Thursday, January 01, 2015 12:49:00 PM
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.
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
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.
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.
Assistant Transportation Manager
Friday, August 01, 2014 10:58:00 AM
Lynn 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.
Assistant Manager, Rail Operations
Thursday, July 31, 2014 9:55:00 AM
When 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.
Friday, July 11, 2014 9:52:00 AM
Richard 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.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014 2:07:00 PM
Paul “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.
Tuesday, July 01, 2014 9:18:00 AM
Stephen 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.
Friday, June 06, 2014 2:09:00 PM
Growing 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.