Name: Billy Le
Job: Schedule Technician
Years of service: 5
How did you come to work at Metro Transit and what do you do?
After earning a degree in civil engineering, I entered the job market during the Great Recession in 2009. I eventually found myself working for the Downtown Improvement District (DID) as a dispatcher and a trainer and as a part-time weekend bus operator for Metro Transit. Even though I got a degree in civil engineering, as a lifelong transit rider, I always felt like transit was calling me, even taking a course in transit planning.
So, I decided to pursue one job at Metro Transit. After being promoted to a full-time bus operator for about five years, I grew into a new position that supports bus operators: schedule technician.
A schedule technician takes data about trips and organizes them into blocks that then become the new bus schedules that appear every quarter.
As a former bus operator, I’ve been on the receiving end of scheduling and understand the frustrations operators can sometimes have. As a schedule technician, I work to lessen those instances with good schedules for the routes I work on. Specifically, I help schedule work out of Martin J. Ruter (MJR) garage.
Where are you from originally? Tell us a little bit about your background.
I live in the city where I grew up in riding transit: Richfield. My wife doesn’t drive, so we made sure to buy a house near transit offerings like the 5, 18, and the 515. As a kid in Richfield, my mom didn’t drive either, so I would take the bus everywhere around the city. My routes were the 4, 6, and the old 15. I continued my bus riding throughout college until I got behind the wheel myself. I enjoyed my part-time weekend work, and even more so my full-time extra board work, which puts you on-call for open work on any route, which gave you something different every day.
What is your favorite part about working for Metro Transit?
My coworkers and managers. Whether it’s in a garage or in the office, there’s always someone there who can help answer any questions. I’m still new to the scheduling team, just under two months in, but there’s people with decades of experience who are more than happy to help whenever I come across a problem. And, the little kid in me that loved to ride the bus is still grinning that I found a job in transit.
What are your favorite activities when you’re not working or “Off the Clock”?
My childhood hobby has become an adult obsession: Legos. Once I got this new position, I treated myself to a new Lego set to help decorate my new office. I’m a huge Star Wars fan, so most of my collection are Star Wars ships. I just finished a Y-Wing, which now proudly sits in my office next to a Tie Interceptor. It took a while to complete this 2,000-piece set, but believe it or not, I’ve done more, like a Star Destroyer, which has more than 3,100 pieces and is four feet long.
And my passion is rubbing off on my eldest daughter, Mara. She just turned seven and wants Lego sets for birthdays and Christmas. I am more than happy to shop for those! And, it’s great daddy-daughter time when we can work on a project together, like her recent set: a coin operated kiddie ride that looks like a rocket ship.