NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Essential workers were honored during Super Bowl LV in the stands and on television.

CBS2’s Ali Bauman recently spent some time with one of the New Yorkers featured during Sunday night’s big game.

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Luis Jimenez has been a city bus driver for 22 years.

“I’m born and raised in New York, in Washington Heights, so it’s easy for me to travel and pick up the people around my neighborhood,” Jimenez said.

COVID VACCINE

He treats each passenger like a neighbor and said his favorite part of the job is picking up regular customers.

“I learn the times they show up, so I will wait a few minutes, give them a few minutes,” Jimenez said.

And that consideration has not gone unnoticed.

“He always try to make all the customers feel good when he’s driving,” one passenger said.

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But when the coronavirus pandemic shut this city down in March, Jimenez’s bus got quiet.

“People was not allowed to come through the front door. They was only allowed to come through the back,” he said.

And with the risk of COVID-19 on board daily, driving became his duty.

“I was driving because I had to help, especially the essential workers that needed to get back and forth from work,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez got through with the support of his five kids and his teammates in the Timeless Torches, the WNBA New York Liberty’s official dance team for men and women over 40.

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“They kept encouraging me and that was part of the whole push that I needed to come out here,” Jimenez said.

He worked 12-hour shifts month after month.

“New York don’t stop. We move New York. If we stop, New York stops,” Jimenez said.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

His dedication is one of the reasons Jimenez was among the essential workers chosen to be featured by the NFL and CBS Sports during the Super Bowl pregame show.

“We have chosen to show up for the world,” Jimenez says on the video.

And CBS2 was there on Sunday when Jimenez’s family watched with pride.

“Kind of made me tear up a little,” daughter Destiny Jimenez said.

“I’m feeling very, very humble,” Luis Jimenez added. “Who would’ve known I’d make it to the Super Bowl one day and it would be in this way.”

“I’m really proud of my dad,” son Alexis Jimenez said.

New York will never be able to repay Luis and all our essential workers for their sacrifice.

“At a time when I was needed I was able to say I’m here,” he said.

But from all of us at CBS2, thank you.

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Ali Bauman