Mule to Fuel -- Operators


Bus operator photoTransit operators play a vital role in the public's experience of their services.  In the documents below you can learn more about what Phoenix transit was like in the early years, and read some stories directly from the operators themselves.

The links below lead to PDF files, which can be using Adobe Reader.

A Prize for Reducing Accidents
The flyer requests suggestions for reducing accidents along the rail lines, and a $50 prize.

Operators honored for safety savings
A newspaper article lauding the city's bus operators for their help in saving $6,000 liability insurance.

An article honoring Metropolitan Lines' "Miracle Men" 
Another feature recognizing the safety skills of two operators on Metropolitan Lines.

Transport News magazine spread
A news feature, with period advertisements, on 8 million safely-driven miles. 

Bus Operators' Annual Banquet Menu
An awards banquet recognizing bus operators.

Memo addressing concerns about making change
A missive expressing concern about bus operators being held up by bandits

1944 Rule Book
A full scan of the rule book for bus operators.

Letter describing bus operator wages and benefits
Starting wage of $1.51 hourly

Women bus drivers work in Phoenix
Article describing employment of women drivers

"Christine" lyrics and music
Sheet music for a song about Christine, the bus driver 

Transit operator interviews by Jerry Abbitt

Below are three interviews by Jerry Abbitt, author of The History of Transit in the Valley of the Sun: a history of public transit in arizona 1887-1989.  Mr. Abbitt's work contributed significantly to this project.


Mr. Abbitt interviews Carl Rawlings
The bus operator discusses his experiences, and how changes on the Phoenix City Council affected bus service.


Mr. Abbitt interviews Bill Bunch
The bus operator describes the kinds of uniforms worn at the time, and how operators had to make their own change, and the high cost of fares at 15 cents.


Mr. Abbitt interviews Earl Fuglie
The bus operator describes working in Phoenix when it was a small town, how service ran later during the World War II years to get shoppers downtown, and the diverse groups that rode transit.