A career at Metro Transit transformed Jessica Kvanbeck’s life. Today, she’s hoping to attract others who want a life-changing career when they see her on billboards around the metro. 

“I bought my first house and I owe it all to Metro Transit,” Kvanbeck said. I went from a 700 square foot apartment to a 1,700 square foot home.”

It took about 16 years of looking for a career that balanced her love of helping people with good pay and benefits. After experiencing burnout as a nursing assistant, she moved to school bus driving. While she enjoyed the job, the mother of two had difficulty with inconsistent work, sometimes going months without any.

“It’s hard to pay your bills without a paycheck,” she said. 

So, she applied for a role as a bus operator at Metro Transit, where she heard the work was consistent, and that it offered good pay and benefits.

“I still take care of people, but on a bus and at the garage,” she said.

And Kvanbeck has shown she cares: Her wellness journey inspired a longtime customer, and she serves both as a mentor and peer support member. 

“I wish they had these programs when I started,” she said. “Those first six months to a year are important.” 

After 8 years of service, she looks forward to a long career here, and hopes to take a leadership class and eventually move into other positions. “You’ll never find another job that pays as well as this with no education,” Kvanbeck said. “If you hang in there, every year your prospects improve.” 


Know Your Operator: Marva Wagner

Marva Wagner felt stuck in her career until she found Metro Transit. “I worked my way up to assistant manager of an eye care store,” Wagner said. “But after multiple times of being blocked from working into a general manager position, I knew I wasn’t valued.”  So, while still working, she sought out other career…

Know Your Operator: Tamica Washington

In 1990, Tamica Washington became an operator by accident. While supporting a friend applying to become a bus operator by going to a hiring event, she was told that she couldn’t stay unless she was applying. So, on a whim, she filled out an application. To her surprise, she was offered a position. “I didn’t…

Help move us forward! Join us for November events.

Help us build a bold transit vision for 2024 and beyond. Join us online or in person Events will feature an update from Metro Transit, a facilitated activity to get your feedback, and engaging conversation with transit leaders, including General Manager Lesley Kandaras.