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Career Tracks

Career Tracks: Peter Stumme, Assistant Transportation Manager

Posted by Drew Kerr | Sunday, October 24, 2021 8:28:00 PM

Assistant Transportation Manager Peter Stumme at the Ruter Garage.

Many people who work at Metro Transit take on new responsibilities and roles throughout their careers. Career Tracks highlights the paths employees have taken to their latest assignment and where they see themselves going next. To learn more about career opportunities at Metro Transit and the Metropolitan Council, visit

How did you begin your career at Metro Transit?

I had three young kids and was working four jobs to support them, which was exhausting. Metro Transit was offering good pay and benefits, so I decided to apply. After four years, I stopped working all my other jobs and became a full-time bus operator. I never thought this was something I’d do, but it was fitting – I’d taken the bus to Washburn when I was in school; I liked driving; and I really knew the Twin Cities. It also helped that my parents were Lutheran pastors, because I grew up learning about people and liked that this job gave me an opportunity to help.

What were your career goals and what steps did you take to achieve them?

After about ten years here, I thought I’d retire as an operator. I wasn’t super-ambitious and didn’t have a lot of direction, but I got pulled aside and was encouraged to apply for the Leadership Academy. I thought: ‘You know, you might be onto something!’ I applied and got the chance to serve as an assistant transportation manager at South Garage. At the time, the program was still being developed and my mentor (Manager Frank Stumpf) told me I could sit at a computer, or I could dive in and learn everything I wanted to know. I hounded the guy to the point that he asked me to stop asking so many questions. I learned so much, and I also found out that I really enjoyed the job and had a knack for it.

I went back to driving, applied for jobs but would freeze up in the interview. I practiced in front of a mirror, rehearsed with my sister, and eventually I got jobs as a rail supervisor and Transit Control Center supervisor. This (assistant transportation manager) is the job I’ve been chasing for years, though. I’m glad I stuck with it and am incredibly happy I finally got it.

What advice do you have for others who want to take on more or different responsibilities?

Usually, the first or second time you won’t get through. So, you have to have thick skin, and you have to keep trying if you really want something. It’s also a good idea to network, contact HR and start letting people know you’re interested so your name gets repeated.