MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Metro Transit Bus Driver Tony Taylor is retiring after 36 year of service. Taylor started driving in 1978, and has driven virtually every route Metro Transit operates.
Kylie Bearse was with him on one his final routes as well as a few surprises.
“You just take it day by day, minute by minute, you wake up and it’s 36 years,” Taylor said.
There aren’t many surprises left when you’ve been driving 36 years, but at 11:48 a.m. on Wednesday when Taylor rolled up to Minnehaha and Lake Street for one of his last routes, he had one more.
“I saw people at the bus stop and I thought ‘What are they doing?'” Taylor said. “Then I started recognizing faces.”
Those familiar faces were co-workers, past and present. But always the pro, Tony keeps on driving.
“It really doesn’t seem like 36 years,” Taylor said. “It went by kind of fast.”
Thirty-six years, nearly one million miles and 62 awards later, Taylor has a few memories to share. Like driving Minnesota Twins fans after the 1987 World Series.
“It was wild,” Taylor said. “People were hanging out windows, intoxicated, blowing their horns.”
He also spent the Halloween Blizzard of 1991 navigating passengers home.
“That was a nightmare,” Taylor said. “Cars everywhere sliding around.”
But for Tony, it’s about the passengers who step on board each day.
“You bet I’m going miss him,” Annie South said. “He’s one of the reasons I ride the bus, or this bus. I could take the rail but I enjoy his company.”
“I love Tony,” Abdul Abi said. “Tony is a guy who always respects people.”
Taylor said he hopes to travel and visit the Westminster Dog Show. He’s got a bucket list all ready to go and a “Honey Do” list from his wife.
In 2014, 37 employees with more than 30 years of experience at Metro Transit retired.