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March 5, 2013

Departure Time

Titus watched Area Transit grown from a two-bus operation to 24

After more than 20 years, Ola Titus, dispatcher at Cass Area Transit, retired Friday.

Titus, who moved to Logansport, from Mountain View, Ark., was one of the first drivers when what is now Cass Area Transit was out of Calvary Presbyterian Church.

Titus quit for awhile and took a factory job but was rehired back when Cass Area Transit as a driver and part-time dispatcher.

She took time off when she had back surgery and was hired back a third time at the current location, 115 S. Sixth St., in March 1998.

“It’s been wonderful,” Titus said. “I’ve got to know a lot of people and hear their stories. It’s like one big family.”

Titus’ supervisor, Louie Canal, transportation manager, has known Titus since he started working at Cass Area Transit eight years ago.

“She is about the warmest lady you could find,” Titus said. “She loves what she does and who she works with.”

Titus said with any experience there are good days and bad days, but the people have been great.

“It’s like one big family and retiring is like leaving my family,” Titus said. “I’ve made this my lifetime and when you’re with people daily you become close.”

Titus said she has been lucky to have assistant, Caleb Roller, 22, work with her. She said he has stayed in the position longer than anyone else and she’s going to miss him.

Canal agreed the co-workers are a big family and said Titus is the leader of their family.

“She is the figure head of the establishment,” Canal said. “People look up to her, what she says carries a lot of weight because of her experience.”

After more than 20 years working, Titus has seen the company grow from two buses to 24 and two drivers to 34. She said the company was a two-bus operation without handicap accessibility when it began. Cass Area Transit now travels all over Indiana.

They take people wherever they need to go and it is $2 a trip for non-seniors and free-will donation for seniors. Titus hasn’t driven in 14 years and has been a full-time dispatcher.

“It has become something the community needs and appreciates,” Titus said.

Titus said her co-workers had a going away party for her Thursday where she was given tickets to Willie Nelson and other gifts. Canal said Titus is irreplaceable and there will be a big set of shoes to fill.

Now that she is retiring, Titus plans to spend time babysitting her granddaughter and resting. She has been married to Mike Titus for 46 years and has four children and seven grandchildren.

“I’ve always loved working here and I’m going to miss it, but it’s my time to retire,” Titus said.

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