LATS Celebrating 15 Years of Service

After 15 years of service in Lawton Area Transit System (LATS) is looking to give back to its employees and the community who made reaching the anniversary a possibility. LATS kicked off their 15th anniversary week with recognition Monday where they honored two bus drivers, a mechanic and a maintenance director who have all been with LATS since it started in 2002. They also recognized Lawton Mayor, Fred Fitch, and former assistant city planner, Deborah Jones, and their roles in getting LATS up and running. They’re giving away prizes tomorrow through Thursday, offering free pizza on Friday, and free rides on Saturday.

The General Manager of LATS, Ryan Landerson, said, “The company just wanted to give back to the Lawton community to say thank you for support over the years.” Deborah Jones who serves as a liaison officer to the city transit trust and is one of the key people behind LATS getting started. She initially hoped LATS would be a success but after seeing the impact it has made over the last 15 years she’s thrilled. She said, “There are always people who do not have a car to get to work and they ride with us every day. There are people who need to go to dialysis four times a week. If you stay optimistic and continually funded, you can replace equipment, you can find good employees, and continue to provide that service. I’m not saying it isn’t an uphill effort, many times financially it is, but we’ve been very blessed.” She also stated that LATS has grown substantially from about 12,000 their first month to an average of more than 30,000 per month now. She hopes those numbers continue to rise and that LATS will become better because of it.

Ryan Landerson stated that Lawton is a great support. That’s why they decided to hold this week long anniversary celebration to not only honor LATS employees who have been there since the beginning, but more importantly it’s riders who use it every day. He said, “We have to give back to the community and I think this was just a small step that we can actually do. We are moving in a great direction, a direction that will further benefit the 300,000-400,000 people we transport each year and that number will only continue to rise in the future. We are going to build a transfer center, a hub and redesigning the system giving more amenities to the customers as well. There’s a lot of good things that are going to happen with LATS.”

LATS expects three new buses in June.


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