Twin Cities ‘transit guy’ gets off the bus

Well, actually, Bob Gibbons will probably still ride the bus from his home in Roseville to wherever he’s going. But he’s retiring from his role as the main source of information for Metro Transit.

Gibbons (who turns 62 on Feb. 1, wish him Happy Birthday) was the guy on the morning news telling us how transit was faring in the face of another dumping of snow. He was the voice intoning news of Hiawatha or Northstar service burps due to construction or some other reason.

More seriously, Gibbons had to collect, digest and prepare statements on transit tragedies in the very rare instances of fatalities and injuries involving riders, pedestrians and others. Or drivers being assaulted by riders. Painstaking, emotionally wrenching work.

On a happier note, Gibbon’s voice bubbled with enthusiasm as he reported rising transit use by Twins fans with the opening of Target Field. He waxed poetic about park and ride lot openings, federal grants for building double bus lanes in downtown Minneapolis.

To be Bob Gibbons is to command a bus and train load of transit minutia: ridership (strong and rising), funding (always dicey), route alterations (constant), all the while juggling a daily collection of calls, texts and emails from reporters and others wanting more. All skills honed over 17 years at Metro Transit, and before that, at the old Republic Airlines.

Safe travels, Bob, you always made the ride more informative and worth taking.

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