Bus worker is Metro's first to reach 50-year milestone


The Star Tribune has the story of Silas Sharp, who in 1963 was a soft-spoken shoe shiner who talked his way into a $2.57/hour job with Twin City Lines, a forerunner of Metro Transit.

Five decades later, Sharp is being honored as Metro's first 50-year employee. He's watched the agency change names three times and serve its 3 billionth customer, the Star Tribune notes. Sharp recalls the days when the agency used duct tape to keep broken doors closed and he has watched new generations of bus fleets come and go. But he remained.

“I never thought I’d be here a half-century,” Sharp told the Star Tribune. “It’s rewarding to me because I am contributing something to society. It’s been a very good experience. I would not change it for the world.”

Sharp currently oversees 50 mechanics and employees as the maintenance manager of the Nicollet Garage, and he makes no mention of retirement in the Star Tribune story, calling his colleagues his family.

In the video below, Sharp recalls the days of flooded dirt floors in maintenance garages, how he helped oversee dramatically increased bus reliability – and how he led a fight to get anti-freeze in buses.

Metro Transit, with nearly 2,800 employees, including just over 500 mechanics and cleaners, and about 1,450 bus drivers, recently honored several hundred of its long-serving employees.

Among the other standouts recognized by Metro this year is bus driver Jerry Olson, who was honored for 39 years of service without a traffic incident – a first for a Metro driver.

At 50 years, Sharp would likely top the longest-serving list at just about any agency or company, although it's not a record. Kimball, Minnesota, school bus driver Dean Mozena, this year marked his 55th year in the job.

And Thomas H. Merrick, a station superintendent at New York's MTA, retired earlier this year at age 91 after 65 years on the job.

Next Up

Anthony Edwards

Ant's rally not enough to save Timberwolves

Edwards' third-quarter explosion came too late in a loss to the Pelicans.

Rent, mortgage, house, key, door

Victims of property manager's sexual harassment to get $736,000

It's part of a consent decree announced by the Department of Justice Monday.

The Liffey Pub Facebook

St. Paul's Irish pub The Liffey reveals it won't reopen

The beloved pub has been closed since the start of the pandemic.

Proctor football

Proctor football investigation: Case goes to county attorney

The office will review the evidence and consider possible criminal charges.

kirsten mitchell screegrab

'I’m heading home!': CA reporter announces return to WCCO

Kirsten Mitchell interned at WCCO years ago. Now, she's coming back as a reporter.


As part of price gouging settlement, farm to donate 1M eggs to food nonprofits

The egg producer will donate more than 1 million eggs to nonprofits fighting hunger.

plane, Piper PA-32

Sheriff: Witnesses saw plane 'performing aerial maneuvers' before fatal crash

The single-engine aircraft went down in northern Wisconsin, killing a brother and sister.

Screen Shot 2021-10-25 at 8.51.02 AM

Community rallies around Minnetonka HS dancer battling brain tumor

A fundraiser raised more than $44,000 of its $60,000 goal in the first two days.

twin city gardens

In rare move, MDH takes control of Minneapolis nursing home

The temporary receivership is to ensure resident safety.

Sen Mark Koran crop

Lawmaker deletes post encouraging donations to family charged in Capitol riot

Sen. Mark Koran, in his Facebook post, described them as "a good family!"