Virginia school bus driver retiring after 70 years on job

SUFFOLK, Va. — A Virginia school bus driver will be navigating the end of his 70-year career on Friday.

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Ulysses Whitfield, 85, has been transporting students for Suffolk Public Schools since 1954, WAVY-TV reported.

That is not a typo. Whitfield has been driving a bus since he was 15.

“During that time, students could drive,” Whitfield told the television station.

Since the mid-1980s, Whitfield has only taken two half-days off and had not taken a full day off in nearly 40 years, WAVY reported.

He added that he needed to be convinced to stop driving by his co-workers.

“‘Cause I’m enjoying what I’m doing,” he told the television station. “I have good kids, I have good kids. I’m going to miss them, I know it.”

In addition to handling the school bus route, Whitfield also drove students on field trips.

Next to his foot pedal, Whitfield has a leather-bound pouch containing every route he traveled since his career began, WAVY reported.

“Just going to look through it and see how many places I did go,” he told the television station. “I’ve been to a lot of colleges and universities. Sort of everywhere.”

Whitfield said he is still working out details for his retirement. He told WAVY that he plans to return on a part-time basis to help his replacement make the transition.

“I’m going to go with that person to make sure the run is done nice and smooth, like I was doing it,” he told the television station.

Suffolk is about 20 miles west of Norfolk.

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