Fellow bus drivers often wonder whether Adeyinka Adesida ever has a bad day. Spend a half hour with him and it’s easy to see why.
The Nigerian-born operator laughs heartily as he recounts his path from Africa to the Twin Cities, where he has spent the last 16 years driving buses. Though he speaks candidly about the job’s challenges, he is resolute in his belief that the difficulties are easily forgotten and overshadowed by the positivity he encounters on the road every day.
“The key is greeting everyone with a smile,” he said. “If you can do that, it helps everyone relax a little bit.”
Adesida has been making plenty of people smile since joining Metro Transit in 2007, winning three Outstanding Operator awards and several customer commendations. Before joining Metro Transit, Adesida spent nine years as a driver and instructor for First Transit, which operates school buses and some contracted suburban transit routes.
The experience has helped Adesida understand how to interact with customers and get them to their destinations safely. But he says his positive demeanor is just as important to his ability to stay focused on the road.
“On this job, you need 100 percent concentration because you’re doing a lot of different things,” said Adesida, who has earned six consecutive Safe Operator awards.
Adesida moved to the Twin Cities in 1998, following his parents and siblings as they pursued work in America. After spending time in New York, he moved to the Twin Cities at the suggestion of a friend. Adesida said he saw driving a bus as a good opportunity as well as a chance to interact with people and see the community.
As an extraboard driver who picks up routes as needed, Adesida has seen just about everything, too.
In his seven years at Metro Transit, Adesida believes he’s driven just about every route that runs out of South Garage, including express routes on Interstate 35W and urban local routes like the 4 and 5. To deal with his ever-changing work, Adesida reads what he refers to as the Bible of route schedules during his downtime.
“Once you know how to read a map, you’ve conquered 50 percent of the problem,” he said. “Besides, I like to make my life eventful every day.”
A father of three, Adesida hopes to continue driving and brightening customers’ days. His advice for those who want to be equally successful behind the wheel is simple: adopt a positive attitude.
“Everyone goes through challenges, but if you want to be successful in this job you have to put your problems away,” he said. “You have to have a clear mind and think that, even if you can make just one person on the bus happy, that’s enough.”
Operator at a Glance
Name: Adeyinka Adesida
Hired: Oct. 1, 2007
Employee Number: 67361
Routes: As an extraboard driver, Adesida is assigned to routes as needed. He believes he’s driven just about every route that operates out of South Garage, where he is based.
Awards: Outstanding Operator (2009, 2011, 2012), 6-year safe operator
Hobbies: Outside of work, Adesida loves to travel with his family. Aside from trips to his birthplace, Nigeria, Adesida has enjoyed trips to Disneyworld, the Wisconsin Dells and Las Vegas.
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