Booths, beats and miners' fashion—urban lifestyle made in the Ruhr area #4

A safe ride

The Ruhr area boasts the greatest diversity of people in a small space in all of Germany. They make the region what it is: vibrant, versatile, and always in motion. In our series, we introduce four of them to you.

It's 4:00 am. As others roll over and go back to sleep, Christian Kaiser is already starting his work day. His day begins in the dispatcher's office in the yard of the Duisburger Verkehrsgesellschaft (DVG) transportation company. Here, the bus driver reports for work and receives the list specifying the exact departure and break times of the line he will service today.

Seven years ago, Kaiser gave up his old job in the food service industry and underwent retraining to become a bus driver. Since then, he has been driving. "And I have no desire to leave any time soon," he comments, as he steers the vehicle through still empty roads.

Multitasking at the wheel

There are very few passengers on board during the first few hours: usually commuters who—like the bus driver himself—have to get to work early, or night owls who are looking for a safe ride home. It is exactly this tranquility that Christian Kaiser likes the most about the early shift. He reveals: "Things get difficult during rush-hour traffic. Not only are the roads busy, but the vehicle is full too. The large number of construction sites in Duisburg are another challenge." In these cases, it is important to keep a cool head. After all, the bus driver has to focus on everything: the passengers, the displays in the cockpit, the road, and the other motorists. In addition, he has to check monthly tickets, sell individual tickets and, of course, stick to his timetable. This is not a problem for the 33-year-old. "The best thing about my job is that it's so diverse," he emphasizes. "I'm always on the road, surrounded by people every day, and I get to see a lot of the city. What can be better than that?"

Part 3 of our story series can be found here

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