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Rider's Almanac Blog

Know Your Operator

Know your operator: Michael Schmidt, South Garage

Posted by John Komarek | Thursday, November 18, 2021 9:43:00 AM

As Michael Schmidt approaches his 8-year work anniversary, he remembers what he did to start his career at Metro Transit.

“It took ten years of applying before I finally made it,” Schmidt said.

During that decade, he discovered that what was disqualifying him was that he hadn’t completed his high school diploma. While working two jobs and raising his family, he earned his diploma and re-applied. He became a bus operator in 2013.

“I was so excited to come here when I was accepted,” he said.

Two years later, he became one of the first operators to be assigned to the METRO A Line.

“I enjoy not having to worry about the farebox. It allows me to focus on driving and helping people,” he said. “Helping people is a reason why I became an instructor.”

Today, he’s teaching operators how to provide service on another BRT service, the METRO Orange Line. He’s thankful for the opportunity to work at transit, with good pay and benefits that have helped him purchase his first home and support his family.

“It’s a great place to start a career, you just have to put in the time,” Schmidt said.

Operator at a Glance

Hired: 2013
Garage: South
Family: Wife, three kids, and two grandchildren
Lives: Farmington
Best advice: “Put in the time.”

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