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Rider's Almanac Blog


Father-son duo train to be operators together

Posted by John Komarek | Wednesday, June 16, 2021 10:04:00 AM

German Gonzalez Sr. and German Gonzalez Jr.

In 1977, German Gonzalez Sr. immigrated to Minnesota from Mascota, Mexico seeking opportunity. He immediately found multiple part-time jobs as a school bus driver and carpenter. 

As the years progressed, however, work became intermittent and sparse.

“There were many hard years where you’d show up to a job site looking for work and told there isn’t any,” Gonzalez Sr. said. 

This year, as Metro Transit returned to hiring bus operators for the first time since the pandemic, his son, German Gonzalez Jr., inspired him to apply. 

“I was working as a helper in light rail maintenance and when I saw the opening, I decided it was time for a change,” German Gonzalez Jr. said. “It’s a different schedule and has different opportunities.”  

Together, they join the first class of new operators since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the fall, Metro Transit hopes to hire up to 70 operators. 

In college, Gonzalez Jr. worked as a part-time Metro Transit operator. Today, he finds himself helping his father learn this trade. 

“Every day, we ride to and from training together,” Gonzalez Jr. said. “It’s a great time to talk about what’s coming or talk about the day to help refresh me and help my dad with buses he’s never operated before.” 

Both men value Metro Transit for its stability and room for growth. Even though Gonzalez Jr. earned a teaching degree, he decided to stay here after 14 years of service. For Gonzalez Sr., a job here represents his first stable career.

“It’s exciting and challenging, especially looking towards my first day on the road,” said Gonzalez Sr., who will work out of the Nicollet Garage. “And whatever happens, I know that if I just remember my training, everything will work out.”  

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