Marion Transit Driver/Dispatcher Tonya Kroft Retiring after 17 Years Share

Apr 27, 2023  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

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.”

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