Fifteen years ago, when Malika Kifal (Mah-lee-ka Key-fall) immigrated from Morocco to Minnesota, she relied on transit for daily life.
“I’ve been outside walking to a stop or waiting in the cold or rain for a bus,” Kifal said. “I know what it’s like to be a customer.”
After a few years as a school bus driver, her husband suggested applying at Metro Transit. She started part-time on weekends while driving a school bus. Two years later, she decided to go full-time.
“Driving a school bus is working paycheck-to-paycheck,” she said. “There are long breaks in the summer and during holidays when you don’t get paid.”
Kifal is grateful for the consistent work, good pay, and benefits Metro Transit provides. It not only helps her live a more stable financial life with her husband and two boys, but also affords her time to be with her family.
“I’ve found some people can complain a lot,” Kifal said. “I guess as an immigrant, I find myself being more grateful for opportunities.”
She plans to work at Metro Transit until retirement, serving customers who rely on transit as she once did.
“On local routes, there’s lots of interactions with customers who use transit to get groceries or have no other way to get around,” she said. “I truly enjoy helping those people.”
Operator at a Glance
Family: Husband and two boys
Lives: Oak Grove
Best advice: Treat others as you’d want to be treated.
Drivers start at more than $21 per hour – even during training – and receive outstanding benefits, including health care, annual salary increases, a pension plan, an unlimited-ride bus pass and a $1,000 hiring bonus. To learn more and apply, visit metrotransit.org/drive.