Loyal Bus Patron Gets Surprise Visit from Marion Transit Team Share

Jun 16, 2020  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

A loy­al city bus patron was sur­prised at her res­i­dence by an entourage from Mar­i­on Tran­sit after months of not get­ting to ride the bus due to health pre­cau­tions from COVID-19. Rober­ta Bertie” Har­ris would nor­mal­ly take the city bus rou­tine­ly and enjoyed vis­it­ing with the staff and Direc­tor of Trans­porta­tion, Jeff Edwards. 

At 10am on Tues­day, June 16th, four bright white Mar­i­on Tran­sit bus­es pulled up to Miller’s Mer­ry Manor where Har­ris resides. Miller’s staff assist­ed Har­ris to the front lob­by of the build­ing so that she could view the sur­prise that await­ed her. Near­ly a dozen friend­ly faces from each bus met her from out­side the glass win­dow, wav­ing and blow­ing kiss­es at her. Miller’s staff mem­bers wit­nessed her reac­tion. Senior Health Facil­i­ty Admin­is­tra­tor, John Velasquez, was by her side as she looked through the glass. I could not only hear how delight­ed and sur­prised she was but also saw her pos­i­tive reac­tion see­ing all those faces. When the gen­tle­men, Jeff, came out in front of the crowd, I heard Mrs. Har­ris say, Oh my, there is Jeff,” and to hear the excite­ment in her voice was won­der­ful. She start­ed wav­ing her hands. She was real­ly sur­prised to see so many famil­iar faces and men­tioned all the bus­es lined up out­side, For me?” and, All of those peo­ple are here to see me?”

Velasquez expressed his appre­ci­a­tion to the City of Mar­i­on and all of the Mar­i­on Tran­sit employ­ees who took time out of their day to coor­di­nate and spend a few min­utes to say hel­lo to Mrs. Har­ris. I appre­ci­ate the com­pas­sion and ener­gy that the employ­ees shared with our res­i­dent today. Thank you so much for bring­ing a bit of extra joy to our resident.”

Har­ris was inter­viewed after­wards. She explained that she doesn’t have any­one but one nephew who comes to vis­it her, and the sur­prise vis­it from the City team made her entire year.

Edwards planned the sur­prise to send cheer her way and show they were think­ing of Har­ris and miss­ing her. It made my day, and I know that she was real­ly hap­py, so that made me feel won­der­ful. I won’t for­get that moment.”

Mar­i­on Trans­porta­tion has been oper­at­ing under strict rules to date, fol­low­ing the health cri­sis. The sur­prise vis­it is one of many ways they show appre­ci­a­tion for their rid­ers and the cit­i­zens of Mar­i­on on top of pro­vid­ing the free tran­sit service.

Media Con­tact:

Jeff Edwards: 765.668.4405 / jedwards@​cityofmarion.​in.​gov

*More pho­tos & video @CityofMarionIN on Insta­gram, Face­book, & Twitter

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