Each month, we highlight a bus or train operator for their exceptional customer service. This month we would like to feature bus driver Maris Stull.
“I take the 24 bus after school from University Station to Commons Avenue around 6:30ish everyday. I often have the same bus driver for the last couple of weeks and today I fell asleep at the back of the bus. My bus driver was so amazing he remembered my stop and stopped and had another passenger wake me up to get off."
"He is my hero! It was also super cold and windy and I have no idea what stop I would have woken up at as I was fast asleep and to have to walk home in the dark, dark cold wind would have been terrible as I was already freezing."
"A huge thank you to my bus driver tonight. I cannot express my gratitude enough for you! I hope you can pass along my praises. This bus driver also always greets me with a warm smile and I know that you all are not appreciated or thanked nearly as much as you should be. Thank you so much for going above and beyond. Thank you for being my day maker."
After receiving the commendation, we wanted to know more about Maris and he agreed to answer a few of our questions.
Maris Stull Wrote:
How long have you driven for RTD and have you always been a bus driver?
I have been driving for RTD for 25 years. I started my driving career with Access-a-Ride and after several years had the opportunity to drive the general transit buses. When I started, I was scared to death! I hung on to the steering wheel for dear life. I don’t think anyone thought I would last, but here I am, 25 years later! Being a bus driver has provided me with a very stable job, good pay and a very positive work environment. The management team are amazing leaders at First Transit. I’m a very lucky guy.
What were you in a previous life?
I was on the path to becoming a personal growth instructor and public speaker.
What do you like best about your job?
Getting such a large variety of people to where they need to go safely – and treating those people in a courteous, professional manner. Especially the difficult people. I really enjoy turning a bad situation on mu bus into a good situation. Usually, all it takes is treating certain people with respect and professionalism. I pride myself in having very few issues arise on my bus. It took me years to hone that skill and I am good at it.
If you could listen to music while working, what type?
Probably meditation music. Driving is a very meditative experience for me. It’s me and my passengers moving in this safe bubble while the crazy world swirls around us. At least, that’s the way I treat it. I like to see how composed I can remain in really tense traffic situations.
If you could deck out your bus, what style?
I don’t know if there is a particular “style” I would go for, but I would love to make the seats more plush and have phone charging jacks in all the seats. I think people would really enjoy that.
If you could change your uniform color, what color?
I actually get to wear the color I like. We get to wear polo shirts as part of a uniform update that happened a number of years ago – and they come in black! I like that because it’s slimming, lol.
What type of service would you drive if given the choice and/or favorite service to drive or operate?
I’ve always enjoyed driving the regional routes when I’ve had the opportunity. I remember years ago, before we had the A Line to the airport, I had the opportunity to drive an airport route for one week. I loved it! Everybody who goes to the airport is happy!
What are your favorite hobbies or activities?
Meditation and making vegan meals for my friends. I am a follower of Philosophical Taoism and it’s a path I get a great deal of satisfaction and peace from.