Richard Isaacson has noticed a large drop in ridership on the routes he picks up as an extra-board operator.
And that's to be expected: to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, Metro Transit is stressing that people should only ride transit if they have an essential reason to do so, and no other available options.
Despite the change, Isaacson said, “It’s business as usual for me.”
While many are staying home, Isaacson said he is carrying more medical workers and that he tries to thank them whenever they ride. “I’m seeing more nurses than ever before,” he said. “They really looked tired.”
Isaacson has also gone out of his way to support riders he meets in the community.
Recently at a local big box store, a stressed mother of three approached him with questions. He was wearing his Metro Transit jacket.
“She seemed really stressed out about service changes and about how her husband would be able to get to work,” Isaacson said. “After talking to her and telling her to pay attention to the website for any changes, she seemed to feel better.”
The customer was so appreciative, she sent a commendation thanking him for his time.
For Isaacson, this sort of interaction is natural. He says he lives by The Golden Rule — treat others as you would like to be treated.
“We’re all stressed out right now,” he said. “If I was stressed, I’d appreciate someone helping lessen it.”
While the coronavirus has led many to focus on daily demands, Isaacson continues to look to the future.
Isaacson joined Metro Transit in late 2019, after earning a degree in business administration. Today, he continues to expand his skills through online courses and hopes and earn an advanced degree -- steps he hopes will help him build his career at Metro Transit.
“I hope to work my way up into a management position here someday,” Isaacson said.
Show your support
Metro Transit's operators, maintenance staff and police officers are critical to the region's response to the coronavirus. Remember, we're all In This Together. Please consider showing your support by:
- Sending a note to an operator you miss through this online form (select commendation)
- Sending a card to any Metro Transit bus garage or light rail facility (find addresses here)
- Sharing your appreciation on social media using the #InThisTogether
- Submitting an encouraging video to email@example.com (see examples here)