Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 282/Regional Transit System
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Most people who are in like the job.
Driving is especially nice.
You don’t have a boss over your shoulder most of the day.
(A lot of guys say you’ve got forty of them!)
You’re on your own pretty much, and the day goes fast.
You’re in a draft all through the winter.
You can’t ever wear the right clothes
Because the doors open and shut —
You’re either too hot or too cold.
Our work is mostly swing run —
You’re on four hours in the morning
And then you’re off four hours
And back on four hours —
Because our work is when the rush hour is.
Every bus gets inspected
Every six thousand miles or
Every ninety days; then
Every year or thirty thousand miles,
For the transmission,
Rear end, and all that.
The average bus puts on about seventy thousand miles.
RTS has six hundred miles of service
And we’ve got service from four-thirty in the morning
till about one-thirty at night.
So there’s only about three hours out of the day
That there isn’t a bus on the road.
You can come as a sweeper,
Sweep in the building and, as time goes on,
A job might open up for a machinist’s helper.
And so you bid for a machinist’s helper job
And, if you get that,
You work along with a mechanic, helping him.
He’s a first or second class mechanic.
You do that for eight-hundred and eighty hours
Doing second class work, in one year
You get classified as a second class mechanic.
And then, from there, another 880 hours
Doing first class mechanic’s work...