Skip to main content

Rider's Almanac Blog

Bus In the News Retro Transit

A unique career: 50 years in transit

| Friday, September 20, 2013 4:00:00 AM

When Metro Transit celebrated its one-billionth customer in 1984, Silas Sharp was there. He was also present in 1999 and again last year, when the agency surpassed the 2 billion and 3 billion customer marks, respectively.

This week, "Sy" Sharp was recognized for reaching a unique milestone: 50 years of employment with Metro Transit. When he celebrates his anniversary in November, Sharp will become the first person in the agency's history to have contributed a half-century of service to the organization.

Now a maintenance manager at Nicollet Garage, Sharp began working at what was then called Twin City Lines in 1963 as a cleaner at age 28. Sharp's career in transportation began shortly after buses replaced streetcars and questions about transit’s long-term viability loomed.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve had the opportunity to sit down with Sy as he has reflected on his career and changes in Twin Cities transit. Here's a short video of some of that conversation:

> Sy Sharp: 50 Years of Service

Sharp was among 370 employees honored as the Metropolitan Council celebrated Employee Recognition Week, including dozens of bus operators, maintenance personnel, transit police officers and staff from other Metro Transit departments. Service Awards were presented to those celebrating milestone anniversaries and others were recognized for exceptional achievements during the year.

In October, Sharp also received the the 2013 Distinguished Career Award, given to individuals who have significantly improved public transit in Minnesota.

Speaking to the Star Tribune, Sharp said: “I never thought I’d be here a half-century. It’s rewarding to me because I am contributing something to society. It’s been a very good experience. I would not change it for the world.”​

    > Star Tribune: Metro Transit worker is first to 50 years of service

    > Sharp recognized with industry award for Distinguished Career in Minnesota public transportation

Photo: Gov. Mark Dayton, was a special guest at this week’s Employee Recognition Event in St. Paul. He applauded the work of the Met Council and recognized Nicollet Maintenance Manager Silas Sharp, third from left, who will mark 50 years of service at Metro Transit in November. Sharp was joined by his wife Mary, son Silas Jr., Met Council Chair Susan Haigh and General Manager Brian Lamb.