Laketran drivers Lee Raimey and Vickie Williams were two of the three drivers recognized during the Ohio Public Transit Association (OPTA) awards ceremony at the association’s annual meeting this month in Columbus.
Bus driver Lee Raimey received the 2019 OPTA Milestone Award for 30 years of accident-free driving at Laketran. He has never had an accident in 30 years of driving. Raimey hit that milestone last November.
Raimey is not only the most senior bus driver, but the most senior employee in Laketran’s organization. A fixture along Mentor Avenue, Raimey has been driving Laketran’s busiest route, Route 1, which travels Mentor Avenue between the Painesville Transfer Center and Lakeland Community College for 30 years.
“Lee’s safety record is impressive and really unheard of in the industry. He has driven close to 400,000 miles without any incidents,” shared Laketran CEO Ben Capelle.
Receiving the 2019 OPTA Community Impact Award was Vicki Williams, recognized for a heroic act during a Dial-a-Ride pick up that illustrates how bus drivers offer security to the community’s elderly and disabled who are often isolated in their homes.
After arriving at the home of a senior citizen for a standard Dial-a-Ride pickup, Williams followed her instincts when she knocked on the front door of the home and no one answered. She walked around to the back of the home, where she found the back door open. Her customer had fallen in her kitchen and was not able to get herself back up into her wheelchair. She had been laying on the floor for a few hours not sure what she could do to assist herself. Williams was able to comfort the woman while Laketran’s dispatch team contacted EMS for assistance, who then transported the customer to the local hospital for necessary treatment.
Williams has worked at Laketran for eight years, and previously at Greater Cleveland RTA for three.
“Their efforts are just two examples of the important role bus drivers have in the safety of our community keeping our roads safe and providing security and independence for seniors and people with disabilities in our communities,” said Capelle. “We are very proud of both Lee and Vickie for their awards and how they represent Laketran in our community.”