By the age of 16, John Lund had already graduated from St. Paul Central High School and started turning his interest in auto mechanics into a career. After having two sons, though, his wife’s uncle convinced him to work with him at Metro Transit, where he’d have better benefits and more opportunity. Lund would go on to spend the next 40 years at Metro Transit, taking on several different roles in bus and facilities maintenance.
Lund’s first stop, in 1980, was at the newly opened Ruter Garage where, in a brief stay as a cleaner, he dusted dashboards and the ledge in front of the rear window. His first year also included stints as a helper and technician at the old Northside, old Snelling and South garages. At South, Lund directed bus operators into the bay area the night the facility opened – one of several facility openings he participated in during his career. In 1982, Lund moved to the Overhaul Base where he was given an unusual assignment. To cut costs, agency leaders had decided to eliminate air conditioning on buses, and Lund was part of a team tasked with cutting vents into the roofs of more than 1,000 buses. After that, he spent most of the 80s as a technician at the South and Heywood garages.
A decade into his career, Lund returned to school, started his own auto repair business and began teaching part-time at Dunwoody College – all while holding onto his job at Metro Transit. “I worked at Metro Transit at night, taught during the day and ran the auto business out of my house in between,” he said. “That was my 30s.” (Lund said there were days he’d wear his Lund’s Automotive Services uniform while at Metro Transit because, he said, “I didn’t have time to change.”) While Lund thrived off a full plate, he closed the business in 2001. The same year, his son Mike, who’d been a business partner, began working at Metro Transit. (Mike was an Electro-Mechanic Technician at Metro Transit at the time of John’s retirement.)
In 2001, Lund moved to the newly opened East Metro Garage and then returned to the Overhaul Base, where he performed electrical inspections, built motors and was a transmission specialist. At the Overhaul Base, Lund also spent several years as the senior mechanic electrician, one of his most rewarding roles. The work involved sometimes tedious troubleshooting and several significant projects, like the fleetwide installation of the TRAK electronic vehicle monitoring system.” “I loved that job because it was challenging,” Lund said.
Lund left Bus Maintenance in 2009 to serve as a commuter rail foreperson and returned to East Metro later that year. In 2012, he got his first chance to work as a facilities technician – a job that was soon taken by a more senior employee during a pick. He returned to Facilities Maintenance in 2013 and finished out his career as a facilities technician and facilities supervisor.
As a facilities technician, Lund was assigned to the Heywood Office and Operations Support Center, tackling everything from a faulty HVAC unit to building leaks. As a supervisor, he oversaw more than 1 million square feet of support facilities, a team of around a dozen technicians. Among his many projects as a supervisor, he helped install new boilers at the Transit Control Center, improved the bus wash system at the Ruter Garage and contributed to compressed air projects at four locations.
Reflecting on his accomplishments, Lund said he was proud of the legacy he’d leave behind. “My whole attitude has always been to do my best at anything I do,” he said. “From small jobs to big jobs, I’ve accomplished a lot and I’m very proud of that.”
In retirement, Lund planned to spend more time with his family, including his wife, two sons and six grandchildren, and pursuing an array of hobbies, including camping, traveling yardwork, hockey, down-hill and water skiing, snowmobiling, ATV trail riding, fishing, piano, guitar, singing and bowling.