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Rider's Almanac Blog

In This Together

In This Together: Rail Supervisor Kristen Fritz

Posted by Drew Kerr | Thursday, November 19, 2020 6:37:00 AM

Rail Supervisor Kristen Fritz at the Blue Line's Franklin Avenue Station.Across the organization, our work has been changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. These "In This Together" Q&As illustrate how we're adapting both on and off the clock. Read more interviews here

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

When I started in 2019, trains ran every 10 minutes. Since the pandemic, we've gone from 10-minute service to 20-minute service, to 15-minute service then back to 10-minute service. It was a different change of pace with the fluctuations in service. The Rail Control Center (RCC) has had to overcome minor to major issues, along with all the challenges that surround COVID. We’ve had to problem-solve more than ever to ensure trains are moving with at times very limited resources. On the positive side, I haven’t had to battle traffic, since most people have the option to work at home.   

What’s it like working through a pandemic? 

Supervisors and senior supervisors in the RCC can’t work from home. I feel like I’ve built closer working relationships with my co-workers because we’ve literally been “in it together” since day one. We've been putting ourselves out there on the line just like our train operators and light rail’s other departments, including signals, communications, traction power, track maintainers, helpers and everyone else I haven’t mentioned. Every day, we accommodate our customers the best and most efficient way we can. We have been making “it” happen every single day. We work hard, and it can be stressful at times, but we always make it through, because we have to. There is no other choice. Giving up is not an option. 

How has your life changed outside of work? 

My oldest daughter is 4 years old and couldn’t complete her first year of pre-school, which was disappointing, and I don’t get to see my friends as often as I'd like. On the positive side, I’ve spent more time with my two girls and have found creative ways to keep everyone busy at home. We bought a trampoline and an aboveground pool, which was a great way to spend our summer and will be used in summers to come. My husband and I have tried to keep things as “normal” as possible. “Mommy just shops a lot more online,” we say. We’ve been invited to weddings and “thankfully” have not had to attend. Who’s with me on that?