Camaraderie means a lot to a Grand Rapids Dial-A-Ride bus driver.
“The drivers and dispatchers have a bond that’s a lot like a family,” said Jacques Duquette, who’s worked for Arrowhead Transit for about a year. “The relationships with the passengers get that way too. You get to know them pretty well and you get to understand each other’s lives.”
Duquette was named Arrowhead Transit’s Employee of the Month for April. Being able to work with the public is what interested Duquette in becoming a bus driver.
“Helping people is something I’ve always done on the side,” he said, noting he was previously employed as a state researcher. “When Covid hit, I wanted to spend more time doing something that was beneficial to the public and driving a bus seemed like a better fit for that than what I was doing.”
Duquette said travel is one of his favorite parts of being a bus driver.
“I really enjoy that,” he said. “The routes are like Tetris. Even though they’re mostly the same, there’s always something being added, which keeps it fresh in your memory.”
Outside of work, Duquette’s family is his priority. As for hobbies, he likes to build scale models of airplanes, tanks, ships, houses and more.
“I build anything you can think of,” he said. “That takes a huge amount of my free time.”