After graduating high school, Glenn Murschel followed in his father’s footsteps and started working at a Minneapolis grain mill. But after a decade in the business, the mill shut down and Murschel found himself looking for a new line of work. This time, it was his sister, a bus operator, who provided the career advice. In 1985, Murschel started as a part-time operator at what was then known as the Shingle Creek Garage, setting out on what would become a 34-year career in transit.
Three weeks after his training began, Murschel found himself driving alone for the first time, guiding a Route 24 bus through downtown Minneapolis. It was, he said, a nerve-wracking experience. “I got the oldest, slowest bus in the fleet and it very quickly became a jam packed, standing load,” Murschel said. “I must’ve looked pretty nervous because I was sweating.” Murschel quickly settled into his new role, however. In fact, he went his entire 34-year career without being held responsible for an accident. “To me, that’s pretty good,” Murschel said. “You’ve got to have some luck, but there’s skill to it, too. You’re always having to assume what other people are going to do.”
After getting his start at Shingle Creek, Murschel spent time at several garages. His second stop was the old Snelling Garage, where he went full time. After that, he spent several years rotating between Heywood, old Snelling and Ruter, the name that would eventually be given to Shingle Creek. As an operator, Murschel often worked the extraboard and found himself driving lots of different routes. Among his most frequent assignments were routes 5, 10, 12, 22 and 724.
In 2000, Murschel started a new chapter in his career and took on a new role as a relief dispatcher at Ruter. He became a full-time dispatcher at Nicollet in 2007 and spent time at each garage before retiring out of Heywood in May 2019. Murschel said the job was a natural fit and that he was proud of his ability to get open work assigned. “You work with drivers and they work with you,” he said. “If you treat them right and they’ll help you.” While he spent most of his time at the garage, Murschel didn’t stop driving until the very end. After working overnight in dispatch, he’d often pick up a morning school trips.
Outside of his daily responsibilities, Murschel said he enjoyed getting to know so many people, both on the bus and at work. He often found himself recognizing people who’d been on his bus, even years later, and was a part of a Metro Transit softball team that advanced to a national competition in the late 1980s. “So many of the people in my life I’ve met through Metro Transit,” he said.
In retirement, Murschel planned to spend more time with his dog, camping, traveling and crossing items of his bucket list, including plans to attend each of horse racing’s Triple Crown races and to stand on an iceberg.