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From left to right: RTA Chairman of the Board Zak Schwank, Eastvale City Councilmember Jocelyn Yow and Corona City Councilmember Jim Steiner.
Longtime transit advocate Keith White was remembered during a ceremony Friday in Eastvale when several Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) officials dedicated a memorial plaque and bus stop in his honor.
Nearly 20 people attended the ceremony at the bus stop off Limonite Avenue, just east of Hamner Avenue to honor White, who passed away in October after he was hospitalized for a heart attack. One of the people attending was RTA Chairman of the Board Zak Schwank who said Keith was not just a customer; he was part of the RTA family.
“From Board members to coach operators, Keith seemed to know everyone’s name,” Schwank said. “He always seemed to have something positive to say about what we were doing both on and off the streets. Always a smiling face, always thoughtful, Keith was such a big part of RTA, and he will be missed.”
For more than 20 years, Keith was a mainstay at RTA Board meetings and a leading member of RTA’s Customer Advocacy Group. He was also a founding member of the Northwest Transportation NOW chapter, a public advocacy group that serves Corona, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Norco and Temescal Valley.
White had a driver’s license and access to a vehicle, but he chose to ride the bus instead. He seemed to gravitate to public transportation, not just the service, but the men and women who operated the buses and worked behind the scenes. Whether it was a trip to church, work or a KOLA 99.9 prize giveaway, Keith was proud to ride RTA buses — often several during the same day — to get where he needed to go.
The memorial was spearheaded by Corona City Councilmember Jim Steiner and Eastvale City Councilmember Jocelyn Yow, both of whom also sit on the RTA Board of Directors.
Steiner, who also attended the ceremony, said White’s interests weren’t limited to his home town of Eastvale. “He genuinely cared about transit service across Riverside County. And it showed in what he did,” Steiner said. “RTA salutes Keith for being a true friend of the Agency, his unwavering dedication, and determination to helping RTA be the best it can be.”
Yow said the Keith White Memorial Bus Stop will serve as a permanent reminder of his love for his community. “Keith was by far our most ardent supporter,” Yow said. “He was a dedicated champion for our causes both on the streets and inside our buses.”