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A person. A photo. A story.
THIS WEEK: Andrew on Being a Bus Operator

“I like the sun in my face, that’s why I am a bus operator. I don’t know how them people operate the Metro and spend their days underground. I come down here sometimes, like today, when it is too cold to wait at the bus stop for my shift to start. Otherwise, I like to be out on the street. On a bus, I get to see the whole city and I can tell you what the weather is like without listening to the news!

“For me, May 27th will be 21 years of driving a bus. I used to work for a construction company as a cement mixer driver. I liked the job, but wanted a change. I saw that they were hiring here, so I applied. I didn’t think that the driving would be much different. Driving is driving, right? Well, they are quite different. In a truck, you sit on top of the wheels. On a bus, the wheels are behind you. That can make a big difference.

“The other big thing is that you have people on a bus! Metro’s number one thing is safety and I can appreciate that. If my mother, sister, or father were on the bus, I would want it to be safe, too. I do my part to keep things safe, and like having people around me. My customers help me deal with all of the traffic. If people don’t know, this city is known for its traffic. Man, it must be number one in the country the way I see it. And, I tell you, it can be frustrating to sit in traffic all day. When things get bad, I like to interact with my customers. It helps me stay sane.

“In my 21 years, I have driven all over this city and Virginia. If I had to pick a favorite line, I would say the 42. It is a hard line because so many people ride it, but that is the name of the game for buses, I guess. That bus lets me see so many great neighborhoods, and I get to pick up a little Spanish here and there. That’s a pretty good perk to any job.”

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“Danny Harris is a DC-based photographer and collector of stories. In September, he launched People’s District, a blog that tells a people’s history of DC by sharing the stories and images of its residents. Every day, People’s District presents a different Washingtonian sharing his or her insights on everything from Go Go music to homelessness to fashion to politics. Every Thursday he’ll share a favorite story with us”

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