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Rider's Almanac Blog

Know Your Operator

Know Your Operator: Newton Williams

Posted by John Komarek | Friday, October 28, 2022 8:00:00 AM

Not only did Newton Williams find a career that helps people at Metro Transit, he also found love.

“I was working at another transportation company at the time,” Williams said. “When some contracts ended, I applied here, and so did others I worked with.”

In 2007, he became a bus operator alongside a fellow coworker named Bettie Knazze. Not long after, Williams proposed to Knazze.

“It was after work near Heywood Garage,” Williams said. “I hid a ring in the glove box of my car and asked her to grab something for me.”

She said yes and for 9 years they worked together until Knazze-Williams could no longer continue due to health issues.

Throughout the years, they’ve taken their career seriously, especially when it comes to helping customers in need. Having experienced a medical issue together, they know the importance of responding quickly.

“We’ve helped customers experiencing medical issues like diabetic shocks or a mental health crisis,” he said.

This can include people considering suicide. Knazze-Williams once talked a customer down from jumping a bridge on her route. She kept up the relationship with this customer until she left transit. Then Williams stepped in and took the same route so he could keep talking to this customer.

“A bus operator’s job is more than just getting someone from point A to point B,” he said. “We help people.”

We’re hiring

Fast track your way to a new full-time career. No experience in bus operations is required and training is paid. Bus operators receive outstanding benefits like health care, annual salary increases, a pension plan, and an unlimited-ride transit pass. And, as many Metro Transit managers start their careers as operators, there's also room for growth. Learn more and apply