According to a recent report from TransitCenter, 2.8 million essential workers use public transportation to get to their jobs, proving just how essential it is to keep transit running during the COVID-19 pandemic. From the hard working operators who transport hundreds of passengers daily to administrative staff who perform behind the scenes, it takes individuals from different departments with different skillsets to maintain an essential service for those who depend on transit for life necessary trips.

Transit agencies across Northeast Ohio are working diligently to ensure the safety and well-being of their passengers and team members in light of COVID-19 by implementing new safety procedures and purchasing personal protective equipment and strong cleaning solvents, all while evaluating their resources to provide as much service as possible to their communities.

Join us in our appreciation and gratitude of the team members from Greater Cleveland RTA, METRO RTA, PARTA, and SARTA, who selflessly come to work every day to keep their communities moving during this difficult time. #IAmEssential #InThisTogetherOhio

Casey, Greater Cleveland RTA

Casey, Rail Equipment Manager, works tirelessly with staff to ensure cleanliness of all vehicles. He was instrumental in purchasing the Moonbeam 3 disinfectant to clean high traffic areas of the rail system and offices with UV light, keeping customers and employees safe. Casey joined RTA in 2012. Thank you, Casey!


As an essential employee, Krista is responsible for a variety of employee management tasks to support and compensate METRO employees. She and the Employee Engagement team continue to research and provide resources to help METRO employees through this difficult time.

“I wanted to join the METRO team to be a servant of others and that’s exactly what I’m doing: providing employee relations and support to my colleagues who are behind the scenes and on the frontline serving our community,” Krista said.

Daryl, Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority (PARTA)

Maintenance Foreman Daryl is spearheading the effort at PARTA to install clear plexiglass barriers to provide the transit authority’s drivers with an added layer of protection during the coronavirus outbreak. Retrofitting PARTA buses with plexiglass barriers required Daryl to design a system that is convenient to use while still providing the needed protection.

“I like a challenge because there’s a greater sense of satisfaction when you’re finished,” the 20-year PARTA veteran said. The job required precise measuring, fabrication, and developing creative solutions to ensure that the system worked properly. The barriers swing out, away from the driver, in PARTA’s fixed-route buses for easy access. When closed, the barrier is latched in place.

As one of many essential employees at PARTA, Daryl is pleased with the contribution he is making. “It’s a good feeling to know that the work you’re doing is helping to protect someone,” Daryl added.

Tonya, Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA)

Tonya has been a Coach Operator at SARTA for 17 years. She is dedicated to transporting passengers to work, doctor’s appointments, and grocery stores on days full of sunshine, days of bad weather, and days of public health pandemic. Tonya performs her job with superlative customer service and a smile. Thank you, Tonya. You are an unsung hero!


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