Path Train Engineer – COVID

Path Train Engineer - COVID
Downtown Alliance


Elena Clarke’s job is to make sure people get where they need to go. She’s a PATH engineer, and she’s been working all through the pandemic.

Clarke works in the cab of the train, i.e. the driver’s seat, and because it’s her job to be on PATH trains all week, she comes prepared. “I make sure I have all the PPE that I need,” Clarke told the Downtown Alliance, “and not only for myself.” If a coworker forgets a mask or gloves or hand sanitizer, Clarke is ready to be generous — because it helps everyone. “We’re trying to all do this together.”

Clarke, who has worked for PATH for eight years, keeps in mind how important her role is to keep the city running, through the worst of the pandemic and now, in this strange limbo split into phases of reopening. “I’m proud to do what I do,” she said. “I’m proud to be an essential worker and get other essential workers where they need to go.”

Clarke’s shift goes from 3:30p to 11:30p. “I take people home from work, which I like because they seem to be in better spirits,” she said.

Though, in the last few weeks, Clarke has noticed a change.

Every day, I’m seeing more people –

and it’s funny because it used to be that everyone rushes to sit down and kind-of like push each other out of the way to get a seat. But these days everyone’s a little more apprehensive of one another, a little more patient with each other, and I like seeing that.

Still, Clarke wants to make sure everyone remembers to wear their masks so everyone can stay safe — and remind people to bring their PPE with them when they disembark. The trains are dutifully cleaned — and they should stay that way. So take your masks and gloves with you and don’t leave them in the train car. “If people would be more conscious to pick that stuff up, that would be great,” she said.

Like everyone else, Clarke is still processing how COVID-19 has impacted the world. “This really affected everyone in a big way. Even outside of work I see the way people have changed,” she said. “I’m in my thirties and I’ve never felt like I have had to be so protective when I leave my home.”


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Grace Capobianco, CEO/Publisher of Downtown Media & Production was born to be a visionary. She has spent the majority of her life working, developing and marketing innovative media products that not only engage and inform but also bring entire communities together. Utilizing her personal vision as a professional guide, Grace started her first company, Tropical Publishing, when she was just 27 years old and from this moment on, she knew that entrepreneurship was her passion. On a perpetual quest to bring innovative and relevant news to communities, she also created, developed and published the first ever Chamber of Commerce magazine for the Palm Beaches, The South Florida Office Guide. Evolving within the realm of publishing, she moved on to launch Up The Coast magazine in the 1980’s, a guide to Jupiter, in north Florida, where the population aggrandized from 9,000 to more than 70,000 today, and then continued to hone in on niche markets with the launch of publications like Alternative Medicine and NewBeauty. Simultaneously, she launched ATSI, a telecommunications company, which sold Mitel and Siemens products to her publishing clients. The idea of Downtown Magazine NYC was born for Grace in the wake of the devastation of 9/11. A Lower Manhattan resident at this time, Grace saw firsthand the incredible sense of community the neighborhood had demonstrated during these trying times, as well as its immense strength and perseverance. She explored every angle of launching a magazine that would speak to this community but initially felt the timing was just too soon. It wasn’t until 2010 that Grace felt the community was ready to hear its voice and launched Downtown Magazine NYC.