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Andre Williams is at Metro Transit to help people. “I’ve gone through some things,” Williams said. “Why not share what I’ve learned?”
Over the course of his young adult life, he’s learned to work through tragedy. As a 13-year-old in Memphis, Tennessee, he was in a car accident that took the lives of his father and his two sisters.
Today, he tries to help anyone onboard his bus experiencing any issue, small or large.
“It’s more than just getting people from point A to point B,” he said. “Every day, I pick up a person who might need a little encouragement.”
Recently, a distressed customer felt that they had nowhere to go and that no one loved them. A few kind words made all the difference. “By the end of our conversation, I could see something lift off of them,” Williams said.
Being a bus operator is very different from his previous 20-year career working overnight at a semiconductor company. The 12-hour shifts were process and not people-oriented. “When I started my career with transit, my daughters were shocked,” he said. “They told me that I never talk.”
After 7 years of service, he says he’s found a new family at Nicollet Garage and plans to retire here. “It’s a great job where I can punch in and punch out then spend time with my friends and family,” Williams said.
Operator at a Glance
Routes: Serves various routes as an extra-board operator
Family: Two daughters
Hobbies: Biking from Minneapolis to St. Paul and snowboarding
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 bus pass. And, as many Metro Transit managers start their careers as operators, there’s also room for growth.