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Rider's Almanac Blog

Light Rail

Light rail helper: 'This is the most fulfilled I've ever felt'

Posted by Drew Kerr | Thursday, March 30, 2023 8:47:00 PM

When Blue Line trains pull into the Mall of America, Tyler Lewis is there.

As a light rail helper, Lewis walks through each train that comes in to pick up litter and tend to other on-board messes between trips. The work might sound a little drab, he admits, and the sight of people in need can at times be disheartening.

But he also receives a lot of thanks and has a strong belief that what he does matters – sentiments he says make the job the most rewarding he’s ever had.

“This is the most fulfilled I’ve ever felt with my work, absolutely,” he said. “Cleaning can feel a little menial but at the same time it’s an honorable profession. You’re cleaning up public transportation that people need to get to and from.”

Before coming to Metro Transit, Lewis worked as a school janitor. At Metro Transit, he’s found better hours, benefits and pay – things that matter to him as a father. He also likes seeing how his work improves lives, and the relatively low-stress work environment.

“I have no issue picking up a little extra trash,” he said. “If I see a cereal box on the floor that’s empty, I’m glad that it’s empty because it means that someone was able to eat. If everybody’s eating, has enough clothes for the cold winter, has water to drink, I don’t have any gripes, none at all.”

It’s also a reminder of just how fortunate he is. “I’m blessed,” Lewis said. “This for me is really the end goal – to live a nice simple life, to make enough to provide for your family, and to feel fulfilled in your work. Every job has its days. But there are also a lot of moments that make you feel fulfilled, and those moments have a lot more lasting effect than the moments that take away from that feeling.”

We’re hiring light rail helpers! Learn more at