Longtime Marion Transit Driver and Dispatcher, Tonya Kroft, will retire on June 1st after 17 years of service.
First hired part-time for the City of Marion after 17 years of driving for Marion Community Schools, Kroft soon became full-time and handled various other duties. For about 10 years now, Kroft has been dispatching from the downtown bus terminal and filling in with driving when needed.
Kroft said she enjoyed the hours with not having to work evenings or weekends, and getting the chance to help people every day. “I enjoy talking with people and helping them get where they need to go.” She explained that simply hearing their appreciation is very rewarding. Kroft’s relationship with her co-workers she expressed was like having a second family.
Experiences that stood out to Kroft included driving for community events such as Mississinewa 1812 and Airstrip Attack, and participating in the National Rural Transit Assistance Program’s “Roadeo” competition. Each year, she would decorate the department’s Christmas tree with special ornaments of many clients they serve.
In retirement, Kroft looks forward to being with her two daughters and four grandchildren more often. She plans to maintain her Commercial Driver’s License in case she wants to drive part-time in the future. “Right now, I’m excited about my options,” she said. “But, it’s going to be hard to leave. I have the perfect job, good hours, good co-workers and management, and I’ve been so bless with that.”
Transportation Director Jeff Edwards said it is going to be tough to lose Kroft. “Tonya, from day one, set the bar high. She welcomed me on my first day and stood out as a genuine person. She displayed great character with kindness and professionalism in communicating with the people, delegating special pickups, and in helping with any project. She’s definitely going to be missed.”