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Rider's Almanac Blog

Awarding Accomplishment

Two Blue Line operators honored for actions that averted crash, fire 

| Wednesday, March 30, 2022 4:01:00 PM

Awareness and quick actions by two train operators this winter prevented a possible fire on one train and a collision between another train and a non-Metro Transit bus. 

Those efforts were celebrated this week when William Vacura, above left, and Aidarus Mohamed, above right, were recognized by the Metropolitan Council’s Transportation Committee as part of the Awarding Accomplishment program.  

Mohamed, a Blue Line operator since 2013, reported smoke, noises and vibrations emanating from under his train. He was instructed to pull into the Blue Line Operations and Maintenance Facility where it was discovered that a ground brush assembly had malfunctioned. The damage could have resulted in a fire or major service disruption if it had continued with the approximately 50 passengers onboard. 

Vacura, a Blue Line operator since July 2021, was operating a train between Government Plaza and Nicollet Mall stations in downtown Minneapolis when a non-Metro Transit bus ran a red light in front of him. 

"I don’t know how we did not connect,” Vacura said. “I missed the rear end of the bus by 2 to 3 feet. There were passengers in the rear of the bus. They had frantic looks on their faces.” 

"I give credit to the Safety Department and using the training," he continued. "Keep your eyes moving, make sure they see you and make sure you see the big picture."

Help us recognize staff who go above and beyond by submitting a commendation online or by calling 612-373-3333.

Story and photo by Laura Baenen