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Rider's Almanac Blog

In This Together

In this Together: Bus Operator Lauren Cox

Posted by John Komarek | Wednesday, August 19, 2020 1:41:00 PM

Across the organization, Metro Transit employees’ work has been changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. These "In This Together" Q&As illustrate how employees are adapting both on and off the clock. Read more interviews here

How has the pandemic affected your day-to-day work?

I'm one of the fortunate ones who still has a job to go to every day. For that, I'm grateful. I enjoy what I do and invite the challenge of this new normal.  

My husband and I literally in this together at Metro Transit. He works in fare collections and is serious about operators wearing masks when they pull up to his station.

The added measures like wearing a mask, wiping down my workstation, and washing my hands often aren't too much to do when everyone's health is at risk.

In fact, most of this is just plain common sense -- you should wash your hands often anyways. But, in today's world common sense seems to be pretty uncommon.  

What’s it like working through a pandemic?

Every day we all work through the unknowns and learning a new survival mode, even in the face of people who aren't in this together onboard. We inform customers that masks are required on board to help slow the spread of COVID-19, but still some people aren't listening.  

A lady who ignored being informed about the mask policy had a coughing fit onboard while not wearing a mask. Upon leaving the rear door, she touched multiple surfaces. These sort of things affect not only front-line workers like us who keep Metro Transit moving, but our customers who need us to get where they need to go.   

I'm thankful for the many customers who wear a mask or face covering. As we’ve returned to front-door boarding, it’s even more important to wear one to help protect your bus operator.  

How has your life changed outside of work?

It's been difficult. My husband and I had to support our college-aged children financially as they lost their jobs due to the pandemic.  

My son and daughter who are attending college both lost their jobs and were unable to qualify for unemployment. I've been supporting them since May.  

One positive is that over the summer when they returned home, we spend more time together.

However, we often thought about what to expect when the fall semester begins. We finally got an answer, my daughter has a hybrid schedule and my son has a complete in-person schedule.

Lauren was also recently featured in a photo profile series on By a Thread.

Show your support

Metro Transit is playing an essential role in the region's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please consider showing your support for our essential workers by: