, #857

Bus Operator

 

Carroll DingemansCarroll left his colleagues on June 3, 2011, after 31 years and three months behind the wheel. He began his career as a part-time bus driver at the former Snelling Garage, moving to full-time work after 12 years. Career highlights were receiving an award for 30 years of safe driving in 2010 and winning the agency's Roadeo – a safety and skills competition – in the part-time category in 1987. Metro Transit estimates that he served more than 880,000 customers over his years of service. Upon retirement, he planned to engage in his favorite hobby: designing and building unicycles, having already built more than 100.


Bob Bier

Mechanic Technician

 

Bob BierBob retired from Metro Transit's Overhaul Base facility after 35 years of service on May 13, 2011.


Scott Berg

Transit Supervisor

 

Scott BergScott was instrumental in moving Transit Supervision into the computer age. He established many of the computer procedures that are still in use today. He was responsible for training all transit supervisors when Metro Transit joined the regional 800 MHz radio system. Most recently he managed downtown St. Paul bus service through the first season of construction on the Central Corridor light-rail project. His colleagues remember him as a mentor for many new supervisors throughout his career. He retired April 29, 2011, with 31 years of service.


Kathy Casey

Assistant Transportation Manager

 

KathyCaseyKathy Casey said goodbye to Metro Transit on April 29, 2011, after 31+ years of service at the agency. She served in many capacities during her career, including bus driver, dispatcher, garage coordinator and assistant transportation manager. She spent the last years of her transit tenure at Ruter Garage, and played a major role in providing customer service and safety for tens of thousands of light-rail customers after Twins and Vikings games at the Metrodome.


James Latourneau

Money Counter

 

Jim began his career as a bus driver in July 1973. He took a short break, but returned to driving, where he earned several awards and commendations. He became a vault puller in 1997; after a few short months, Jim moved to the money counting room and remained on that team until he retired on April 23, 2011. In total, he amassed 37 years and six months of dedicated service to Metro Transit. His legacy is one of accuracy, a sense of humor and a positive attitude. Jim earned 13 consecutive years of excellent attendance, and welcomed temporary workers with his friendly attitude and tales of his adventures as a bus driver.


Roxanne "Rocky" McClurg, #31

Bus Operator

 

Roxanne McClurg, or "Rocky," as she was known to co-workers, was a helpful, welcoming face to new employees at Ruter Garage. She helped organize an employee club and cooked breakfasts and lunches for colleagues during garage events. Over the course of her 37-year career, she twice finished in the top 30 and once won Rookie of the Year at the Metro Transit Roadeo, a safety and skills competition. She also won an award for 30 years of accident-free driving. She left Metro Transit on April 15, 2011, to pursue her love of fishing and travel.


Mike "Kraky" Krakowski

Stockkeeper

 

Mike KrakowskiHis co-workers at the Overhaul Base called him "Kraky," but you might want to call him "Mr. Organization." During his 30 years, he was responsible for physically moving two stockrooms and building another from scratch. At Metro Transit's facility where buses receive major maintenance, he was an integral part of converting the storage of bus parts – more than 6,000 types – from a shelf-based system to a carousel that allows employees to find parts faster. He retired on April 1, 2011.


Bruce Bakke

Transit Supervisor

 

Bruce BakkeBruce began work as a bus driver in October of 1980. He was also a phone representative in the Transit Information Center. He became a supervisor in the Transit Control Center, where he kept radio contact with bus drivers on their routes and he completed his career as a Transit Supervisor in the street operations department, monitoring day-to-day conditions, detouring routes when necessary and supervising drivers. Bruce was most known for his work with the City of Maple Grove. For the last years of his career, Bruce worked closely with Maple Grove and supervised the service Metro Transit provides for the city by contract. He retired on Feb. 10, 2011, with 32 years of service.


Howard
"Howie" Melco

Mechanic Technician

 

Howie MelcoHowie began his bus maintenance career in 1975 and retired in February 2011, after 35 years of service at Metro Transit's Overhaul Base. Howie's ingenuity and creativity will live on in the "motorman" custom-designed gate at the Franklin Avenue light-rail station and in memories of the "Twinkle Bus" – Metro Transit's longtime winter parade float – which he helped to design and build.


Glenn Goetz, #2698

Bus Operator

 

Glenn GoetzGlenn Goetz worked at nearly every bus garage in his 36-year career at Metro Transit, earning the agency's Outstanding Operator Award – the agency's mark of excellence in customer service, attendance and safety – seven times before retiring with the title of Master Operator. When Goetz retired in February 2011, he was looking forward to retirement and having the time to work on old cars and clean his house, along with spending more time with his two children and six grandchildren.


Kandy Duchene, #126

Bus Operator

  Kandy DucheneKandy started her Metro Transit career on Feb. 8, 1978, at the former Nicollet Garage. She transferred to Shingle Creek Garage (now Ruter) while Nicollet was rebuilt, returning to Nicollet to spend the balance of her 32-year career. She drove Route 21 – the Selby-Lake Line – for many years and closed her career on Route 23, another cross-town service that connects Uptown with Highland Village largely along 38th Street. Kandy logged 20 years of accident-free driving and earned many commendations from her customers. Her colleagues gathered on Jan. 21, 2011, to cap her career with a celebration at the garage.

Thadore "Ted" Stephney, #1109

Instructor

  Thadore StephneyOn Aug. 6, 1979, Ted joined Metro Transit as a bus operator at the now-closed Snelling Garage in St. Paul. He ended his career teaching new bus operators the driving and customer service skills he honed over his 31 years at Metro Transit. He transferred to the Instruction Center in 2006 where he administered Class A and Class B driving tests to operator-candidates on behalf of the State of Minnesota. He was certified as an instructor for two internationally recognized programs: Transit Ambassador (a course on customer service and customer communication) and Smith System (a defensive driving class for professional operators). He retired on Jan. 7, 2011.

Charles "Rocky" Pierce, #167

Bus Operator

 

Charles "Rocky" PierceCharles joined Metro Transit on Jan. 21, 1980, as a bus driver. "Rocky," as he was known to many he worked with, earned the outstanding operator award two times for safe driving, quality customer service and attendance. During his nearly 31 years of service, he also earned Metro Transit's annual safe driving award 23 times. His colleagues, fiancée and several grandchildren gathered in December to cap his career with a retirement celebration at Heywood Garage in January 2011.


Lawrence E. Delmore, #3231

Bus Operator

 

Lawrence DelmoreLawrence joined Metro Transit on Nov. 2, 1970, as a bus operator and spent most of the next 40 years serving customers of St. Paul routes during assignments at the Snelling Garage and East Metro Garage. During his tenure, he earned Metro Transit's annual safe driving award 36 times. He retired with the designation of Master Driver, by earning the agency's outstanding operator award nine times for safe driving, quality customer service and attendance. He retired in January 2011.


James C. Chamberlin, #5185

Mechanic Technician

 

James ChamberlainJim started with Metro Transit on Oct. 27, 1975, demonstrating the technical proficiency and mechanical abilities that characterized his 35 years of service. He is best remembered for his willingness to share his expertise with others at Metro Transit's Overhaul Base to ensure vehicles were in top operating condition. He ended his career servicing vehicles in the non-revenue shop, which maintains a variety of support equipment from police cars to snowplows. His friends gathered Jan. 4, 2011, at the Overhaul Base to honor his service to Metro Transit.

 

 

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