“Bus Driver Dan” Talks Transit Innovation, Blue Collar Creativity and the Power of Human Storytelling


“I tell stories about what’s human in the people you interact with because that’s what’s most important.”  Dan Christensen (aka “Bus Driver Dan”)


Bus Driver Dan and his bus.

Dan Christensen (aka “Bus Driver Dan”) loves his job driving a bus for TriMet bus company in Portland, Oregon, and is fiercely and unapologetically proud of his Blue Collar roots. He also embraces emerging technology and is constantly exploring new and innovative ways to use technology to tell “the stories of the now.”

In this episode, Charlie and Dan meet face-to-face for the first time (albeit virtually via video). As the story goes, Charlie and Dan met in social media 11 years ago after she stumbled across his popular transit blog (before most people even knew what a blog was!) where he shared stories about his life as a bus driver, highlighting the human side of the passengers who rode his bus every day. For over a decade, Dan has used emerging technologies and mixed media to tell stories that resonate with an ever-growing audience and to explore his own creativity.  He continues to experiment with immersive storytelling and is well on his way to building his “media empire about bus drivers around the world.”

Dan and Charlie discuss:

  • why he’s proud of blue-collar roots and what society gets wrong about blue-collar workers
  • transit technology innovation through the years and how it has empowered him to tell human stories and grow an audience
  • how COVID-19 has changed what it means to be an “essential worker” and how he does his job
  • the technologies we can expect to see disrupting transportation in the next few years and which ones excite him (and which ones are “meh”)
  • FAKEovation 😏
  • staying connected in an increasingly disconnected world
  • the struggle to stay true to your story and resist the temptation to create false narratives

As Dan would say, “Roll easy!”


Charlie’s blog post about Dan: If Ralph Kramden Had a Blog (March 2009)
Follow Dan on Twitter: @Dan_Christensen
The Honeymooners Episode 11: A Promotion
The Honeymooners Theme Song: You’re My Greatest Love
Article: Covid Wears On, Essential Workers Carry On: ‘Everybody Forgets That You’re Still on the Front Line’
Article: COVID-19 Fueled Innovation in Public Transit Solutions
Resource: New York City Transit Innovation Accelerator
Reddit:  Bus Driver Appreciation
Reddit:  Bus drivers of Reddit, what is something you wish customers knew or would do more?
Reddit:  I am a Former Pubic Transit Bus Driver – Ask Me Anything
Bus Driver Forum: http://forum.bustalk.info/


Website: https://tech2025.com/fast-forward-podcast/
Twitter: @fastforward2025
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Email: fastforward@tech2025.com
Charlie on Twitter:  @itscomplicated
Charlie on Instagram:  @charlieoliverbk
Charlie on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/charlieoliverny

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Launched in 2017, Tech 2025 is the platform and community for professionals to learn about the most disruptive emerging technologies that will change our world in the next 5 years.

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