Commute with a smile: Driver Jon offers more than your typical LRT ride

Jon Morgan puts a personal touch on LRT operation. Jan. 18, 2016. Global News

EDMONTON – Jon Morgan has been an LRT operator for five years, but he doesn’t just offer passengers a ride from point A to point B; he entertains them as well.

“I point out interesting things about each station, some of the artwork they can find at the station,” Morgan said.

Morgan is being praised by riders for his positive attitude and wealth of knowledge. As his train moves along, he tells passengers about nearby landmarks, parks, local history and even some lesser known fun facts about the area.

“That’d be the original garage Edmonton Transit opened up back in the late 1970s, when Edmonton first opened its LRT system,” he said as the LRT approached Colliseum Station.

When the train got to Commonwealth, he pointed out nearby amenities, restaurants, and, of course: “the home of your 2015 Grey Cup Champions!”

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“I love our city and I like to learn as much as I can about our city, relay it across to the people,” he said.

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Plus, his goal is to make his riders just a bit happier.

“I just like to brighten people’s days as much as possible,” Morgan said.

“It’s really rewarding, really rewarding. To see them have a smile on their face at the start of the day, or the end of the day. I just want to make sure they’re having a good day.”

His approach seems to be working. Edmonton Transit has received phone calls and social media comments celebrating Morgan’s style.

“Jon’s great,” Edmonton Transit spokesperson, Jennifer Laraway, said. “When we hear feedback that one of our operators has made their day, that’s what we like to hear.”

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Morgan is in good company. Laraway said other LRT operators try to put a personal touch on their routes as well.

“We’ve heard of stories where they’re singing their announcements as they arrive into an LRT station, or, if it’s the holidays, wearing a Santa Claus hat, even singing jazz,” she said.

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“If you’re a transit user, you know what that means in that kind of community. It puts a smile on your face and it makes your commute that much better.”

Kevin Hearn rides Morgan’s train everyday.

“It’s nice,” he said. “It gives it a little bit of life when we’re riding the train, especially when he’s telling you information about places where you can shop, that sort of thing.”

Passenger Carolynn LaJeunesse agrees Morgan’s routes brighten people’s days.

“It kind of puts a smile on your face for the day.”

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