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Laketran Station Honors Memory of Julie Cunningham

Laketran in Painesville, OH, recently dedicated the new Painesville Transfer Center in memory of Julie A. Cunningham, a Laketran board member from 1998-2001 and president/chief executive officer of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO), Washington, D.C., from 2001 until her death in 2014.

Cunningham was a native of Painesville and lived there until she joined COMTO, working as a senior consultant at the Perry Nuclear Power Plant.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony coincided with the 59th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, AL, a key moment in the civil rights movement.

“The basic freedoms of equality and access are principles that Laketran firmly embraces as we serve over 750,000 riders each year. We are proud to take part in this national day of remembrance as well as recognize one of our own past trustees, Julie A. Cunningham, for her efforts to provide minority professionals a voice in the transportation industry by dedicating this new transfer center in her memory,” said Kevin Malecek, Laketran board president.

Annually, the transfer center serves 130,000 riders who use three Laketran bus routes. Its new location will improve riders’ access to the bus stop, provide additional safety and protect them from inclement weather, said Andy Altenweg, Laketran deputy general manager.

The construction project cost $287,752, with 80 percent covered by federal funds and the balance by local funding.


Members of Julie Cunningham's family take part in ceremonies dedicating Laketran's new Painesville Transfer Center in her memory. From left are retired Col. James Paige, Cunningham's partner; her father, James Smith; and her sister, Elisa Smith-Sanchez. 

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