Employees Recognized by Mets for Hard Work and Dedication Serving New York Throughout the Pandemic
Employees and leadership from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) were the focus of a pregame ceremony at Friday night’s New York Mets game as part of the team’s Community Hero Ticket program, which honors organizations that have gone above and beyond throughout the pandemic.
MTA LIRR President Phil Eng, Chief Customer Officer Sarah Meyer and six employees were honored while video and photos of the Authority’s COVID-19 relief efforts were shown on the jumbo screen. The employees had been recommended by their supervisors for dedication to keeping New Yorkers moving throughout the pandemic.
“As a lifelong Mets fan, I’m proud to stand with these heroic employees,” said Phil Eng, Long Islad Rail Road President. “Between the Mets' mask donations and participation in MTA Mask Force events, the team has been a great partner during the pandemic. Remember that public transit is the best way to get to every game at Citi Field, and Lets go Mets!”
“It’s great to see the city get back to normal and have fans head to Citi Field on public transportation,” said Sarah Meyer, MTA Chief Customer Officer. “MTA employees are ready to take you to the game, and don’t forget your mask while riding--but in case you do, stop by a station booth for a free one, and enjoy the game."
“MTA workers were the heroes moving heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Alex Cohen, President of the Amazin’ Mets Foundation. “Inviting these frontline workers to be honored at our home game on July 23 is just a small way to show our appreciation for all they have done during this past year and half to keep our community moving forward and be resilient.”
The Mets also provided 30 tickets for MTA employees to see the Amazins’ take on the Toronto Blue Jays.
- MTA Chief Customer Officer Sarah Meyer
- Long Island Rail Road President Phil Eng
- NYC Transit Bus Operator Luis Jimenez
- Luis Jimenez considers himself an all-around New York sports fan who remembers meeting members of the Mets the year before they won the World Series in 1986. The 22-year MTA veteran says it was sad to see the city so empty during the height of the pandemic - but he’s glad that seeing the city come back the past few months has given customers the opportunity to thank him and his colleagues for keeping the city moving.
- LIRR Assistant Terminal Manager Nicole Johnson
- Nicole Johnson will celebrate 25 years working at the Long Island Rail Road later this summer. The lifelong Mets fan said although it was difficult to work every day during the height of the pandemic, she knew it was necessary to make sure essential workers and first responders could get to work. Johnson wants to remind riders that although the region is opening up, it’s still important to be safe and look out for each other.
- LIRR Terminal Manager John Kelly
- John Kelly is a lifelong Mets fan who has worked for the MTA for nearly 20 years. He serves as the LIRR Terminal Manager for facilities including Atlantic Terminal and Jamaica. Kelly says working during the pandemic was challenging since it was so unprecedented – and that his priority was keeping customers and the employees who report to him safe.
- LIRR Conductor Wesley Lazare
- Wesley Lazare has worked as an LIRR conductor for 23 years, currently stationed at the West Side Yard. He’s a longtime Mets fan who’s family were season-ticket holders. Lazare says working during the pandemic was difficult since no one knew what to expect, and it’s an experience he’ll tell his grandkids about one day. Now that riders are returning, Lazare says it’s important for everyone to do their part to keep each other safe.
- NYC Transit Train Operator Mike Sanchez
- Mike Sanchez has served his city as a Train Operator for just over 14 years and currently drives the Q train. Friday’s game is the second time the lifelong Mets fan has gotten to step on the field for his favorite team, last time at Shea Stadium. Sanchez says it’s been great to see ridership return and the tourists start coming back to the system.
- LIRR Station Cleaner Tabitha Visser
- Tabitha Visser has worked at the LIRR’s Jamaica station for just over three years. As a station cleaner, she and her colleagues were responsible for 24/7 disinfecting during the height of the pandemic, and that disinfecting continues today. Visser says it’s been great seeing the smiling faces of old (and new) customers getting back on the trains.