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SMART Transit serves community amid pandemic with safe rides, food delivery, other services

SMART Transit was recognized in a video by the Minnesota Public Transit Association for their efforts with food delivery, increased cleaning and PPE, and transporting essential workers and passengers on essential errands.

In the video, one passenger said, “Without this bus I couldn’t go and get groceries. I couldn’t go to the store or anything. I would be completely confined to my house because I have a brittle bone disease.”

Another passenger, Sam Gefre, said that he used the bus as his main means of traveling to and from work. “The SMART system is important because I do not have a ride to work because my parents work Monday through Friday.”

According to a press release, transit systems have been helping people and serving communities throughout the pandemic and transit systems continue to transport people safely. SMART Transit took many steps to increase cleaning and provide safe transit to their community, including fogging buses and wiping down commonly touched surfaces.

Aside from their cleaning efforts, SMART Transit also assisted the community in other needs. At one point they delivered over 62,000 meals to community members struggling amid the pandemic.

“Back in mid-March during the beginning stages of the pandemic, SMART wanted to see where it could offer assistance to the communities by utilizing the resources we had so that we could continue to support those in need — we just knew it was going to look a little different this time around,” said Kirk Kuchera, manager at SMART Transit. “Delivering meals offered our drivers a great opportunity to stay busy and keep them working, but more importantly, it continued to give them a sense of purpose and allowed them to continually help those in their communities, some of which they have come to know over the years.”

The Minnesota Public Transit Association has thanked systems statewide for their help, and to show its support for everything transit has done for the state has posted videos showcasing multiple transit systems in their efforts to assist communities. SMART Transit’s video is available here. Videos will be shared on MPTA’s social media accounts.

The release stated transit systems are now critical for helping people who can’t drive to get to vaccination sites. As vaccines begin to roll out, and Minnesota plans to get adults vaccinated this spring and into the summer, this will prove to be an important service to the entire community.

The release asked people to continue to support transit systems at the Legislature.