Patti Jo Peevy, the first and only program director for SERVE, Inc.'s Callaway County Transportation (CALTRAN) Program, will be retiring from that position at the end of March after 34 years.
Hired in August 1978, about two years after the county's public transit service was founded, Peevy has seen the program grow from one 12-passenger minivan equipped with a metal folding wheelchair ramp to a 10-vehicle fleet, a paid staff, a larger service area and a more substantial funding base.
CALTRAN was formed in 1976 to provide rides to medical appointments for passengers certified by the local Division of Family Services to the senior center for meals or the occasional doctor's appointment. Though she had no experience in public transportation, Peevy applied for the position of program director when it was created two years later because her sisters, Ann Adams and Betty Railton, both worked for SERVE, and Peevy could see the potential for the transit system.
"This is a large area," said Peevy. "When you've got that much territory to cover, you can't just base your services in your downtown area. I could just see it was going to grow and do some really positive things for the community, and in essence I really felt it has."