Retiring RIDES bus driver Barb Marienau

Barb Marienau of Sheldon is stepping down as a driver for RIDES, the Regional Transit Authority, for which she was at the wheel for 24 years.

SHELDON—After 24 years serving RIDES as a dedicated driver, Barb Marienau is stepping away from behind the wheel.

For two dozen years, Marienau has been a faithful driver in the community of Sheldon. She safely transported countless passengers.

When Marienau started driving for RIDES, the Regional Transit Authority, it was “pen and paper” record keeping. She shared that was the biggest change she witnessed over her tenure. She is grateful for the computer tablets that record those miles and trips electronically.

When Marienau responded to her most cherished times with RIDES and what she would miss the most, her heartfelt answer was the same: “the passengers and my co-drivers.” She stated she will not miss “winter driving.”

Marienau recalls when she started driving for RIDES, the buses where not housed in a shop, and she remembers trudging through the snowdrifts to clear the buses in preparation for her day of driving. She was glad those days ended when RIDES built a bus barn in Sheldon in 2009.

While Marienau saw the face of service change under regulated policies during her 20-plus years, the one aspect that remained consistent, was the pleasure of the passengers and the smiles they brought daily onto the buses.

Marienau shared when she applied for the position, she saw herself as a “Tom Boy” and thought the driving would be fun.

To RIDES’ good fortune, Marienau continued to have fun for the next 24 years.

In retirement, Marienau is looking forward to spending more time with her two daughters, one son and their families, especially her six grandchildren.