Thursday, July 31, 2014 9:55:00 AM
Assistant Manager, Rail Operations
When John McGuire began at Metro Transit in 1976, he drove one of the last Twin City Lines buses still in operation. More than 38 years later he closed his career by helping to open the region’s second light-rail line, the METRO Green Line. Having a hand in the expansion of services isn’t his proudest accomplishment, though. Instead, it’s playing a role in the hiring of so many great employees, he said. McGuire helped hire several rail supervisors and said it is a “privilege to say I was a part of the group that was able to offer employment to folks who were thrilled to come and work here.” McGuire knows the feeling, too. A Robbinsdale native, he was managing a convenience store when his wife urged him to become a operator because of the good wages. He applied during a hiring freeze and waited several weeks before hearing back. His first day on the job was March 22, 1976, at the old Northside Garage. He drove Route 14, passing his own home and transporting many friends and neighbors. McGuire transferred to Heywood Garage when it opened in 1984 and was among the first operators to work with Project Mobility. That experience was also among the most rewarding parts of his career. In 2003, McGuire joined the first class of rail operators hired for the Hiawatha LRT (now the Blue Line). While he drove test trains, McGuire became a supervisor before the line opened and never operated an in-service train. In his time at light-rail, McGuire saw one-car consists become three-car consists and the fleet expand to nearly 60 vehicles. He was also a part of the Operations and Maintenance Facility expansion, light-rail platform extensions and the track extension to Target Field. In his final six years of his career, McGuire worked as an assistant manager and played an active role in the construction, testing and opening of the Green Line. In retirement, McGuire plans to spend more time with his family and move to his cabin in northern Minnesota.