Best of the Boat: Best Bus Driver — George Morris
Steamboat Springs — George Morris says every shift behind the wheel of a Steamboat Springs Transit bus is an adventure. “The slow and quiet days are like a vacation,” says the town’s top bus driver, as voted in our Best of the Boat contest. “We get to see a lot, and we’re trained to see a lot.”
Like many of the city’s drivers, Morris, who started driving for the city in 2006, has a good sense of humor. And he uses it every day he’s behind the wheel while keeping passenger safety paramount. “I’ve always had fun in my jobs, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing them,” he says.
Morris found his way to Steamboat Springs much like his passengers getting off at one of his stops. On his way to work in oil fields in Sidney, Mont., he stopped to visit some friends in Greeley. That stop led to another in Steamboat, where he stayed.
You usually can find Morris behind the wheel of the city’s new hybrid bus on the Yellow Line. But like most other drivers, he drives multiple routes. “Every loop is an adventure.” he says.
If you’ve ever gotten on a bus at the Gondola Transit Center and jokingly been told you’re heading to Craig instead of your condo, Gary Campbell was your driver.
“If you’re on my bus, you get treated like you’re a member of my family,” Campbell says, adding that the occasional joke helps fulfill his daily mission of making sure riders have a safe and enjoyable journey.
Riders also are exposed to Campbell’s vast iPod library of 10,000 songs. Some days, his playlist is classical. On others, it includes operas and oldies dating back to the 1940s. “But I don’t play rap or hip hop,” Campbell says. “When I’m driving, I try to make it a good place to be and relax. Most people like the music I play.”
Campbell’s humor isn’t limited to the driver’s seat. He spends his lunch breaks at the transit center joking with the other veteran drivers. The former Chicago Bears linebacker says he started driving buses 12 years ago when was looking for something to do in the winter. Although he admits there are a lot of things you have to think about, it’s also the easiest job he’s had in his life — and far easier than sacking quarterbacks. “I’ve had a good journey and it just continues here,” he says. “This is as much fun as I had when I was younger.”
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