The Unsung Hero: Appreciating the Dedication of My Bus Driver, Dan”


Gloria Gaye, Staff Writer

Many people work hard everyday in Charlottesville to keep citizens safe, fed and housed. Each job is important and affects the community; however, bus drivers are frequently overlooked. The Charlottesville community often forgets to express our gratitude to these dedicated staff, so I chose to shine a light on a community member who has impacted me and many other students every day: Below is an interview with Dan McDonnell, my bus driver. 

“(Every Morning), I get to the bus yard at 6:50am, I check the bus out to make sure it’s good,” said McDonnell when asked if he could discuss his daily routine as a bus driver. He later talks about the routes he takes after doing an inspection on the bus by stating“I do a run for Jackson Via, then I do a run for Walker, and then do a run for CHS”. 

When asked if he enjoyed his job and what aspects he enjoys the most, Mr. McDonnell replied and said “yea it’s fun” with a little chuckle. He proclaimed that he likes “talking to some of the kids, answering questions for the little ones, and just finding out more about people, also I like being more out in the world then just a little desk.” Mr. McDonnell went on to talk about his life before becoming a bus driver. He originated from New York and went to college there for a degree in business. After earning his degree, he became a manager at a chain retail store, but realized the corporate world wasn’t for him. 

After the interview ended, Mr. McDonnell and I chatted back and forth about life, he  even asked me about my future endeavors. One of the stories that he told me was about how one of his current students every day brings in a stuffed animal on the bus and proceeds to rub him with the toy, it made me smile. 

Take a moment the next time you board a bus to express your gratitude to the driver. Their passion to public service, commitment to safety, and uncompromising professionalism deserves to be recognized. Bus drivers are the backbone of our public transportation networks, and their efforts contribute greatly to our communities’ well-being and connection. Our community should  honor these heroes that keep our cities moving, one bus ride at a time.