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Rider's Almanac Blog

On Off The Clock

On/Off the Clock: Antonio Taylor

Posted by John Komarek | Wednesday, June 22, 2022 1:05:00 PM

Lives: St. Paul
Job: Bus Operator, Relief Instructor
Years of Service: 25

How did you come to work at Metro Transit and what do you do?

During the 90s, I was working for the rental car industry and as a part-time limo driver. An older driver at the limo company also worked part-time at Metro Transit. He told me as a young man starting a family that I should go to transit because it has great benefits and a great retirement package. So, I applied and became a bus operator in 1998. I was an extraboard driver for about 8 years and loved it. Then, due to my family schedule, I needed to pick a fixed schedule. Now that they’re older, I went back to extraboard because I enjoy it. In 2016, encouraged by a few supervisors, I became a relief instructor. It was a good fit due to my volunteer coaching background and I wish I would have done it earlier.

What are your favorite activities when you’re working or “On the Clock”?

I love my role as a relief instructor. I especially enjoy teaching Safety Keys – it’s essential to being a bus operator. I teach twice a week, every other week about how to safely drive the bus. It’s the first dedicated method to teaching collision avoidance and a certification every operator needs to retest for every three years. I especially love working with new drivers. They get the most out of what I’m teaching. If you do a good job and come in everyday, people will notice. You’ll get recognized. Come to work with a smile and you’ll have a much better day. I’ve never had a bad day at this job. It’s done a lot of good things for me and family.

What are your favorite activities when you’re not working or “Off the Clock”?

I started a program called the Inner-City Educational Mentoring (ICEMEN) program in 2001. It was a traveling basketball program my wife and I ran to help kids build confidence and stay out of trouble. And we did well -- in 2002 we were state champions, in 2003 we won nationals, and we placed as a runner-up in 2004. Sadly, the program went bankrupt and couldn’t get the help in 2008. I still coach for other basketball teams today.

That program name is still with me today. When I started DJ’ing in 2014, I took on the name DJ Iceman. I started it as a hobby after asking an old friend to teach me. After a few months, I got my first wedding gig in late-2015. In 2018, I started getting lots of gigs. It was a hobby that turned into a side hustle, which is now a legitimate business. I got a lot out of it and work hard outside of work hours. But I always remember that Metro Transit is my bread and butter, so I take care of that first. It allows me to pursue my passions.

Join us at the 2022 Bus Roadeo

DJ Iceman is one of several people who will perform or support the Bus Roadeo on Saturday, June 25. In addition to the finalist competition, the event will include live music, food and a chance to check out a vintage bus. Job seekers are encouraged to come at any time for an interview, and an awards ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. The event is being held in Bloomington, in the parking lot east of the Mall of America (view map).