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MATA celebrates bus driver with 50 years of service

Melvin Deener first started with MATA in 1972 when he got his commercial driver's license.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) celebrated one of its most beloved and longest-serving bus drivers Tuesday.

The day marks 50 years that Melvin Deener has served the community with perfect attendance.

Deener got his commercial driver’s license in 1972 and committed his service to MATA.

He has two jobs; during the day he works in heating and air, while during the day and at night, he’s on the road as a bus operator.

Deener’s former co-worker Deloris Ketchum says in all of the 37-years that she’s known him, she’s never heard him complain.

"He was so faithful in being a bus driver because he loves people," Ketchum said. "In order to be a bus driver, you’ve got to love people because you meet all sorts of people with all types of problems every day, day in and day out. No one day is the same. it’s always something different."

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Deener said he has no plans of retiring anytime soon, and he will keep serving for as long as he can.