Tags: Community Candids

Take a Ride with Monti

Posted 05.26.15 by Danielle

I went for a ride with Monti recently -- he's the driver of Downtown Tempe’s Free Lunchtime Trolley. I'm sure you know about it…the big red trolley with the colorful Downtown Tempe branding on the sides...it’s very easy to spot. Monti’s smiling face will greet you from 10:30am-2:30pm Monday through Friday. And I'm serious about his face...he is always smiling! He has been driving the trolley since its inception in July 2014. Having driven lots of folks over the past year, it’s only befitting of his unofficial role as an ambassador for Downtown Tempe. “I’ve had folks from China, Poland, Uzbekistan, and all over the world board this trolley. Some folks are just curious and want to check it out. Others, well...I see them almost every week", Monti said.

If there's ever a person to know what’s going on in Downtown Tempe, it’s definitely Monti. Every week the trolley is frequented by bankers, lawyers, students, visitors, residents, police officers, and city employees. “I love information and getting to know things, so it’s great when PD gets on and rides...I just take it all in. And hearing about where to eat -- there's so much good food in this city and Downtown Tempe is always active...you can always count on that."

Having spent his career in case management and job development for non-profits, Monti feels right at home on the Lunchtime Trolley. It’s an “old man job” he says -- one with no stress and perfect to carry him into retirement. When you meet him, you can tell he is a people person right away, from his warm hearted chuckle that peppers his conversation. He knows the regular riders as well as the regulars he sees walking on the streets. He knows where folks work, where they like to eat, and WHAT they like to eat. “Sometimes I feel like I’m in a parade because people are  constantly waving at me and I’m waving back. It feels good to know everybody.” 

Even though Downtown Tempe is small and very walkable...it's definitely explanding beyond Mill Avenue. There are times when it's nice to have a set of wheels take you to your destination. With summer fast approaching and soon to be triple digits, there's a friendly face and an air-conditioned interior ready to take you to lunch, meetings, or to run a couple of errands. Whether it’s with the office crew, a quick coffee with friends, or a long lunch to start your weekend off, don't let the summer heat stop you from getting out and about in Downtown Tempe. Monti will greet you with his contagious smile no matter what the temperature is.

So c'mon...check out the schedule and stops HERE and let us take you out to lunch!