New York mass transit is not always known for its "extras" in terms of amenities as people shuffle in and out of subways and busses, but one Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) bus driver provides entertainment upon request.
Christopher Dolan has been working for the MTA for 30 years. During his breaks at work he studies his sheet music. Reportedly, he took up singing about 15 years ago and over time has taken up opera singing.
“I always have some music out when I’m stopped at the end of the route," Dolan told the New York Daily News. “People will see me studying something and say, ‘Oh, do you sing?’ So I’ll sing a little for them.”
Some regulars always make a singing request. Others are surprised when they hear their bus driver begin to sing. A video clip shown by ABC's Good Morning America shows how customers enjoy Dolan's singing.
He sings beyond his native English and can sing in German, Italian and French. Dolan said he finds singing in English to be the most challenging.
“The hardest language for me to sing in, surprisingly, is English,” he said. “I have a typical Brooklyn accent.”
Dolan's employer speaks highly of him, praising not only his vocal talents, but his on-the-job skills too.
“Like many MTA employees, bus operator Dolan commands talents beyond those normally called upon to perform his daily work assignment,” said MTA spokesperson Charles Seaton, reported the Daily News. “But aside from his vocal gifts, he has the type of personality and customer relations skills that make one of the city’s more demanding jobs seem easy.”
His talents are becoming widely known. Dolan regularly is invited to sing the U.S. national anthem and "God Bless America" at events, such as the MTA's September 11 memorial ceremony.
Dolan has been nominated for a Daily News’ Hometown Heroes in Transit Award.
So if you're ever in New York City, you might get on the bus and pay a $2.25 fare, but get a whole lot more than your average bus ride in return.