Skip to main content For screen readers, our previous mobile pages might be more easily navigated while we continue to improve the accessibility of our website.

 

Saluting decades of service to our customers

The names, accomplishments and reputations of those who have gone before inspire Metro Transit to do its best work. We honor these members of the Metro Transit family who recently retired with more than 30 years of service. Thank you for the dedication and your role in keeping the Twin Cities region moving.

2019

Annamarie Moseng 

Senior Account Specialist
Posted by Christina McHenry | Thursday, June 06, 2019 11:19:00 AM

Annamarie Moseng

After graduating from St. Paul College, Annamarie Moseng took a job as a legal assistant at a local law firm. The work wasn’t quite what she was looking for, though, so she started browsing job ads in the newspaper. When she spotted an opening at what was then called the Metropolitan Transit Commission, she applied and, in 1977, was hired as a clerical assistant. She didn’t know it then, but it was the beginning of what would become a 41-year career in transit. “If anybody had told me I’d still be here after all this time I would’ve laughed at them,” Moseng said shortly before her retirement. “I was looking for a job where I could get more experience and move on. Instead, I just moved around within the organization.”

 

When Moseng started, she entered an office environment that was devoid of computers. She helped keep her co-workers organized by typing spreadsheets and other documents, transcribing audio recorded into a Dictaphone and operating the telephone switchboard. With her sights set on a job in finance, though, she knew she’d need additional training. With encouragement from the finance director, she went back to school and returned in 1978 to take a new job as a balancing clerk, making sure reported fare collections matched the amount of money that was being brought in. Over time, she took on other new and different responsibilities, distributing paychecks, paying for materials like fuel, and guiding investments. She was also an enthusiastic part of the team that sold tickets to customers who took light rail to Twins games, Vikings games and other special events. This, she found, was the kind of work she was looking for. “I really liked the challenge of making sure everything balanced and working with all of the people you came into contact with,” Moseng said.

 

In the final decade of her career Moseng worked in accounts receivable, creating invoices for large capital projects, applying money from local and federal funding partners and managing Metropass income. The scope of the work, she said, was impressively large compared to how things looked at the start of her career. “When I stared, it was just buses,” she said. “Now look at us.”

 

While Moseng found her work rewarding, it was the people she worked with that truly made her career enjoyable. Several of her colleagues had similarly long tenures in the department, and Moseng created lasting friendships that extended beyond the workplace. “We celebrated the good times and got through the tough times together,” she said.

 

Moseng retired in June 2019 with plans to spend more time with her family, including four brothers, a daughter and a grandchild. She also looked forward to traveling, sleeping in and making spontaneous plans. “I’m ready to just enjoy life without having to come to work,” she said.

 

2019

Duane Lundgren 

Operator, Heywood
Posted by Christina McHenry | Thursday, June 06, 2019 11:18:00 AM

Duane Lundgren

In 1977, months after graduating from St. Paul’s Johnson High School, Duane Lundgren found himself traveling to and from the school again. This time, though, it was as a newly hired, 18-year-old school bus driver. The job wasn’t meant to be anything more than a way to make a little money while he pursued a career in TV or radio. But after attending vocational school, completing a broadcast program and briefly entertaining the idea of becoming a teacher, Lundgren remained at the wheel. He’d end up staying there for quite a while, too, spending 8 years as a school bus driver and trainer, and 34 years as a Metro Transit bus operator.

 

While it hadn’t been his initial plan, it wasn’t completely surprising that Lundgren would end up making a career as a bus operator, either. As a child, he was fascinated by large vehicles like semis and tractors. Growing up on St. Paul’s East Side, he often rode the bus downtown to spend his allowance on 88-cent records, thinking it might be neat to one day drive a bus. Practically speaking, being a bus operator offered better benefits, pay and stability than his other professional interests. “When I came here (to Metro Transit), it just seemed like a really natural fit,” Lundgren said.

 

Lundgren’s career in transit began in 1985 at what was then known as the Shingle Creek Garage. As a part-time bus operator, he worked during the morning rush hour and spent the rest of his day at the school bus company. After resigning from the school bus company, he started working during the afternoon rush hour. Lundgren became a full-time bus operator in 1988, briefly worked out of the old Snelling Garage and then arrived at Heywood, where he’d spend the remainder of his career. At Heywood, Lundgren spent more than a decade driving Route 3, and another decade driving what he and many of his customers believed to be the prettiest route in the system, Route 675, which runs between Mound and downtown Minneapolis (Route 675 later became Route 645). Lundgren said he enjoyed getting to know his passengers, being out in the community and overcoming daily challenges. “This is a challenging job, but I’m someone who likes to have my abilities and skills challenged, even if it gets a little frustrating at first,” he said.

 

Lundgren had plenty of skill, too, persevering through winter weather and much more to reach retirement with a perfect safe driving record. Patience and attitude, he said, were the keys to reaching that milestone. “I always told myself it wasn’t an option to have a chargeable accident,” he said. Lundgren regularly tested his skill in the annual Bus Roadeo, competing nearly every year that he worked at Metro Transit. He won several of the competitions and competed nationally four times.

 

For several years, Lundgren shared his expertise with new operators as an instructor. He was also among the first group of operators who mentored new hires through a program introduced in 2018. “You get a good feeling from teaching people and watching them wrap their heads around the things you’re telling them,” Lundgren said. Lundgren was also proud of a change he helped initiate in a union contract. Motivated by his own personal experience, the change allowed medically disqualified employees to retain their seniority when they were allowed to return to their job. 

 

While his attention turned away from broadcasting, Lundgren still found opportunities to use his voice. Customers often complimented him on the way he announced streets and points of interest, and he once narrated a Metro Transit training video. In retirement, Lundgren hoped to get more voiceover work and to explore theatre. He also looked forward to spending more time with family and friends, traveling and devoting more time to his biggest hobby, dancing and being a dance instructor. Still, he said he’d miss the work that had come to define more than three decades of his life. “I’d go on three-week vacations and never dread coming back to work, clenching my teeth,” he said. “It always felt good to be here.”

2019

Lois Johnson 

Senior Account Specialist
Posted by Christina McHenry | Tuesday, May 21, 2019 9:24:00 AM

Lois Johnson

When an employment agency sent Lois Johnson to what was then known as the Metropolitan Transit Commission, she was first handed the exam given to potential bus operators. "I said, 'No, no, no -- wrong position," Johnson recalled. With a background in accounting, she instead had her sights set on working in finance. Once she was given the right test, she passed, got a same-day interview with the finance director and was hired on the spot. And so began a 43-year career that concluded when Johnson retired from Metro Transit in 2019.

Growing up, Johnson's family lived in Montana, North Dakota and several small Minnesota towns. Even in her early years, she said, she had an affinity for numbers and bookkeeping. While her husband attended college in Winona, Minn., she worked in accounting for a music publishing company. She found herself looking for a new job when her husband graduated and the newly married couple decided to move to the Twin Cities. Johnson hadn't set her sights on a job in transit, but the good benefits and the chance to continue her career in finance led her to take the job.

Initially, Johnson was tasked with cashing employees' personal checks and selling tokens and punch cards directly to customers who visited MTC's main office, then located at Nicollet Garage. Before long, though, she found herself eager to take on new challenges. Using a calculator and a loud bookkeeping machine, she started paying bills and was put in charge of overseeing petty cash and employee uniform allowance accounts. When light rail service began, Johnson also started to staff the ticket booth, selling fares to customers attending games and other special events. "It was completely different than my regular job but it was really nice being able to help people," she said.

While she might not have expected to make a 43-year career in transit, Johnson said she stayed because she appreciated the job security, the benefits and the chance to work alongside several people who would come to be close friends. "I found my best friends here at work," she said. "How often does that happen?"

Johnson retired in May 2019 with plans to tackle several house projects and to travel the country with her husband. 

2019

Glenn Murschel 

Dispatcher, Heywood
Posted by Christina McHenry | Tuesday, May 21, 2019 9:23:00 AM

Glenn Murschel

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.

2019

Mark Aszmann 

Mechanic Technician
Posted by Christina McHenry | Friday, May 03, 2019 3:16:00 PM

Mark Aszmann

Mark Aszmann’s father started showing him to work on cars when he was just 12 years old. So when it came time to pick a career path, diesel mechanics was a natural choice. He attended vocational school and picked up jobs maintaining semis and school buses. When an opportunity to make a little more money came up at what was then known as the Metropolitan Transit Commission, he applied and took what would become his third and final job. 

Aszmann’s career in transit began in 1980, when he started as a cleaner at what was then known as the Shingle Creek Garage. While he could have graduated to other positions, he liked his short commute and was content cleaning, fueling and positioning buses at Shingle Creek for around a decade. “As a technician, sometimes you break your skin,” he said. “You don’t do that cleaning buses.” Aszmann eventually decided to take the next step in his career, though, moving to the old Snelling Garage where he worked in the unit overhaul and brake shops. Aszmann also spent about a decade as a mechanic technician at the Heywood Garage.

As Metro Transit prepared to open its first light rail line, Aszmann saw another chance to start a new chapter and transferred to Facilities Maintenance. As a facilities technician, Aszmann spent a lot of time at station platforms clearing snow, fixing heaters and lights and performing other maintenance activities. When the work started to become repetitive, he moved back to Bus Maintenance, where he finished out his career. At the Overhaul Base, Aszmann worked on the component’s desk, repairing doors, wheelchair lifts and other parts, and in the electric shop, where he worked on starters, alternators and air conditioner condensers.

Aszmann retired in May 2019, just a few weeks shy of his 39-year work anniversary. In retirement, he planned to spend time traveling the country with his wife and a fifth wheel trailer. At the time of his retirement, his son, Mark Aszmann, Jr., was an electro mechanic technician at Metro Transit.

2019

Alan Anderson 

Facilities Technician
Posted by Christina McHenry | Thursday, May 02, 2019 2:55:00 PM

Alan Anderson

Following his father’s lead, Alan Anderson started working on cars when he was a young teenager. He regularly rode the bus from his home in Columbia Heights to his first job, at Burger King. And a brother-in-law and uncle both worked for what was then known as the Metropolitan Transit Commission. So it wasn’t at all surprising that, looking for work between jobs, Anderson found himself applying for a job in Bus Maintenance. He landed the job and would spend the next 39 years working at Metro Transit. “I was probably destined to do that kind of work,” Anderson said as he reflected on his career shortly before retirement.

 

In August, 1980, Anderson began his career the same way other aspiring technicians at the time did – as a cleaner. It wasn’t long before he’d worked his way up to a technician role at the old Snelling Garage, though. Anderson spent around 15 years at Snelling, primarily working the overnight shift. While Snelling became familiar territory, Anderson spent time at every garage except for Nicollet. One of his more enduring roles was as an engine builder at the Overhaul Base. For seven years, he was part of a small team that tore down and rebuilt engines there. “I bounced around a lot, but I generally found that I liked all the jobs I had and could set things up to work for me,” Anderson said.

 

Anderson’s do-it-yourself father also introduced him to construction at an early age, providing valuable experience that would help him in the second phase of his career. Anderson spent the last seven years of his career in Public Facilities, where he never quite knew what the day would bring. That variety, he said, kept the job interesting, even when it meant being outside in some of Minnesota’s coldest weather. “The weather never really bothered me, even when it was 20 below,” he said. “You just have to dress for it.”

 

Anderson retired in May 2019 with plans to spend more time boating, fishing and traveling the country in an RV with his wife. He also looked forward to putting a lot more miles on his motorcycle, meeting people while exploring out-of-the way towns, and spending more time with family. At the time of his retirement, Anderson had three children and was soon to have six grandchildren.

2019

Edgard Alvarez 

Facilities Technician
Posted by Christina McHenry | Thursday, May 02, 2019 2:54:00 PM

Edgard Alvarez

After a few weeks sweeping buses at the old Northside Garage, Edgard Alvarez wasn’t sure he wanted to keep coming back. “I didn’t know I had to be a cleaner first,” he said. “I thought, ‘I went to school to be a mechanic, not to sweep buses.’” Alvarez stuck it out, though, ultimately making a 39-year career in bus and facilities maintenance.

Originally from Guatemala, Alvarez’s family moved to California and then to the Twin Cities. After graduating from South High School, Alvarez thought he’d become a Spanish teacher. But he found that he preferred working with his hands, picked up a few auto maintenance books and enrolled in vocational school. His first jobs were at Sears, JC Penny and Toro, where he worked on golf equipment. When a neighbor who worked as a bus operator suggested he apply for a job at Metro Transit, Alvarez took the advice. The first time he got a call back, he was out of town and missed his chance to get an interview. It would be another year before he got another call. This time, he answered, interviewed and got the job.

While sweeping buses wasn’t ideal work, Alvarez realized it would only be a matter of time before he could become a technician. And that’s what happened. After two years working as a cleaner, helper and skilled helper, Alvarez earned a technician role. He worked at nearly every garage, but spent more than 20 years at South where he performed inspections, did lift work and maintained air conditioning systems, among other duties. Alvarez said he liked working at South because it was just a few miles from his home and he could commute by bike. Alvarez also spent many years working the overnight shift so he could spend time with his three children, each avid hockey players. “I hardly ever missed their practices and probably saw 98% of their games,” Alvarez said.

When Alvarez learned about an upcoming opportunity in Facilities Maintenance, he set out on a new course. He began commuting by bus so he could use the time to study for a test he’d need to pass to earn a boiler’s license. He passed that test and, after 33 years in Bus Maintenance, got the job. Alvarez spent the remainder of his career in Facilities Maintenance. As a facilities technician, Alvarez, installed and repaired waiting shelters, came in early to clear snow, helped locate utilities and did a variety of other tasks. He liked the work, he said, because there was a lot of variety and he could spend most of his day outside. “When I’d go back into a garage to get something, I’d realize I had it pretty good because I was out and about doing things,” Alvarez said. “It was a really neat job.”

Alvarez retired in May 2019 with plans to spend more time with family, traveling, biking and playing hockey (after years of watching from the bleachers, he joined an adult league and began playing goalie). At the time of his retirement, Alvarez had been married to his wife Mirtha for 34 years, who he described as a very supportive partner. In 2019, Alvarez’s son was also working as a public facilities worker and his brother, Melvin, was working as a cleaner at South Garage.

2019

Mark Tobin-Cortez 

Mechanic Technician
Posted by Christina McHenry | Tuesday, April 16, 2019 4:35:00 PM

Mark Tobin cortez

Mark Tobin-Cortez thought he’d join the service. But after being diagnosed with flat feet, he had to rethink that plan. His father, a 23-year bus operator, encouraged him to apply at what was then known as the Metropolitan Transit Commission. Tobin-Cortez liked the idea but didn’t think he had the kind of experience he’d need to pursue a career in bus maintenance. After taking a class in which he helped rebuild a firetruck engine, he applied and got the job. Hired in 1976, Tobin-Cortez ultimately spent more than 43 years at Metro Transit. 

Tobin-Cortez’s first stop was at the old Northside Garage, where he worked overnight cleaning buses. “I was told I’d be working 9 to 5, which I thought was gravy,” Tobin-Cortez said. “Then I learned it would be 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.” After stints as a fueler and vault puller, Tobin-Cortez graduated to roles as a skilled helper and technician. At the old Snelling Garage, he steam cleaned engines, built mirrors, glued seat covers together in the upholstery shop, went on service calls and did a variety of other jobs. He also spent a few years as a miscellaneous bus operator, getting behind the wheel before or after putting his time in at the garage. That experience, he said, gave him a better appreciation for the issues operators reported to bus maintenance. “They’d tell us the bus just died and we couldn’t believe it,” he said. “Then it happened to me.”

Tobin-Cortez was among the first employees to work at the Overhaul Base when it opened, spending 12 years in the brake shop there. He was also among the first technicians to work at East Metro Garage, where he spent more than a decade inspecting buses. “I got tired of going on service calls and thinking we could prevent some of these issues if we just did a better job with inspections,” he said. Toward the end of his career, Tobin-Cortez moved from St. Paul, his hometown, to Brooklyn Center. To avoid a long commuter, he transferred to the Ruter Garage where he spent his last two years as a general technician.

Tobin-Cortez retired in April 2019. In retirement, he looked forward to having more time with his two dogs, fostering animals and creating marionettes and hand puppets, a longtime hobby.

2019

Ralph Mason 

Cleaner, Nicollet Garage
Posted by Christina McHenry | Monday, March 25, 2019 2:16:00 PM

Ralph Mason

Ralph Mason spent more than a decade cleaning passenger and freight trains that stopped in St. Paul. When he was unexpectedly let go, Mason quickly set out to find a new line of work and spotted a newspaper ad about vault puller openings at Metro Transit. Despite thinking he faced long odds, he applied and was hired. Mason never had to look for another job again, retiring in early 2019 with just over 30 years of service.

As a vault puller, Mason emptied cash- and coin-filled fareboxes as they came into the garage. A year after taking the job, a cleaner opening came up at Nicollet Garage and Mason seized the opportunity to try something new. The move would end up being his last – Mason spent more than 28 of his 30 years at Metro Transit as a cleaner at the south Minneapolis garage. From the start, Mason took pride in his work, carefully cleaning the seats, floors and other areas of buses so customers could feel comfortable riding. His attention to detail was matched by an equally keen sense of the individual needs of each bus. Mason was individually responsible for up to a third of the garage’s 150 buses at a time. “The buses almost became like a little family,” Mason said. “What I always said was that if you take care of your buses, your buses will take care of you.”

While the job may have seemed repetitive, Mason said he enjoyed his work routine. “People would ask, ‘Don’t you get tired of it?’” Mason said. “And honestly, I don’t. If you’re comfortable with something why not stay with it.” That doesn’t mean he was complacent, though. Born in St. Paul and raised in North Minneapolis, Mason said he was proud to be a public servant. He also credited his longevity to having good managers and co-workers who supported and looked out for one another. Mason especially admired Sy Sharp, Nicollet’s longtime bus maintenance manager who retired with more than 50 years of service. “All my life I’ve been into sports, which are all about teamwork,” Mason said. “And that’s what we had here – a strong team.”

Mason retired in March 2019 with plans to take some long-overdue vacations and to spend more time with family, including a son and two daughters. “I’ve really been tethered to this job but it’s all been worth it,” he said. “Whenever I get the chance, I tell new people this is a great place to be, and a great time to be here."

2019

Bob Benson 

Garage Coordinator
Posted by Christina McHenry | Monday, March 25, 2019 2:07:00 PM

Bob Benson

Born and raised on St. Paul’s East Side, Bob Benson joined the Navy, returned to his hometown and started a job proofing, baking and wrapping at Taystee Bread’s manufacturing plant. At the suggestion of a friend, he traded that job for one as a bus operator. While he wasn’t convinced he had the right personality for the job, Benson grew to love the work – so much so, in fact, that he built a 43-year career in transit.

Benson’s career began in 1976 at the old Snelling Garage, where he found himself driving some of the same routes he used to travel on growing up. Shy at first, Benson gradually started to open up to regular customers, a group of whom once invited him to a holiday party. “I was really awed by the whole aspect,” Benson said of his early days as an operator. “It really helped me learn how to talk to people and get away from my shyness.”

After five years at old Snelling, Benson was drawn to Bloomington’s South Garage, where he could get better hours. The move put him in unfamiliar territory, but it didn’t take long for Benson to learn his way around. “Minneapolis wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be,” he said. While he got more comfortable on the road, Benson also enjoyed a growing sense of community at South Garage, where he spent 38 of his 43 working years. “It really became more of a family,” he said. In addition to friendships, it was at South that Benson met an operator who would later become his wife. (The relationship began when that operator, Lisa Benson, began rearranging the thumbtacks on Bob Benson’s carefully color-coordinated bulletin board.)  

As Benson’s confidence grew, so too did his ambition. In 1987, he became a relief instructor and began sharing some of the lessons he learned with newly hired operators. Benson also started filling in as garage coordinator, and in late 1994 took on that role full-time. As coordinator, Benson organized operator training, created standard protocols and served as a resource for operators, maintenance staff and service planners. He also made a point of passing the familial feeling he enjoyed onto new operators, learning their names and leaving his office door open so people could come to him with questions or to seek advice. “I always wanted to be the light in the dark hallway,” he said. “Once I could see that I could make improvements and help people, I knew this was the job for me.”

His responsibilities as coordinator grew over time, too. Benson was involved in large projects like the opening of the Marq2 corridor, the I-35W & 46th Street Station and Metro Transit’s first Bus Rapid Transit service, the A Line. He also experienced two World Series, two Super Bowls and 43 Minnesota State Fairs. Throughout it all, he continued to drive when other operators weren’t available. “It got to the point where there wasn’t enough time in the day to get everything done,” Benson said. “Being able to get involved in all these things was really gratifying.” When he retired, Benson had the longest tenure as coordinator among those holding the same position.

Benson retired on March 22, 2019 – exactly 43 years after his first day on the job. In retirement, he planned to devote more time to community service, volunteering with the Minnesota Zoo and as an election judge, traveling and golfing. He also looked forward to spending more time with family, including his three children and four grandchildren. “I came here thinking of this as a transitional job,” Benson said. “I think I missed my departure date by about 40 years.”

Page 1 of 16 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 > >>

Skip footer navigation

CONTACT US
FOLLOW US ON: