Two longtime Metro Transit employees were honored with awards from the Minnesota Public Transportation Association this week.
Tony Taylor, a 34-year Safe Operator based at Heywood Garage, was named the Minnesota Bus Operator of the Year, which recognizes operators for safety, customer service and leadership. Silas Sharp, who celebrates 50 years of service at Metro Transit in November, received the 2013 Distinguished Career Award, given to individuals who have significantly improved public transit in Minnesota.
Taylor and Sharp received their awards Monday at the 2013 Minnesota Public Transit Conference in St. Cloud.
Taylor joined Metro Transit in December 1978 and has worked at four different bus garages – Martin J. Ruter
, East Metro
and Heywood. As an “on call" operator, Taylor estimates he has logged more than 700,000 miles on more than 200 different routes.
"When you start out, you never imagine you're going to be here this long, but you just take it minute-by-minute, day-by-day" Taylor, 64, said after receiving the award.
Now approaching the end of his career, Taylor said receiving the award was a fulfilling moment that affirmed his years of service and the positive approach he takes when behind the wheel. "99 percent of the job is just keeping a good attitude," he said. "If you can't do that, it's out the door."
Sharp joined Metro Transit in 1963 and was originally based at the North Side Garage. After spending time at Snelling Garage and Overhaul Base he moved to Nicollet Garage, where he remains today.
In addition to the individual awards, Metro Transit shared a Management Innovation Award for the launch of the METRO Red Line - the state's first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line - with the Metropolitan Council, Minnesota Valley Transit Authority and Dakota County.
Past Metro Transit MPTA award winners include Jan Homan (Transit Professional of the Year, 2012), Bob Gibbons (Distinguished Career, 2011) and Sam Jacobs (Distinguished Career, 2009).
Metro Transit extends its congratulations to Tony, Sy and all of this year's MPTA award winners.
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> METRO Red Line
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> Star Tribune: Metro Transit worker is first to 50 years of service