5-year-old who loves buses gets special birthday surprise from MTA

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- A 5-year-old boy fascinated with buses received a special VIP tour on his birthday and was even named an honorary bus operator.

In this Eyewitness News exclusive story, Amir B. Gladden leaned in as he tried to figure out why he was at the Tuskegee Airmen Bus Depot on Monday.

"I didn't tell him anything specific, just said we're going to have a lot of fun, trust me," his mother Ebonie Gladden said.

Even as the 5-year-old walked into the garage and climbed behind the wheel, he was speechless.

His mother reached out to the MTA to see if they could do something special for her son. He's been infatuated with buses since before he could talk.

"His eyes would just follow the buses and the sound...everything is bus, bus," Gladden said.

The MTA came through big time and even took Amir, his mom, grandmother and cousin for a ride while they were the only passengers on the bus.

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"To see him smile, to know this is what makes him happy, it's breathtaking," grandmother Camille Gladden said.

Amir has learned much about what he knows about buses on YouTube.

"This is articulation, fuel compartment...the engine is under here," he explained.

But it's not just buses, Amir also loves trains. In fact his family said he has the announcements down to a T.

"He says it exactly, 'watch out for the closing doors, ding, dong,'" Camille Gladden said.

His final surprise of the day was being named an honorary bus operator.

"He's going to talk about it all year, all year and beyond," Eboni Gladden said.

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