Santa trades in his sleigh for a Line 52 TriMet Bus


Ho, ho, ho heard from northwest Portland to Beaverton to Hillsboro
TriMet riders on the Line 52 get a first hand encounter with Santa, while other drivers do a double take when they pull up beside the TriMet bus with Bob Foster behind the wheel.  Foster, a more than 30-year TriMet veteran, has an uncanny resemblance to Father Christmas himself. In fact, each December, this Hillsboro resident parks his bus to don a red suit and hat, and play Santa to families across the Portland metropolitan area – whether it’s at a tree farm in North Plains, or a toy store in northeast Portland, or at migrant housing in Hillsboro.

Foster, TriMet’s Operator of the Month for October, has been moonlighting as Santa for more than 25 years. He says, “The spirit of Santa is the gift of wonder.” This father, grandpa, bus operator and Santa enjoys giving his riders something to smile about all year long, “As a bus driver we don’t realize how much control we have over the attitude of the public.” But Foster especially delights in spreading joy during the holiday season when TriMet allows him to wear his Santa hat while at the wheel. “They see my beard and hat, and they just burst out smiling,” says Foster.

Bus operator opportunities

Know someone who wants to join the ranks of “Santa Bob” and his fellow bus operators? TriMet has positions available for part time bus operators. Learn more at