March 17, 2016

Thank Your Favorite Metro Operator Tomorrow

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Transit Driver Appreciation Day is tomorrow, March 18, so don’t forget to say “thank you” to your hardworking Metro operator. He or she will really appreciate it. Plus, you can post your “thank you on Twitter by tagging @STLMetro and using the hashtag #tdad. Why not post it on Facebook as well? Remember, your simple “thank you” may make their day!

In advance of Transit Driver Appreciation Day, we thought you might enjoy hearing the stories of three of Metro’s finest operators so we asked them a few questions about their time with Metro, and what they like best about being a MetroBus, MetroLink or Metro Call‑A‑Ride operator.

Tamika Duncan – Metro Call‑A‑Ride Operator

How long have you worked for Metro?IMG_5197

It’ll be three years in June. I’ve always been with Metro Call‑A‑Ride.

Why did you decide to join Metro?

I actually needed a ride one day – my car had broken down – and I ended up relying on Metro to get me where I needed to go. I was grateful for Metro during that time of need, and I decided I wanted to lend a helping hand to others who would experience a similar situation.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The holidays — when you get the chance to transport passengers to their families for the holidays. Many passengers don’t have a way to get to their families around the holidays, but with Call‑A‑Ride we allow them to spend time with their families. One of the best parts of my job is when passengers leave after visiting their families. Everybody is outside, seeing them off, waving at them as I am loading them on.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Talking. Honestly, I like talking to different people, from different walks of life. There are so many different people out there. I sometimes find myself being more of a counselor than a driver. I also like driving passengers to the mall, Walmart or shopping – period. They love to shop.

Darrell Kinnel – MetroBus Operator  

IMG_5180How long have you worked for Metro?

In May, it will be 22 years. Before joining MetroBus, I worked 17 years as a Metro Call‑A‑Ride van operator. I’ve worked at the Brentwood Garage, but also worked in the training department as well.

Why did you decide to join Metro?

I used to ride Metro when I was younger, and I always thought Metro would be a good company to work for. Initially, I applied as a surveyor for MetroLink, but all those positions were filled. Luckily, they had driving positions available.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The opportunity to serve people. For some people, public transportation allows them to have independence, especially for the elderly and disabled. You’re helping them gain their independence.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The chance to interact with people. I’m more of a people person, so I like the interaction. You get excited every time you switch routes because you know you’re ready to meet a new group of people. Sure, it’s kind of sad when you leave a route too, but you’re always creating relationships.

Mike Schaefer – MetroLink Operator

IMG_5217How long have you worked for Metro?

I have worked for Metro for 40 years. I started out as a bus driver for 32 years, first at the DeBaliviere Garage and ending up at the Brentwood Garage. It was my wife’s idea (she’s a retired MetroLink operator) to come over to MetroLink. I had no intention of ever coming over, but she talked me into coming over here.

Why did you decide to join Metro?

Well, I was out of work and needed a job, somebody recommended I come work here. I don’t regret coming.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

It’s plain and simple, but trying to stay on schedule and getting people where they need to go. That’s basically what we do out here. Some days are easier than others.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Right now, I just like driving trains. I’ve always had a fascination with trains, and I never thought that I’d actually operate one. It’s remarkable how we keep all of these trains moving on time, even when there are problems. We manage to keep everything moving real smoothly. Even during large-scale events, I don’t mind operating the trains. I see it as a challenge.

We have some of the best transit operators in the country and we thank them for all they do every day to move the region forward safely.

Metro Lifestyle

3 thoughts on “Thank Your Favorite Metro Operator Tomorrow”

  1. Roshonda says:

    They are the best drivers

    1. Matthew Hibbard says:

      Agree Roshonda!

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