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Rider's Almanac Blog

On Off The Clock

On the Clock/Off the Clock: John Dillery, Senior Planner 

Posted by Drew Kerr | Tuesday, October 19, 2021 9:12:00 PM


How did you come to Metro Transit and what do you do?  

My interest in transit began as a kid growing up in Mahtomedi in the 1960s. My neighbors and older family members often told streetcar stories. I was curious about it, so I walked the abandoned line, farther and farther, to learn more about the Twin City Lines. I often found streetcar track artifacts along the way. In the late 1970s, while studying at the University of Minnesota, I discovered the Como Streetcar Museum by Lake Harriet. So, I decided to give the transit business a whirl and applied to Metro Transit following graduation. Forty-three years later, I’m still here designing or re-designing bus routes.  

What do you enjoy most about being On the Clock?  

I enjoy uncovering the creativity of transit planning. When considering all the transit service options imaginable, we uncover creative options to serve our customers. It’s great to recommend ideas that our community will accept and use to get around the metro area.   

What do you enjoy doing Off the Clock?

While not working, I enjoy playing music, walking my dogs, and sailing on Lake Harriet. And, of course, spending time at the streetcar museum. I’ve been running the operation there for decades. I still love operating our 1945 Model President’s Conference Committee (PCC) car, the kind of car that used to run along the line that was blocks from my childhood home during the streetcar’s heyday.  

The Como-Harriet Streetcar’s final day of regular passenger operations is Sunday, Oct. 24. Learn more at

Learn more about the unique off the clock pursuits of Metro Transit staff