In 1988, when Patty White began a job at KeyBank (then Ameritrust) in Cleveland, she planned on working downtown for a year, with hopes to relocate to another job closer to home. However, she discovered Laketran, the public transportation agency in Grand River, OH.
White celebrated her retirement from KeyBank—and 22 years of riding Laketran—on April 1.
“The car I had back then wasn’t really reliable, so I was a little nervous if my car could handle the 50-mile commute,” White said. She noticed a Laketran bus during her trip to work and learned that the Cleveland Commuter from Lakeland College could cut 22 miles from her daily commute.
“At first, I decided to take Laketran because I hated driving in rush hour traffic and the bus fare was cheaper, even with gas at $1.16 a gallon,” she added.
In 1995, Laketran introduced Commuter Express Route 11, starting at the firehouse parking lot in the city of Madison, OH; after outgrowing the city lot, Laketran built the Madison Park-and-Ride in 2001. “I was so grateful that my 50-mile commute was now only eight miles,” White said.
White served five years on Laketran’s Passenger Advisory Committee, representing commuter riders.
“Patty did more than attend meetings to provide us feedback on our service,” said Outreach Specialist Julia Schick. “Over the years, she volunteered her time at many community events to promote Laketran. She even threw a party for one of our drivers when he got promoted to a supervisor position.”
General Manager Ray Jurkowski added: “Lake County needs more voices like Patty’s. She has always been a cheerleader for public transportation and Laketran. Like many of our riders, she’s our eyes on the street to make sure we are doing the best to serve our customers. We’ll miss her on our Route 11 runs and wish her the best in retirement.”
“I’m not going to miss work, and I’m definitely not going to miss my commute, but I’ll definitely miss Laketran,” concluded White.