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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)

Stephen Babcock

Bruce Bakke

Lynn Beauclaire

Lee Bennett

Scott Berg

Bruce Biddick

Robert “Bob” Buck

James Chamberlain

Irene Cline

Timothy Coglianese

Frank Collins

Harlan Daudt

Lawrence E. Delmore

Carroll Dingemans

Ken Dolney

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

Terry Isensee

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

Paul Liddicoat

Stephen Lischalk

Bobby Logan

Lorene Love

Bob Marson

Signe Martell

Garfield Martichuski

Richard Maurer

Roxanne "Rocky" McClurg

John McGuire

Howie Melco

Michael Meyer

Kellie Miller

Mark Miller

Sheila Miller

Jerry Olson

Pat Parnow

Larry Pederson

Charles "Rocky" Pierce

Mike Qualy

LeRoy Robinson

Marcia Rossman

Carl Rukavina

Wayne Schafer

Cheryl Selinsky

Joe Stauffer

Thadore "Ted" Stephney

Todd Stevens

Terry Summers

Dan Stout

Tony Taylor

Joel Terrell

Gary Turchin

Richard Turnblom

Daniel Underbakke

Jon Uzpen

Mark Uzpen

Glenn Vierling

Thomas Wannarka

Marnell Wilber

Bill Wormwood

Bernadine Woodards

Patricia Wright

Thomas Yost

Dave Zapata

Kenneth Zimanski


Wayne Schafer, #5204

Assist. Director-Facilities Maintenance


Wayne SchaferWayne Schafer was working at the A Mill loading 100-pound sacks of flour onto freight trains when his dad advised him there were jobs available at the Metropolitan Transit Commission. Wanting more variety – and a job that would be a little easier on his joints – he applied. Schafer began his career in transit in April 1976, as a cleaner at the Old Snelling Garage. He later held jobs as a helper, fueler and mechanic at the old Northsisde, Shingle Creek (Ruter) and Nicollet garages. In 1984, Schafer moved from bus to building maintenance, fulfilling his continued desire for a job that wasn’t guided by routine. “Once I saw people doing that, I knew that was where I wanted to go,” he said. “There was no questioning it. It appealed to me a lot more than working on greasy buses.” Schafer’s tenure in building maintenance started at the Overhaul Base and later included stints at the Nicollet, South and Heywood garages. The job had just the kind of variety Schafer was looking for, involving everything from the installation of overhead doors to HVAC repairs and snow removal. “It was a jack-of-all-trades kind of job,” he said. “You worked to your comfort level or you just took something apart and tried to put it back together – it was always a self-learning process.” In 1999, Schafer took a supervisor roll and became the first member of Metro Transit’s fledgling Engineering & Facilities Department (“I had to find my own office,” he said). Within a year, he became the Manager of Facilities and took an active role in planning new buildings and transit facilities. Schafer was involved in the design of the East Metro Garage, several building renovations and the creation of dedicated space for Public Facilities and Transit Police’s East Command (Transfer Road). Schafer also participated in the planning for the Blue and Green Lines, Northstar and light-rail extensions. One of his enduring contributions was coming up with the concept for the standard customer waiting shelter, which prominently features Metro Transit’s logo (the shelter was inspired by a Hennepin County shelter placed in North Minneapolis). Over the course of his career, Public Facilities grew from 14 to 41 technicians and workers. Schafer said he was proud to have been a part of the department’s growth and the expansion of the region’s transit network. “It’s been a very rewarding job, because I think I did make a difference,” he said. Schafer retired in September 2015 with plans to spend time riding his dirt bike and going back to the thing that got him into building maintenance to begin with – “puttering” around.”

Kellie Miller, #3100

Manager of Scheduling


Kellie MillerKellie Miller wasn’t quite sure what kind of work she wanted to do when she took her father’s advice and interviewed for a job at the Transit Information Center (Miller’s father, Richard “Dick” Miller worked for the company as a dispatcher and operator). The decision led to a 37-year career in which she held multiple positions and leader for the ATU-Local 1005 union. After spending her first five years at TIC, Miller moved to Metro Mobility, where she spent three years scheduling bus and cab service for those who could not use regular route transit. From there, she moved to the Revenue Department where she worked as a balancing clerk, balancing farebox revenue. Miller then took a job as a timekeeper in the Payroll Department doing payroll for drivers and mechanics. Miller became a union board member in 1985 and in 1997 became a full-time union representative, where she was involved in grievance proceedings and contract negotiations. In 2006, she returned to Payroll for a short time, and then moved to the position of Asset Management Clerk. She moved to Service Development in 2008 to become a Schedule Maker. In 2012, Miller was named Manager of Scheduling, leading a team of five Schedule Makers, a Scheduling Analyst and a Bus Stop Coordinator ensuring quarterly service changes were delivered on time and in a cost-effective and efficient manner, in accordance with the ATU contract. Miller retired in August 2015 with plans to travel, watch Supercross races, fish, boat and spend time with family. Reflecting on her career, Miller said: “I always felt like I was helping people, whether it was helping passengers in TIC and Metro Mobility, Payroll making sure the employees were paid, ATU helping with union issues and in scheduling making better schedules for Operators & passengers.”

Jerry Olson, #1504



Jerry OlsonBefore Jerry Olson started working at the Metropolitan Transit Commission, he did not have a sterling driving record. In fact, he’d wrecked so many of his personal vehicles early in life that he’d earned the nickname “Crash.” After four decades of driving buses safely around the metro, the moniker had taken on more than a little bit of irony. Olson’s 41 years and 9 months of safe driving is believed to be among the best ever recorded among Metro Transit’s operators. His record as a safe driver is just one of the reasons Olson was remembered at his retirement as one of the agency’s most beloved operators. Olson spent 18 years as a trainer and had earned a reputation for being a strong mentor to his peers. He also won praise for his customer service skills and deep knowledge of the bus network (as an on-call operator, Olson drove many of Metro Transit’s routes). Olson’s commitment to safe driving and customer service earned him 28 Outstanding Operator awards. In 2014, the Minnesota Public Transit Association named him their Minnesota Bus Operator of the Year. Olson spent the bulk of his career at South Garage, where he met his wife Lynnette Olson, a fellow operator (#1624). Olson retired in July 2015 after nearly 43 years of service. His retirement plans include spending more time with his family, including five children and eight grandchildren, camping, travel and golf. Before retiring, Olson took one final trip that included friends, family and General Manager Brian Lamb. Pulling in for the last time, Olson said he was sad to part ways but that he was excited for the next phase of his life to begin. “I’ve spent more than two-thirds of my life here (at Metro Transit), so it wasn’t an easy decision to retire,” he said at the time. “But there comes a time when you just have to say goodbye.”

Frank Collins, #435



Frank CollinsWhen Frank Collins started as a bus operator in 1979, he found a place in agency history by becoming one of the first two drivers to work at Metro Transit on a part-time basis. But his 25-hours-a-week schedule didn’t last long. After just eight months on the job, Collins decided to move into a full-time role and make a career in transit. “It seemed like a good, solid future,” he said. “Where I grew up, getting one job for life was the norm and this seemed like a place where I could stay a while.” Collins career took him to nearly every garage, including Nicollet, old Northside, old Snelling and South, where he spent the last 15 years before his retirement. He began working as a Relief Dispatcher around 1983 and moved into a full-time Dispatcher role in 1998. As a Dispatcher, Collins said he enjoyed doing what he could to help his fellow operators. “I like to try and keep them happy,” Collins said. “They’ve got a hard job, so when I can I give them what they want.” Collins retired in June 2015 with more than 36 years of service. In retirement, he plans to spend time traveling, enjoying his grandchildren and pursuing several hobbies, including fishing, brewing beer and gardening.

Stephen Babcock, #3128

Head Stockkeeper


Stephen BabcockStephen Babcock was working as a truck driver when a roommate encouraged him to consider applying at Metro Transit. Babcock was hired and began as a bus operator at the old Northside Garage on March 5, 1973. Babcock spent nearly nine years driving before he was medically disqualified and transferred with ATU support to vault puller. Babcock also spent time working as a farebox reader, money counter, revenue clerk, data collector, cleaner and Transit Information representative, one of the richest and most diverse careers among agency employees. Babcock spent the final 20 years of his career as a stockkeeper. Babcock was a strong advocate for the ATU who believed in a balanced work place and that you could be a good employee and union member. After a strike in 1994, he joined the ATU Education Committee. He also contributed to the ATU paper, The 1005 Line. Babock retired in June 2015 with more than 42 years of service. With his talent in computers and his love of genealogy, he hopes to produce a book with his family tree that has over 6,000 documented individuals. He is also planning to research and visit the places of his ancestors.

Terry Summers, #1635



Terry SummersTerrance Summers was considering a career in music when he decided that working at Metro Transit might offer a bit more stability for his wife and three children. So in 1984, he put down the guitar and started driving the bus. His career began at the then Shingle Creek Garage and eventually to stints at Heywood, Snelling and East Metro. He spent the final ten years of his career at South Garage. Summers said he enjoyed driving because it gave him an opportunity to meet people and make new friends. One of his most memorable days on the job was the Halloween blizzard of 1991, when he was stuck for more than six hours at the Theodore Wirth Chalet. Summers retired in May 2015, with more than 30 years of service. In retirement, he plans to spend more time with family, traveling and playing music.

Pat Parnow, #1412



Pat ParnowPat Parnow was working as a photographer, selling her work at art fairs, when she sought a job as a Metro Transit bus operator. She began her career at Metro Transit in August 1980 out of Nicollet Garage. As a part-time operator, Parnow was able to drive in the morning and still have time during the day to continue her photography work. The job also provided some inspiration: driving in Minneapolis and the west metro she would often pass scenes she thought would make for good photos and return later with camera in hand. Parnow said she also liked observing all of the changes that occurred and experiencing all types of weather, including quiet roads in bad weather. Among her most memorable experiences was an on-board fire that she put out shortly after pulling out of the garage. Parnow also met her wife through a customer she knew. Parnow retired in April 2015 with 34 years of service. In retirement, Parnow continues to work on her photography and is involved in many area art fairs.

Joe Stauffer, #5434



Joe StaufferWhen Joe Stauffer came to Metro Transit in 1980, he had little experience working on diesel engines. But after moving from cleaner to skilled helper to mechanic, he had little choice but to dig in and give it his best shot. “You watched other mechanics or were given a job and had to figure it out,” Stauffer said. “You just tore into it, whatever it was.” Three decades later, Stauffer had picked up more than a few tricks of the trade. During his time at Metro Transit, he spent time at every service garage and the Overhaul Base. His work included transmission replacements, welding, HVAC, electrical and a variety of other tasks. In addition to the routine work, Stauffer prided himself on finding ways of making garage more efficient. In one example, he welded a hitch to a service bay cart so trailers could be used to quickly move batteries around the garage. “I found lots of things that made the job just a little bit easier,” he said. Stauffer grew up on St. Paul’s northside and frequently took transit to and from school. At the time, he had no way of knowing he’d end up spending 34 years working on buses. But Stauffer said he was glad to have made a career at Metro Transit and will miss working alongside many of his peers. Stauffer retired in April 2015 with plans to spend more time with his family, including two sons and two daughters, and to work on a number of classic cars, including a 1928 Model A.

Paul Liddicoat, #420



Paul LiddicoatPaul Liddicoat was just out of high school, living at home and looking for work, when his mom, a longtime bus rider, suggested he apply at what was then known as the Metropolitan Transit Commission. Liddicoat hadn’t considered working as an operator – he thought he’d become a baker, a chef or a barber – but the $5 hourly wage was persuasive enough for him to put in an application. The manager Liddicoat spoke with shared his birth date, which was enough of a reason to give him a chance (if, that is, he agreed to trim his beard and get a haircut). Liddicoat began on June 17, 1974, and spent the next four decades behind the wheel. He retired in March 2015 with nearly 41 years of service. “Everyone says it goes by fast and it really does,” Liddicoat said while making his final trip through Minneapolis, joined by colleagues and his wife Jody, whom he met on the bus. At his retirement, Liddicoat, a 33-year safe operator, said the key to his longevity was having thick skin. “You take it one ear and out the other,” he said.

Sheila Miller, #112

Bus Stop Coordinator


Sheila MillerWhen Sheila Miller began as a bus operator in 1977, she thought it would be a temporary stay that would hold her over as she decided on a career path. Twenty years later, Miller had driven bus routes out of the old Snelling, Nicollet, old Northside, Heywood and Ruter garages. Miller said she enjoyed the variety, autonomy, seeing the sites and the feeling of being outdoors while still protected from the elements. She also collected some fun stories along the way – chasing a purse snatcher into a bar, hiking to the bus stop to get to work on the morning of the 1991 Halloween blizzard, driving the occasional tour group and reprimanding on-board smokers in the 70s and 80s. The job also led her to meet her long-time companion, Butch Vickerman, who also worked at Metro Transit. Looking for a change of pace, Miller applied to become Metro Transit’s first Bus Stop Coordinator. To her pleasant surprise, she got the job. “It was the only other job I looked at and the only other job I applied for so it was probably meant to be,” Miller said. As Bus Stop Coordinator, Miller organized and maintained a list of the region’s bus stops, keeping up with quarterly service changes, new routes, temporary detours and other issues that led stops to be added, re-located or eliminated. As a former driver, Miller was also a vocal advocate for providing operators access to restrooms whenever possible. Miller retired in March 2014 with 38 years of service. In retirement, she plans to spend time traveling, sewing and supporting her favorite causes. She will also spend more time her many grandchildren and great grandchildren. “It’s (working at Metro Transit) become my life,” Miller said. “I have a big family, but this has always been my other family."

LeRoy Robinson, #5120

Fleet Service Supervisor


LeRoy RobinsonLeRoy Robinson had pretty much done it all by the time he retired. Hired in February 1974, Robinson began his career as a cleaner at the old Snelling Garage. Within a month, he was working as a helper at the old Northside Garage. Another six months after that, he transitioned into a mechanic role, first at Northside and then at the Martin J. Ruter Garage. As a mechanic, Robinson worked on air conditioning systems and power trains. Robinson’s final move was to the Overhaul Base, where he rebuilt engine transmissions and swapped engines before taking a management position. As a Fleet Services Supervisor, Robinson spent the final five years of his career supporting mechanics and working to resolve recurring issues with HVAC and electric systems. Whatever role he played, Robinson said he worked hard to make improvements that benefited the company and his co-workers. “I did what I did to the best of my abilities,” he said. While the technology changed dramatically during his tenure, Robinson said he and his fellow mechanics still relied on their instincts to diagnose and address whatever problems presented themselves. Robinson retired on Feb. 4, 2015 – exactly 41 years after his first day on the job. In retirement, Robinson plans to spend more time with his family, including his wife, four sons and two granddaughters. He also plans to ride his Harley Davidson motorcycle and relax at his lakefront property in northern Minnesota.

Ken Dolney, #2641



Ken DolneyKen Dolney didn’t know if driving a bus was his calling. But after working in retail and as an inspector at American Can, he decided to give it a shot. His decision to take a chance led to a 38-year career at Metro Transit. Dolney began working as an operator out of the old Snelling Garage on May 10, 1976, and worked there until it closed in favor of the new East Metro Garage. In 1980, Dolney became a dispatcher and worked closely with his fellow operators to make sure all the daily service needs were covered. “As a driver, your customers are the general public,” Dolney said. “As a dispatcher, your customers are the drivers you see every day.” Dolney said he enjoyed interacting with other drivers, especially when it involved giving Vikings fans a hard time (Dolney is a Green Bay Packers fan and shareholder). Working as an overnight dispatcher also allowed Dolney to spend a few hours each day with his son, Terrance Dolney, who also worked in dispatch at East Metro. Dolney’s wife, oldest son and daughter also worked at Metro Transit as operators. Dolney continued to drive periodically until he retired in February 2015, often on days when drivers were most in need. Driving in difficult conditions led to two memorable outings – one in which it rained so hard customers had to pick up their feet to avoid the water flowing through the bus and another in which the bus broke down, leaving him stranded and alone without heat for several hours. While the job had its challenges, Dolney enjoyed working with and advocating on behalf of the people he worked with. In addition to his job as a dispatcher, Dolney was a 24-year member of the ATU Board of Directors and said he is proud to have made numerous positive changes. In retirement, Dolney plans to spend time in Florida and to continue participating in some of the political- and church-affiliated groups he joined over the years, as well as the St. Croix Valley Corvette Association.

Thomas Yost, #364



Thomas YostAfter finishing an office supply delivery at the old Snelling Garage, Thomas Yost decided to make a quick visit to the personnel department. His wife had spotted a sign on the building that said the company was in need of drivers and, since he already had his commercial driver’s license (CDL), he thought it was worth exploring. “She (the woman at the desk) asked if I had a CDL. When I said yes she just about jumped out of the chair and said, ‘When can you start?’” Yost remembered. “Two weeks later, there I was.” What followed was a 35-year career as a bus operator, as well as countless friendships and stories. At his retirement, Yost said he deeply loved driving, his co-workers at the East Metro Garage and the customers he came to know through the years. “I’ve enjoyed every day that I’ve been here,” Yost said. “I loved this job, the people I worked with and just walking through that door every day.” Yost said he thrived as an operator because he kept his sense of humor even when facing difficult situations. “If you enjoy driving, everything else falls into place,” he said. “That’s what happened for me.” Yost retired in February 2015 with plans to sleep in, spend time with his wife and children and attend more Twins games.

Michael Meyer, #5426



Michael MeyerMichael Meyer wore a lot of different hats during his time at Metro Transit. In 1976, at just 22-years-old, he started as a cleaner at the old Northside Garage. The early part of his career also included periods as a helper, brake shop mechanic and welder. The majority of his career, though, was spent working at the Metro Transit’s body shop. At the body shop, Meyer worked on wheelchair lifts, cut air vents into the roofs of un-air conditioned buses and assisted with a variety of other projects. Toward the end of his career, Meyer specialized in trim. The job involved putting decals and other finishing touches on buses and fleet vehicles. Meyer said he took a lot of pride in his work and enjoyed seeing the vehicles he worked on come together. “It was rewarding to see the finished product, to see everything go back on the bus and make it look nice,” Meyer said. Meyer joined Metro Transit at the urging of his father, Walter Meyer, who spent 37 years with the company as a mechanic and foreman. Meyer said he remained dedicated to transit because he enjoyed the people he worked with. Meyer retired in January 2015 with 38 years of service. In retirement, he plans to spend time with his family, including his wife Ann, daughter and two grandsons. His other hobbies include boating, motorcycles and classic cars.    

Dan Stout, #1552

Facilities Electrician


Dan StoutWhen Dan Stout began working as a cleaner and mechanic at Metro Transit, conditions were difficult. The garages weren’t well heated, the floors were continuously damp, the ventilation was poor and the equipment wasn’t always up to the job. He liked it anyways. “The environment was tough but I thoroughly loved it to tell you the truth,” Stout said. Stout loved the job so much he ended up staying at Metro Transit for more than 38 years. During his nearly four-decade tenure, Stout worked at every garage and the Overhaul Base in St. Paul. After starting as a cleaner, he became a mechanic and spent time changing motors, swapping engines and re-building transmissions. At the end of his career, he worked as a maintenance electrician. Stout also spent five years as a part-time bus operator, which he said gave him a new level of appreciation for the organization. “It was a real eye-opener to go through that,” Stout said. Stout retired in January 2015 with plans to travel the United States in his RV and spend more time fishing and hiking.

Tony Taylor, #877



Tony TaylorTony Taylor has a motto: Don’t force the puzzle. The philosophy served him well over the course of his 36-year career at Metro Transit. “I would say that 99 percent of it (driving) is attitude,” Taylor said in one of numerous interviews in which he spoke about what it takes to be a successful operator. Taylor’s cool demeanor made him a role model to many of his fellow operators, a favorite among customers and an ideal representative for Metro Transit. Taylor was regularly called on to speak with the media about driving, appeared in employee training videos and became a “go to” operator for special events. His level approach also showed in his performance. Taylor accumulated 27 Outstanding Operator Awards and had 35 years of safe driving at the end of his career. In 2013, Taylor was recognized as the Minnesota Bus Operator of the Year by the Minnesota Public Transportation Association. Taylor retired as a call operator out of Heywood Garage and previously worked at the old Northside Garage, Shingle Creek, now the Martin J. Ruter Garage, old Snelling Garage, now East Metro, and Nicollet. Taylor began his career as an operator on Dec. 4, 1978, after working as a shoe salesman. In addition to being an operator, Tony worked as a relief dispatcher and spent 15 years as an instructor. Taylor retired in January 2015 with plans to travel, spend time with his family, ride his motorcycle and attend to several bucket list items, including a visit to the Westminster Dog Show. 

    > Star Tribune: Metro Transit bus driver makes final run of his 36-year career

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Harlan Daudt, #424

Garage Coordinator


Harlan DaudtHarlan Daudt had just finished truck driving school when he saw the job ad from the Metropolitan Transit Commission in the newspaper. Realizing he could drive and stay close to home, he applied. Daudt began his career as an operator at the old Northside Garage in 1978. He went on to spend the next 37 years as a bus operator, trainer and Garage Coordinator at the Martin J. Ruter Garage, where he spent the majority of his career. At his retirement, Daudt was remembered for having an influence on many fellow operators. Daudt spent nearly 25 years as a trainer, a role that led him to work with hundreds of young operators at the beginning of their careers. Looking back, Daudt said he liked working as a trainer because it meant he was helping people find meaningful work. “I got a lot of gratification from helping people get a job,” he said. Though Daudt dedicated a lot of time to training, scheduling and working with other departments to improve bus operations, he continued to drive through the end of his career. Daudt retired in January 2015 with plans to spend time woodworking, driving ATVs and traveling.

Mark Uzpen, #3022



Mark UzpenGrowing up on St. Paul’s East Side, Mark Uzpen spent a lot of time traveling around town on streetcars and buses. One of the attractions to transit – his father, Robert Uzpen was a streetcar operator. Given his transit-rich upbringing, it wasn’t all that surprising that Mark Uzpen would pursue a career as a Metro Transit operator. After four years “working the railroad,” he began as a bus operator on Oct. 9, 1972. Uzpen spent the following 42 years driving buses, including a 40-year run as a Safe Operator, primarily in the east metro. His four-decade career came just a few year’s shy of his father’s 46-year tenure; Mark’s brother, Jon Uzpen, who worked as an operator and Safety Specialist, retired in 2013 with 40 years of service. At his retirement, Uzpen said remembered being told when hired that there would “come a time when you’d rather be driving your bus than your car.” “Toward the end,” he said. “That was definitely true.” In retirement, Uzpen said he plans to spend more time with his family, including five children, and to work on his golf game.

Bruce Biddick, #2025



Bruce BiddickWhen Bruce Biddick left the military, he thought his career would be in cars. His father, a bus operator, encouraged him to try what he did for a living. Biddick began doing just that on Nov. 5, 1984. “I thought I might as well try it and it turned out that I actually liked it,” Biddick said. So much so, in fact, that he spent the next 17 years as a bus operator and relief dispatcher. Seeking a change of pace, Biddick moved to the stockroom for the final 13 years of his career at Metro Transit where he grew close with those he worked with. Along with many friends, Biddick enjoyed working alongside many family members. His daughter Angie also worked in the stockroom. His brothers Robert Biddick and Steve Schoephoerster also worked as operators (Schoephoerster later became a patrol officer with the Metro Transit Police Department). Surrounded by those family members and others, Biddick said Martin J. Ruter Garage, where he spent the bulk of his career, became a very special place over the years. “This really has been like a second home for me,” he said. In retirement, Biddick said he plans to move to southern Minnesota and spend time with his family.

Terry Isensee, #1182



Terry IsenseeTerry Isensee was going to school at the University of Minnesota when he began working part-time as an operator to help support himself. When the College of Forestry filled up, he decided to turn his part-time job into a full-time career. Isensee spent the next 35 years as a bus operator, driving multiple routes throughout the region. Isensee started at Nicollet Garage, but spent the majority of his career at Heywood Garage where he made many friends. In retirement, he plans to move north and spend more time fishing. 

Lynn Beauclaire, #1167

Assistant Transportation Manager


Lynn BeauclaireLynn Beauclaire was working as a school bus driver when she spotted an ad for Metro Transit and reasoned she could benefit from making a change. In 1980, she began as an operator working out of Nicollet Garage. Beauclaire later moved into positions at Customer Service and the Transit Control Center, where she was an assistant manager. Beauclaire returned to bus operations as an Assistant Transportation Manager, working at Heywood, East Metro, South and Nicollet garages. Moving to different positions and locations was a way to keep the work interesting, Beauclaire said. “There was always the challenge of trying something new,” she said. “I didn’t want to be bored.” Beauclaire retired in August 2014 with 34 years of service. In retirement, she is spending her time restoring an old farmhouse in northern Wisconsin.

John 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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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


TimothyCoglianeseTim 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



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



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.

"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


  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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