CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Many people rely on the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (CUMTD) to get where they need to go.
None of that would be possible without the employees who make things run smoothly.
“I thought I’d work a few years, and my sister said once you make some money, come to California you can come live with us, start out here,” says CUMTD Operations Director Chuck Wilson.
But that isn’t exactly how things worked out.
For Wilson, the wheels on the bus have gone round and round for four decades: 35 years as a driver, and five as the operations director.
“If you work somewhere for 40 years, everything just kind of runs together. I just remember the good people,” says Wilson. “There are so many people that rely on MTD. It really is their only way to get around. So, I just remember being able to help them get where they needed to go.”
As busses crowded into the station Thursday morning, riders and fellow employees said farewell and thanked Wilson for all his hard work over the years.
Some of those co-workers go way, way back.
“I actually hired bus drivers that I drove home from school back in the 80s. Now, I’m hiring them to drive the bus here in this century. So, those are a lot of good memories, too,” says Wilson.
He is taking those memories into retirement now.
I asked Wilson what he plans to do with the extra time to which he replied, “My wife has a long list.”