Bus driver Toni Grayson connects with students

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 | 5:24 p.m. CDT; updated 8:24 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Toni Grayson, 56, a bus driver for Columbia Transit, teases a student while waiting at a stop Wednesday on the Hearnes Loop.

COLUMBIA — Toni Grayson, 56, drives a Tiger Line bus. For the past year, she has been shuttling commuters to MU. So when a familiar student hops on for a ride, Grayson and the student joke for a moment.

Grayson started driving buses 22 years ago when her son attended a school in the Parkway School District in the St. Louis area. She described a day when her son was accidentally dropped off 10 blocks from their home. Instead of a safe ride home, he had to walk by himself.

Grayson said she went to the bus company office to file a complaint with the manager. Instead, she found the company was looking for drivers. She was hired soon after.

“I love it. I love the students,” Grayson said. “I enjoy driving; it keeps you alert.”

Grayson’s route has her picking up students from the two commuter parking lots and dropping them off on campus. During stops, Grayson sometimes steps off her seat and stands in the aisles to chat with the students. 

 Supervising Editor Brian Kratzer.

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