SAN ANTONIO – A bit of dirty work in the middle of the night helps to get the day off to a clean start for thousands of bus riders across the city and beyond.
Jason Salinas and William Clontz, both shop attendants with VIA Metropolitan Transit, make up one crew that scrubs bus stops and shelters clean.
They start their day in the middle of the evening rush hour –around 5 p.m.—then finish in the middle of the night while most people still are sleeping.
"It's good because I'm with my kids during the day and I'm able to take them to school," said Salinas, referring to the unusual schedule he has worked for the past five years.
Armed with two types of power washers, he and Clontz hit up more than half a dozen bus shelters and bus stops each shift throughout San Antonio and the surrounding area.
"Cobwebs, dirt, dust, all that stuff that just, kind of, picks up on the shelter," said Clontz, ticking off a list of the types of messes they regularly see.
On one recent night, they focused on bus shelters along their north route, tackling dirt at one bus stop on the campus of Northwest Vista College, and another at the University of Texas San Antonio.
However, they said the very next day they could be sent to a different part of the city or county to work.
"We like to keep it clean and make it nice for them to sit down and not have to walk through dirt," Salinas said.
Clontz also takes pride in his job, and even after nine years, he still enjoys it.
"It's kind of relaxing," he said. "Just the noise of the generator, you just kind of tune everything out and get the job done."
Thanks to their work overnight, bus riders get to enjoy their day.