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On The Road With Bus Driver Shirley Bosscawen

Shirley seen from the rearview mirror
Courtney Kearby
Shirley seen from the rearview mirror

Shirley Bosscawen has driven buses for Cleveland Area Rapid Transit since August 27, 1984. She has had several routes over her 30 years working for CART and says they all get a bit boring, but that’s not what she’s in this business for.

“You drive back and forth and back and forth,” Bosscawen said. “What I get enjoyment out of is talking to people, kidding people, laughing with them, picking on students.”

Bosscawen sees herself as a source of information and a friend to the young people she transports. She believes it’s important to make them feel like they matter and uses pet names to show them that she recognizes them, even if she can’t remember their names.

“I'm terrible with names,” Bosscawen said. “That's the reason everyone is honey and darling and sweet pea and my chickadee.”

Bosscawen teases the students and even tries to get them to sing. Anything to lighten the mood and make her bus an entertaining environment for the passengers as well as herself.

“To do this job you've got to relate to people,” Bosscawen said. “You have to make it entertaining and fun for yourself and that makes it entertaining and fun for everybody else.”

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