You’ve probably seen Bob Grieshaber around campus. You may even have shaken his hand, chatted with him or, better yet, heard him sing gospel music.
For those who haven’t heard him burst into song while behind the wheel, Grieshaber is one of the most recognizable bus drivers on campus. He currently drives the Bursley-Baits bus route from C.C. Little to Baits I, but in five years of driving, he says he’s driven just about every route.
While on the road, he always does his best to make the journey as enjoyable as possible.
“I try to make it fun for the freshmen,” he said. “Kinda like their grandpa’s driving the bus.”
Often that involves a friendly ‘hello’ as students get on the bus. Sometimes he serenades them as he drives.
“I’m a Christian singer, and I don’t have my tape player going yet, but I usually practice on the bus, so they get to listen to me sing,” he said. “Mostly southern gospel.”
Accompanying Grieshaber is Beauregard the Bus Monkey, a fuzzy brown hand puppet that has ridden with him for about three years.
“I had him when I had the Northwoods route. He was a big hit with the little kids,” Grieshaber said. “I think the big kids liked him too.”
Grieshaber knows “kids” well. Before becoming a bus driver, he was a schoolteacher for more than 26 years.
He grew up in Dundee, Michigan, and graduated from Louisiana Tech University after two years at the University of Michigan. He taught in Louisiana and Arkansas until about six years ago, when he returned to Michigan.
As for his current route, Grieshaber said his bus is more often packed with students on the way to class. And he prefers it that way, favoring routes with more full buses, like Bursley-Baits or the Bursley Express.
“I just feel like I’m earning my paycheck, I guess,” he said.
He said his new “Diag to Diag” express route — which runs between Central Campus and North Campus — is hit or miss on whether the bus will be full, though he added, “I’d like to get it full a lot more.”
Full buses or not, Grieshaber explains that he simply enjoys being out on the road.
“I just like to drive,” he said. “I came over here and I’ve had a pretty good time.”