Cass County Public Transit Authority names new executive director

CASSOPOLIS — New leadership at the Cass County Public Transit Authority hopes to roll the organization into a new future.

Niles resident Bob Durm has been named the new executive director of the Cass County Transit Authority, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable and discounted transportation to county residents. Durm comes to the authority with a long career history in finance and education. Most recently, he was the supervisor of transportation at Four Winds Casinos. He also has experience in the public sector, previously serving on the Niles City Council.

Durm said he was drawn to the executive director position at Cass County Public Transit due to its nonprofit status.

“I saw the position, and it seemed intriguing and a good fit that matched my skill set,” he said. “Here, we are helping those who need it, who maybe can’t afford their own transportation or don’t have a license. It’s a whole different business. We are in the business of helping people.”

Now that he has his first weeks on the job under his belt, Durm said he is excited to take on the challenge of ushering the authority into a new era.

“What we really want to do is progress the business and move it forward toward modern technology and different ways of doing things,” Durm said. “Our mission is to provide safe, dependable and affordable transportation to those who have a need for it.”

To help with implementing the authority’s future vision, it is currently completing a grant-funded transportation study to determine the county’s transportation needs and where the authority can improve its services.

“It’s going to give us a blueprint of a possibility for the future and options for how we can operate,” Durm said. “It will be a lot of really good information for us to use going forward.”

Once the study results are finalized, authority staff will determine what options are feasible for its future. Until then, Durm said he is working in the community to raise awareness about the organization and its services.

“I’m trying to be more visible,” he said. “I’m hearing from a lot of people that they didn’t know we were here; they didn’t know there were busses; they don’t see the busses. I’m trying to get the authority more exposure and am going to a lot of the public meetings — I went to seven meetings in my first two weeks.”

Durm said that is something he will always do in order to keep an open line of communication between the public and Cass County Transit. Luckily, he said that interacting with the public is one of his favorite parts of the job and what he is most looking forward to continuing as he further settles into the executive director position.

“What I enjoy most is getting out there, meeting the public and getting input from them,” he said. “What is most key to the organization is being able to offer people what they want. We are not just offering a service, but we are tailoring that service to the needs of the people of the county. If you or a family member is in need of transportation, give us a call.”

For more information, contact the Cass County Transit Authority at (269)  445-2455.

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