Metro Transit Bus Operator John Waldo (right) poses with his wife after a marathon.
Lives: South St. Paul
Job: Bus Operator
Garage: East Metro
Years of Service: 10
How did you come to work at Metro Transit and what do you do?
Being a bus operator is a second career for me. While working as a medical coder, I had two kids. My wife and I decided that I would be a stay-at-home dad. After my kids reached a certain age, I decided to go back to work and gave bus operations a try. I started as a school bus driver for about three years, then I graduated to Metro Transit in 2013.
What are your favorite activities when you’re working or “On the Clock”?
I know why I do what I do: the people I serve. Many think this career is just about driving a bus, but when you provide a public service, it’s truly about the people. Lots of people walk around carry scars and wounds who just need to be shown a little kindness and gratitude – something different than what they might be used to. When they climb onboard my bus, it doesn’t take much to help brighten someone’s day and it helps make my day great. It’s free and easy to do, and it helps set the expectation of how we should act onboard transit.
What are your favorite activities when you’re not working or “Off the Clock”?
In 2016, my wife and I discovered a love of marathons. We joined a group called Team World Vision who raises money and runs in marathons. We had no idea what we were getting into at first, but we supported their cause of bringing clean water to Africa. Eight marathons later, we plan on doing more. My favorite was the Chicago Marathon, where we ran with over 40,000 people. Our goal isn’t to win but helping others inspires me to keep running, one step at a time.
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.