MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – The executive director of the Marquette County Transit Authority (Marq-Tran) is preparing to retire after 40 years.

Delynn Klein started her career as a bus driver in October 1981 before Marquette and Ishpeming transits merged into Marq-Tran in 1985.

“I guess one of my fondest memories is that there used to be bingo all over, and I would start my shift in the afternoon and pick up all the ladies going to bingo and bring them back at night and that was one of the fun times,” said Klein.

She drove for about seven years and moved her way up to operations manager which she served 17 years, and now as executive director for 16 years.

“It’s been good. It’s a pretty unique industry and I think just advancing, there’s always something different, always something coming down the pipeline. There’s a lot of technology coming through. That’s always kind of nice because it’s fun to do something different.

“I mean, my job is never the same every day and it’s never been in transportation you just never know what’s going to happen and I love that part of it. But yet parts of it stay the same, you have to look at procurement and funding making sure we have everything we need to service the community.”

Klein said Marq-Tran is more than a public transit service, it’s a way to give back to your community.

“Without public transportation, a lot of people wouldn’t have a way to get their necessities, their basic needs to life met, and we do that and we’re very proud of that, that we can help somebody out. You know, a lot of times we’re the first ones if there’s an accident because we’re on the road so much, our drivers will report that. I mean there are just so many things, we are such an asset to the community and I’m proud of that and I think all of our employees are very proud of that. It’s a feel-good job because you know you’re helping people.”

One of Klein’s biggest accomplishments is building the transfer center in downtown Marquette.

“I built the transfer center and that was a lot of fun. It was a challenge. I had never built a building before and especially for the public. So, it was very interesting, the procurement for that, getting the architect and engineering, the construction firm, all of that was very interesting. I think our building turned out very well and it’s very well-used in the community.”

With Klein’s retirement in the new year, she looks forward to spending time with her grandchildren and traveling.

“It’s been a great career and I loved it. I’m going to miss everybody, I really am. But I need to go find other things to do, and it’s time to let younger people come in and make their mark if you will. I mean I never, ever planned on spending a whole career in transportation but it’s been a great ride, literally.”

Marq-Tran is currently in need of bus drivers. To learn more on how to apply, click here.

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