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Rider's Almanac Blog

On Off The Clock

On/Off the Clock: Antonio Taylor, bus operator

Posted by John Komarek | Friday, June 10, 2022 11:28:00 AM

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 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 great retirement package. So, I applied and became a bus operator in 1998. I was an extra board 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 extra board because I enjoy it. Then in 2016, I became a relief instructor. It was a good fit due to my volunteer coaching background – I was talked into it by a few supervisors. Wished 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 the keys 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 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 grow confidence and stay out of trouble. And we did well, in 2002 we were state champions, in 2003 we won Nationals 2003, 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. As all drivers get a nickname after completing training, and mine was Iceman. So, 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. He taught me remotely over the internet. After a few months of learning, I got my first gig in late 2015 for a wedding. In 2018, I started getting lots and lots of gigs. I was even hired by coworkers for a Christmas party in 2016. I never thought I would be this big It was a hobby that turned into a side hustle, which is now a legitimate business. I got a lot out of it and worked hard outside of work hours. Today, I’ll be DJ’ing for the Metro Transit Bus Roadeo.

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.