Retiring Rider Celebrates 22 years of Laketran RidershipPublished: Wednesday, March 30, 2011
When Patty White took a job at KeyBank (then Ameritrust) in Cleveland in 1988, she planned on working downtown for a year with hopes to relocate to another job closer to home. On April 1, 2011 White will celebrate her retirement from KeyBank and 22 years of riding Laketran.
“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 explained. She noticed a Laketran bus come along during her commute and found out there was a Cleveland Commuter from Lakeland College that could save 22 miles off 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.”.
In 1995, the Commuter Express Route 11 began from the city parking lot of Madison firehouse. “I was so grateful, that my 50 mile commute was now only 8 miles.” After outgrowing the city lot in 2001 Laketran built the Madison Park-n-Ride, located off the SR 528 and Interstate 90..”.
“Today, between gas, vehicle maintenance, and parking cost, I probably save close to $300 a month riding Laketran. I tried to think how much I’ve saved over 22 years. With the cost of living expenses it’s difficult to figure out, gas has gone up significantly and parking has always been about $5.00 a day. I think I’ve saved about $40,000-$50,000 easily over the years, plus we haven’t had to buy so many cars,” explained White. “I also have taught myself how to crochet, read books or the paper, or simply take a nap during my commute.”
White also served on Laketran’s Passenger Advisory Committee (LPAC) for five years representing the commuter riders. “Patty did more than attend meetings to provide us feedback on our service. 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. She developed a bus family, which happens quite a bit on our commuter routes. Many riders have “bus buddies,” shared outreach specialist, Julia Schick.
“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,” commented, general manager, Ray Jurkowski.
“I’m not going to miss work, and I’m definitely not going to miss my commute, but I’ll definitely miss Laketran,” ended White.