CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA)– For Cindy Knerr being a bus driver is much more than getting customers to their final destination. It’s about the people you meet along the way.
“Having conversations, learning a little about them,” said Knerr, with Champaign Urbana Mass Transit District. She started driving buses over 20 years ago. Back then she was driving kids around on a school bus. A little over a year ago she started working for MTD. “There were adults, so it was really different than having children. I kind of missed the kids,” said Knerr.
Knerr started steering things in a more familiar direction by building a connection with children through books. “I noticed kids riding the MTD buses, and it gets to be a long ride sometimes and they look so bored. I was just like I think I’m going to try the book thing,” said Knerr. Since she started handing out books last summer, MTD has had hundreds of books donated from the community. Operator Cindy bags them up, and then hands them out to children on her routes. “It brings a lot of joy to me,” said Knerr, “It’s knowing that after they get their book and get back in the seat with their parents that they’re going to spend that time with their parents.”
When there aren’t kids on her route, Operator Cindy looks for them. “Anything we can do to help them grow and earn and prosper in life is awesome,” said Myra Pettigrew of Champaign. “It’s a big joy to me. I love making children happy,” said Knerr.