Mark Aszmann’s father started showing him to work on cars when he was just 12 years old. So when it came time to pick a career path, diesel mechanics was a natural choice. He attended vocational school and picked up jobs maintaining semis and school buses. When an opportunity to make a little more money came up at what was then known as the Metropolitan Transit Commission, he applied and took what would become his third and final job.
Aszmann’s career in transit began in 1980, when he started as a cleaner at what was then known as the Shingle Creek Garage. While he could have graduated to other positions, he liked his short commute and was content cleaning, fueling and positioning buses at Shingle Creek for around a decade. “As a technician, sometimes you break your skin,” he said. “You don’t do that cleaning buses.” Aszmann eventually decided to take the next step in his career, though, moving to the old Snelling Garage where he worked in the unit overhaul and brake shops. Aszmann also spent about a decade as a mechanic technician at the Heywood Garage.
As Metro Transit prepared to open its first light rail line, Aszmann saw another chance to start a new chapter and transferred to Facilities Maintenance. As a facilities technician, Aszmann spent a lot of time at station platforms clearing snow, fixing heaters and lights and performing other maintenance activities. When the work started to become repetitive, he moved back to Bus Maintenance, where he finished out his career. At the Overhaul Base, Aszmann worked on the component’s desk, repairing doors, wheelchair lifts and other parts, and in the electric shop, where he worked on starters, alternators and air conditioner condensers.
Aszmann retired in May 2019, just a few weeks shy of his 39-year work anniversary. In retirement, he planned to spend time traveling the country with his wife and a fifth wheel trailer. At the time of his retirement, his son, Mark Aszmann, Jr., was an electro mechanic technician at Metro Transit.