The next time you take a CATA bus from Point A to Point B, thank Jim McClure. When I read his obituary in the CDT last month, I realized that more needed to be said about Jim’s contribution to the greater community.
I know I can say without fear of contradiction that Jim was the father of CATA. When the Fullington Bus Company said it was going to end service without a subsidy from the Borough of State College, Jim, a member of Borough Council, began a one-man campaign that eventually became CATA.
It was a rocky road. Council voted against a subsidy, but Jim persisted. He was soon joined by others too numerous to name here and eventually they won over the political leaders, not just in the Borough, but the Centre Region, and CATA was born. I remember decades later when one of those oppositional political leaders volunteered in a public meeting that Jim had been right and he had been wrong.
Jim not only led the charge, he was the midwife. He helped design and produce the first bus stop signs and with another graphic designer created the design for the buses. When some CATA workers repainted used buses, Jim intervened because they didn’t get the typeface quite right.
His attention to detail showed itself in many of his endeavors and the community is better for all of them.
(Resources for this letter include Jim Miller, Tom Kurtz, John Spychalski and Hugh Mose, all with CATA connections past and present.)