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Rider's Almanac Blog

In This Together

In this Together: Planner Scott Janowiak

Posted by John Komarek | Friday, October 9, 2020 8:00:00 AM

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? 
The needs of Engineering and Facilities have remained the same. I coordinate with other government agencies, plan facilities improvements on the next round of Better Bus Routes,  and find ways to make our network more accessible for all of our customers. But the method has changed as we have many online meetings instead of in-person ones. I try to make time for field work with those old friends of the transit planner: a level and tape measure. Nothing beats the knowledge gained from riding our system and using our bus stops. There is no substitute. I miss the daily interaction I had with our network before the pandemic. 


Whats it like working through a pandemic? 
Before the pandemic, one of my favorite things was joining my colleagues in a room with a big paper roll plot of a roadway design or site plan to talk about transit needs. We could get out of our chair and point to a very specific part of the design and talk it out. That is very hard to do in a virtual meeting. The same conversation in Teams might sound like Yeah, that red part there no, a little bit to the left actually it might be orange on my screen do you guys see what Im talking about is my mic on?I dont have a designated home office, so Ive been enjoying working on the porch until the weather says otherwise.  


How has your life changed outside of work? 
I have family in Milwaukee and Denver. I used to be able to see them with a degree of regularity. Now its less frequent and with more uncertainty about when the next timewill be. Just have to make the best of it. I have attended a few backyard gatherings this summer and will no longer take them for granted, especially since winter is coming. Those propane patio heaters sound nice right about now. Ive also become a better drummer, though I havent asked the neighbors.