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2015

Bonnie Green, #644 

Operator
| Tuesday, December 01, 2015 2:28:00 PM

Bonnie Green

To continue receiving unemployment assistance, Bonnie Green needed to prove that she was making efforts to find a job. So when her husband, already working as a bus driver, suggested applying for the same job, she took the advice. To her surprise, she got the gig. “It wasn’t like it was a lifelong dream or anything, but I said ‘You have a job, and I need one,’” she said. Even so, Green didn’t think it would last. When she started in June 1979 she intended on staying only long enough to avoid being charged for the army green uniform the job required. “It would have cost me $250, and that was a lot of money for an ugly uniform I’d never wear again,” she said. Though it might not have been her original plan, Green ended up spending more than 33 years behind the wheel. Green retired in 2006 and returned in 2009 for another six years of driving (her first retirement came on April Fools’ Day, allowing her to brush that initial exit off as a ruse). A lifelong St. Paul resident, Green was the first part-time operator at the old Snelling Garage; when that garage closed, she move to East Metro. She drove every route in and around St. Paul, and was particularly fond of the old Route 5, with service between St. Paul and Inver Grove Heights, and the old Route 29 that went through West St. Paul. Green said she stayed with the job because she enjoyed driving, getting to know her fellow operators and visiting with customers who seemed to appreciate her friendly demeanor. “A lot of people are really grateful for any little help you can give them,” she said. Among her more memorable moments was the time she pulled up to a women in labor, covering her legs with a sweater until an ambulance could arrive. And while initially intimidated by the size of the bus, she turned out to be a natural, recording more than 25 years of safe driving. Green retired in December 2015 with plans to visit several national parks and stay active by going to the gym, golfing and bowling.

2015

Delroy Schafer, #5121 

Supervisor-Facilities Maintenance
| Sunday, November 01, 2015 10:27:00 AM

Just out of high school, Delroy Shafer faced a decision: he could complete Dunwoody’s electrician program or start working full-time and get his education on the job. He got to work, beginning as a Cleaner at the Metropolitan Transit Commission on Aug. 17, 1979. So began a 26-year education in Bus Maintenance. “Once I got here, I just decided I’d stay and train on the job,” Schafer said. “And I really picked up a lot, not just from experience but from working with people who really had a lot of talent.” Schafer did eventually go back to school, though, taking night classes to earn his electricians license. In 2007, he started working in facilities, doing electrical work at rail platforms and other transit properties. In the final three years of his career, Schafer worked as one of two Facilities Supervisors leading a team of around 20 people charged with maintaining Metro Transit’s support facilities. With a combined total of around 2.4 million square feet, there was a lot to keep up with. But the work was rewarding and allowed him to stay involved in one of his favorite parts of the job – trouble-shooting and resolving issues. Inspired by growing up in a union household, Schafer was also an active member of the ATU. Before the opening of the state’s first light-rail line, Schafer was part of a team that toured other properties and worked with management to craft rules for light-rail’s union workers. He was the first union steward to work on behalf of light-rail union members. While involved in the union, Schafer met his wife, Kellie Miller, who retired as the Manager of Scheduling in August 2015. Looking back, Schafer said he was grateful to have worked alongside so many skilled and knowledgeable people – including brothers Wayne and Dan – and to have had a reliable income that allowed him to put his two children through college. “Metro Transit is really the land of opportunity,” he said. “There are just so many different roads you can take in this company…this place provided pretty much everything.” Schafer retired in November 2015 with 36 years of service. In retirement, he planned to spend more time fishing and boating at his northern Minnesota lake home and to pursue a couple of projects – restoring a 1971 Yamaha dirt bike similar to the one he’d had as a teenager and a 27-year-old Boston whaler boat.

2015

Wayne Schafer, #5204 

Assist. Director-Facilities Maintenance
| Tuesday, September 01, 2015 10:28:00 AM

Wayne 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.”

2015

Kellie Miller, #3100 

Manager of Scheduling
| Saturday, August 01, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Kellie 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.”

2015

Tom Mevissen, #5342 

Facilities Technician
| Saturday, August 01, 2015 9:58:00 AM

While he was in high school, Tom Mevissen spent time working at his father’s Phillips 66 service station. The experience led to his interest in auto mechanics and, eventually, to the doors of Metro Transit. After a short time as a taxi driver, Mevissen began as a Cleaner at Nicollet Garage on Oct. 17, 1977. Within just a few years he was working as a mechanic. In all, he spent 25 years working in service garages performing a variety of tasks. While his career began at Nicollet, Mevissen also worked at the old Northside Garage, the old Snelling Garage, Heywood Garage and the Overhaul Base. “It just seemed like it (working in the garage) was a natural fit for me,” Mevissen said. “I enjoyed all the jobs I had.” Nonetheless, Mevissen sought a different path and began training to get his boiler license. After receiving his certification, he moved into building maintenance, first at Overhaul Base and later at the Northstar Operations & Maintenance Facility. Mevissen said he enjoyed being at Northstar because it gave him an opportunity to see another side of Metro Transit. “Even though I didn’t work on the trains, it was fun to be around them and learn how they work,” he said. Mevissen retired in August 2015 with more than 37 years of service. In retirement, he plans to travel on his motorcycle and spend more “quality time” with his family, including three children and three grandchildren.

2015

Tim Cusick, #5483 

Facilities Technician
| Wednesday, July 01, 2015 12:46:00 PM

Tim Cusick

When Tim Cusick started at Metro Transit in March 1980, his father bet him $1 he wouldn’t last more than a year. He won the bet handedly, building a career that lasted more than 35 years. While he stayed with the company, his roles changed several times. Cusick began as a Cleaner, washing buses at the Old Snelling Garage, but soon moved into a position as an overnight mechanic at the Martin J. Ruter Garage (formerly Shingle Creek). He later spent time at the old Northside Garage, the Overhaul Base and South Garage, working at different times as a Skilled Helper, Parts Cleaner, Fueler and in the Body Shop. Working on buses was a fitting role for Cusick: as one of ten children, his father often entertained him and his siblings by giving them a box of Cracker Jacks and letting them ride Route 12 to and from their St. Paul home. In 2009, Cusick transitioned to Facilities, working in building maintenance, installing and repairing waiting shelters, landscaping and replacing thousands of pavers at light-rail stations. Throughout his career, Cusick said he was motivated to work hard. “I had a golden opportunity to work in a lot of different places, but whatever I did, I owned it and took pride in doing it right,” he said. In July 2015, Cusick celebrated his retirement alongside his wife and two daughters. In retirement he plans to spend more time fishing, traveling in the U.S. and abroad, working on house projects and entertaining children who live nearby. Cusick has also “adopted” several neighborhood children whom he plans to keep entertained.

2015

Jerry Olson, #1504 

Operator
| Wednesday, July 01, 2015 10:10:00 AM

Before 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.”

2015

Stephen Babcock, 3128 

Head Stockkeeper
| Friday, June 05, 2015 2:37:00 PM

Stephen Babcock

Bruce 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.

2015

Frank Collins, #435 

Dispatcher
| Monday, June 01, 2015 12:42:00 PM

Frank Collins

When 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.

2015

Terry Summers, #1635 

Operator
| Friday, May 01, 2015 10:40:00 AM

Terrance 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.

2015

Joe Stauffer, #5434 

Mechanic-Technician
| Wednesday, April 01, 2015 10:38:00 AM

When 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.

2015

Pat Parnow, #1412 

Operator
| Wednesday, April 01, 2015 10:16:00 AM

Pat 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.

2015

Paul Liddicoat, #420 

Operator
| Sunday, March 01, 2015 8:59:00 AM

Paul 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.

2015

LeRoy Robinson, #5120 

Fleet Service Supervisor
| Wednesday, February 04, 2015 10:22:00 AM

LeRoy 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.

2015

Ken Dolney, #2641 

Dispatcher
| Sunday, February 01, 2015 2:02:00 PM

Ken Dolney

Ken 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.

2015

Thomas Yost, #364 

Operator
| Sunday, February 01, 2015 11:14:00 AM

After 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.

2015

Terry Isensee, #1182 

Operator
| Friday, January 02, 2015 3:33:00 PM

Terry 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.

2015

JoAnn (Cronholm) Fetsch, #51902 

Benefits Administrator
| Thursday, January 01, 2015 2:08:00 PM

JoAnn (Cronholm) Fetsch

JoAnn Fetsch began her career at Metro Transit in 1970, working in Payroll at Nicollet Garage. She later moved to Benefits, which were her true passion. When Benefits moved from Finance to Human Resources, she moved departments. Throughout her career, Fetsch made it her business to help each and every employee, active or retired, who called on her for help. She was a straight talker with a heart of gold. Fetsch was also an active participant in her union, encouraging employees to get involved. Fetsch retired in January 2015 after nearly 45 years of service. If it was up to her, she would still be working and helping employees. Unfortunately, Fetsch passed away just a few months after her retirement. She will be remembered for all the dedication and support she gave to employees. Her heart was always true to Metro Transit down to the very end.

2015

Harlan Daudt, #424 

Garage Coordinator
| Thursday, January 01, 2015 12:49:00 PM

Harlan Daudt

Harlan 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.

2015

Tony Taylor, #877 

Operator
| Thursday, January 01, 2015 10:55:00 AM

Tony 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

> WCCO: Metro Transit driver retires to surprise after 36 years

2015

Dan Stout, #1552 

Facilities Electrician
| Thursday, January 01, 2015 10:53:00 AM

When 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.

2015

Michael Meyer, #5426 

Mechanic-Technician
| Thursday, January 01, 2015 9:59:00 AM

Michael 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. 

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