Better late than never.
More than twelve years after a chance mention, David Williams took the advice to apply to Metro Transit.
It was a man installing carpet at his parent’s house who told an 18-year-old Williams about Metro Transit.
“I heard him but didn’t give it another thought until I was 30-years-old,” Williams said. “Looking back, I wish I would have applied a lot earlier than I did.”
It was after receiving the news that the company he worked as a baker was downsizing that he remembered that conversation.
“I’m glad I remembered it and applied,” Williams said. “It’s a great job with lots of opportunity.”
Throughout the years, he found the interactions he had with riders to be the most rewarding, and they did, too.
“I remember one rider telling me that she wasn’t going to take this route anymore because I was moving to another route,” Williams said. “It’s interactions like that which make you truly enjoy your job.”
He credits those interactions for helping maintain a good atmosphere on the bus.
“If someone is giving you a hard time, your riders will stand up for you,” Williams said.
Compared to when he started in the early 90s, Williams thinks it’s a good time to apply to be a bus operator. When he started, it took him two years to move from part- to full-time. Today, it’s possible to go full-time in six months.
“Time goes by fast,” Williams said. “And with it more seniority.”
After 29-years of service and counting, he’s starting to think about retirement. It won’t be for a few years, but the thought reminds him that one day he won’t be behind the wheel.
“It will be odd not being in a bus anymore. It’s been my mobile office,” Williams said. “I’m comfortable here.”
Operator at a Glance
Name: David Williams
Hired: March 1990
Routes: 14, 61
Hobbies: On special occasions, he returns to an old passion: baking. He baked the cakes for his daughters’ weddings.
Family: Wife, four kids, and four grandchildren.
Lives: Brooklyn Park
Best Advice: “Make eye contact with your riders and always say hello.”
If you like working with people and want to make a difference in your community, come help us run our growing transit system! Learn more about what it takes to become a bus operator at metrotransit.org/drive.