An Inside look at WSTA Driver Anthony Mosley

It’s late Tuesday morning at the Clark Campbell Transit Center in Downtown Winston-Salem. Passengers mill around at bay D-4, waiting to board the Winston-Salem Transit Authority Route 109 bus departing at noon. Driving the bus is Anthony Mosley, a Winston-Salem native who has been an operator for WSTA for ten years. 

Just like every passenger, operator and staff member at the transit center, Mosley is wearing a mask to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Once settled in the driver’s seat, he is protected by a clear plastic shield, a physical barrier between him and his passengers. Aboard the bus, passengers are spaced out with ample separation, obeying the safety protocol that WSTA has put in place. 

At noon sharp, Mosley pulls away from the curb, and the one-hour-and-fifteen-minute route through the city’s northwest side begins. After pulling away from the station and heading towards Crystal Towers apartment homes, Mosley honks at bus 103 as he passes by. He then exchanges waves with the driver of 106 as it pulls up at the light. 

Mosley isn’t just friendly towards fellow drivers, he is also very receptive towards the needs of his passengers. One rider asks him for advice on where to get off closest to Reynolds Auditorium, and he drops her off near the corner of Reynolda Rd and Robinhood Rd, despite there being no designated stop, minimizing her walk to her destination. Mosley says that interacting with passengers is one of his favorite parts of the job, and that it is a skill that every driver needs to be successful. 

“If you want to be a bus driver, you have to be a people person, and you have to have the right attitude. You don’t want to have a bad attitude and have that rub off on the passengers,” he said. 

The community interaction is a big part of why Mosley decided to become a driver. He worked in an auxiliary supervisor role at WSTA for about 90 days, but he knew he wanted to serve his community directly, and driving gave him that opportunity.

“I know that people need transportation and I feel that it’s a good service to provide for our community,” he said. 

As the bus continues outbound down Reynolda, Mosley explains that the route used to turn left on Robinhood Road just north of Buena Vista Road, but residents and businesses there complained about noise and vibrations from the bus, and the route was altered accordingly. That change came as part of sweeping changes throughout the entire WSTA network in 2018, which left Mosley and his passengers frustrated and confused about the new routing. 

“A lot of passengers showed up to public meetings to voice their concerns about those changes, but the drivers were affected as well. I felt like a whole new driver afterwards,” he said. 

Looming overhead on Reynolda are large trees, which can pose a threat in the winter when ice and snow gathers on them, threatening to collapse them into the roadway. This is one of Mosley’s greatest concerns about driving, and he says that wintry weather makes him uneasy because he feels a great amount of responsibility for the safety of his passengers. Fortunately, Mosley says that he is accident-free in his ten years of driving. 

After turning left off Reynolda onto Coliseum Drive then right on Robinhood Road,  Mosley breezes down the road  without making a single stop. This route isn’t particularly busy, especially at this time of day, but he says that’s part of what makes route 109 enjoyable to drive. He says that the infrequency of stops makes the route a little more “laid-back” than the short-split routes closer to Downtown, which involve a lot of stopping and starting. 

After dropping off a passenger at Speas Global School, with a friendly goodbye of course, Mosley doesn’t pick up or drop off another passenger until the intersection of Bethabara Road and Shattalon Drive, essentially the halfway point of the route. During this time, talks more about his personal life, detailing the passion for music that he and his sons share. 

He says that after graduating from college, he and his friends performed  at a variety of different venues and locations. His versatility with different instruments, such as bass, keyboard and drums allowed him and his friends to play whatever genre of music was suitable for that night’s venue. His sons are both talented musicians as well, and Mosley says that his oldest son has had great success lately producing beats for famous North Carolina rappers DaBaby and Stunna 4 Vegas. 

As the bus finally stops to pick up a passenger at Bethabara and Shattalon, Mosley and the passenger converse about the rider’s current life situation, with the rider complaining that he isn’t able to sleep at night. Mosley gives him some words of wisdom, something that he says is just part of the job. 

“A lot of different people come on the bus, and they might be having a bad day and you might be able to encourage them through whatever they have going on,” he said. 

As the bus arrives back downtown into bay D-4, Mosley will have a short break before doing the route all over again. He’ll depart right at 1:15, ensuring that his passengers are on time wherever they need to be. Mosley takes great pride in his punctuality, and he knows his passengers appreciate it. 

“I enjoy when they get on the bus and tell me that they’re glad I’m driving because that means they’ll get to work on time,” he said. 

The mutual respect that Mosley and his passengers share has led to some strong  connections over the years. In fact, Mosley says the best part of being a driver is having a  close-knit relationship with the community, which creates a sense of family while driving. 

“I meet new people, greet them and encourage them, and when you interact with them and pick them up for work every day, they’re kind of like a family,” he said.

Author: Gant Renner