There are plenty of glamorous jobs, titles, and opportunities to be had in our cities and many people first move to a dense urban area in search of a career boost or a world-class education. Thinkers, academics, researchers, influencers, artists, writers, and many other kinds of movers and shakers make their home in cities, and those of us who want to improve ourselves follow them.
Some say that humanity’s greatest social invention is the city. Innovation and progress begins and gains traction in cities, and it’s easy to see the glamor when we’re downtown looking up at sparkling skyscrapers! But there are plenty of unsung city heroes, working day in and day out to make our cities livable—and more than that, beautiful. Our cities are home to hedge fund managers and garbage collectors, architects and crossing guards, think tanks and transit workers, mayors, teachers. Each role is valuable to keeping our cities sane and successful.
Tomorrow, March 18th, is National Transit Driver Day, which happens to fall during the time cities all across the world are under some level of lockdown to fight the spread of COVID-19. Millions of people have been asked—or required—to work from home, but not bus drivers. Schools have been closed and dental offices are rescheduling appointments, but subways are still running. Restaurants are dark and quiet, but transit police are still making rounds. Even in times of crisis, transit workers and city employees keep the city running (literally) around the clock.
The next time you see your transit workers, tell them thanks for their loyal and important service. If you’re avoiding public transportation over the next few weeks, consider helping your kids make a thank you sign to hold up when you see a bus drive by.
Many of us have the privilege to stay home to collectively fight against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, but there are countless workers who are continuing to serve our cities through this time. The least we can do is say thank you!