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2013

Lorene Love, #838 

Operator
| Friday, February 01, 2013 9:41:00 AM

Lorene 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.

2013

Mike Humphreys, #5154 

Mechanic Technician
| Friday, January 04, 2013 3:15:00 PM

Mike 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.

2013

Patricia Jackson Gray, #248 

Operator
Posted by | Tuesday, January 01, 2013 3:35:00 PM

Patricia 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.

2013

Mark Uzpen, #3022 

Operator
| Tuesday, January 01, 2013 11:06:00 AM

Growing 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.

2012

Glenn Vierling, #802 

Bus Operator
| Saturday, September 01, 2012 11:07:00 AM

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.

2012

James Hannon, #2721 

Bus Operator
| Tuesday, August 28, 2012 2:31:00 PM

James Hannon

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.

2012

Timothy Coglianese, #119 

Bus Operator
| Friday, August 03, 2012 12:34:00 PM

Timothy Coglianese

Tim 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.

2012

Gary Turchin 

Mechanic Technician
| Saturday, July 28, 2012 11:02:00 AM

Gary retired from Metro Transit on July 28, 2012. He had 36 years of service.

2012

Steve Hopkins, #1528 

Facilities Technician
| Monday, July 23, 2012 2:49:00 PM

Steve Hopkins

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.

2012

Marcia Rossman, #3120 

Scheduling Manager
| Saturday, July 07, 2012 10:23:00 AM

Marcia 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.

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