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 The wheels on the bus go round and round

For regular commuters who rely on the services of Winnipeg Transit to bring them to their destinations, the transit driver is not only a necessity but also a dependable friend. This is especially true these days when the weather has become so intolerably cold. Standing at the bus stop as the icy wind batters our faces, the sight of a coming bus gives us the greatest joy. Come rain or shine, flood or blizzard, we count on them to get us to where we’re going, safely and on time.

In this issue of the Pilipino Express, we are very pleased and proud to feature the Filipinos who work on the buses of the Winnipeg Transit. During the holiday season they got together and realized that they were no longer a small minority but a significantly growing group of Pinoys working to serve the people of Winnipeg.

I had the privilege of speaking to some of them. I asked them about their job, here are some of their responses.

During my daily trips transporting passengers from work to their homes, I know that as long as I drive them safe and sound without any incident, it’s fulfilling enough for me. A smile from them or hearing them thanking us (drivers) makes my day complete…” said transit driver Harold Santiago. He has been on the job 19 months of his three and a half years in Canada.

Jaykris Montemayor, a transit driver who has been on the job for the same length of time as Harold, said that, “The experience of driving a bus is a unique challenge for someone like me who never even considered the idea of being a bus driver as a career option. I have to admit that it took a lot of work and patience… but it gets better and easier with the help of fellow drivers and mentors.”

Rec Basuan, who has been with Winnipeg Transit for two and a half years and is a relatively new immigrant, like Harold and Jaykris, said, “I love public service. I love driving… I know we provide good public service and we keep our passengers safe on every trip, especially during winter time. It’s hard to drive a bus during winter season.”

Jon Sta. Rita, who immigrated in the late 1980s to Canada and has been driving a Winnipeg Transit bus for almost 7 and half years, said, “It has its ups and downs like any other job, but with the flexible hours that are available to us, the options of us either working days or nights, the benefits that are offered, the salaries, and working for the city of Winnipeg…its great!”

It’s not a job for everybody, but as long as I have the passion for driving and the will to cope with the different circumstances that could occur on any given day… it’s a great job,” added Jon.

Those are their exact words. Would you be interested in doing the same? You can call our kababayans and ask them about it. Tell them you saw their picture and read about them in the Pilipino Express. Call: Harold, 293-7128 or Rec, 254-4092.

E-mail Emmie at