Hi my dear Signal Problems readers. I hope you’re doing as well as possible under the current circumstances. First, a quick note of thanks for everyone who read and shared my article on why the US sucks at building public transit for VICE last week. I put a ton of work into it, and even with the coronavirus shit hitting the fan, the article was the most read on the VICE network for that day by what I am told was a wide margin. It reinforced my belief that this is a subject people care about and it’s worth taking the time to do thoughtful, comprehensive reporting around it, a belief that Signal Problems was instrumental in instilling. So thank you all again for your continued support.
Today’s note is a quick one. I know I have a lot of subscribers who work for public transit agencies around the country. There is so much changing all the time, and as a reporter all I can do is help document it. So, I want to hear from you about how the coronavirus and these unprecedented times are impacting you.
Obviously, plummeting ridership and the accompanying financial loss is the big one, and it’s something I’ve written a little bit about. But I want to hear how your day-to-day work life has been impacted, what challenges you face, and anything else you think I should know. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I know many employees at public agencies cannot speak to the press without authorization and can be punished for doing so. In that case, if you wish to remain anonymous, that’s fine. But please do the following to both protect your identity and aid the reporting process:
Do NOT email me from your work address. Send it from a private email account and a non-work device
Clearly state you wish to remain anonymous in the email
Provide some proof you work for the agency in question for editorial fact-checking purposes only (a photo of your business card or work ID is fine; if you’re not comfortable with those, let me know and we can figure something else out)
Also, if you are in some other line of work but have something you think a reporter should know about how coronavirus is impacting you, that’s fine too! I may not be the right reporter to do the story, but I can help you find one.
As someone in a stalled Q train once told me, we’re all in this together.