Man retires after changing campus transportation

Fabiana Torreao
Roger Huss began his affiliation with the University at the age of nine, selling newspapers for a dime at Gophers football games.
Now, after working at the University for more than 30 years, Huss is excited to leave but he is also nostalgic.
“I feel very excited and I feel a touch of sadness,” Huss said. “It’s a good feeling and it’s a bad feeling.”
A reception honoring Huss will be held Thursday at the Carlson School of Management.
Huss will retire next month after 31 years with the University’s transportation department.
Huss has seen many changes in the University’s transit system, from attempts to better connect the Minneapolis and St.Paul campuses to a 10-cent fare for students riding on a East-West banks shuttle bus in the 1980s.
“It’s interesting because I got the tail end of one decade — the sixties — and the beginning of this decade,” Huss said.
And Huss’ work has led to some of the most significant changes the University’s transit system has seen in those decades.
While heading the transportation department, Huss developed route 52, connecting the University and several Twin Cities residential areas. One of the pioneer university commuter transit systems nationwide, route 52, attempted to reduce parking demand.
“When I think of Roger, I think of the route 52,” said Carolyn Watkins, who has worked with Huss for more than 10 years. “(Route 52) was something that was really dear to Roger and he did a good job.”
The privatization of the University’s transit system was also Huss’ work, a plan that saves the University nearly $500,000 in operational costs annually.
With the attitude that University transportation is here to help students get their education, Huss has stressed quality customer service at the University.
“Roger was the first person I saw at the University who really listened and paid attention to what students were saying,” Watkins said.
After retiring, Huss said he has many plans. Aside from household projects, he wants to do genealogical work, volunteer, travel, golf and make more frequent visits to Madison, Wis., to see his 3-year-old granddaughter, Angie.

Fabiana Torreao welcomes comments at [email protected] She can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3212.