Lakeland Area Mass Transit District (LAMTD) has provided efficient public transportation in Polk County via Citrus Connection for over 40 years, and Lakeland City Commissioner Sara Roberts McCarley has made transit history as the first female to lead the board of directors in the district’s history. As a Lakeland native, she is dedicated to making a difference in her hometown and the surrounding area.

In 2009, McCarley started the Randy Roberts Foundation, named after her late husband, in order to empower young people to participate in public service at the local, regional, and national levels. Through the organization, they offer scholarships for high school seniors, the Congressional Classroom program for high school juniors, and an internship program through Florida Southern College.

As the first female board member for LAMTD in 2019, McCarley has now replaced recently retired Polk County Commissioner John Hall as the board chair. McCarley previously served as the executive director at Polk Vision, building local partnerships between public and private organizations. An active volunteer in the county, she is involved with multiple schools, including Harrison School for the Arts and Lakeland High School, her church, the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce, and more.

Citrus Connection plans to expand its route, stretching toward Davenport in north Polk County to Bartow and Lake Wales, making transit within the county more efficient and saving hours of travel time. McCarley and her team look forward to connecting the community better. As Lakeland and the greater area continue to expand, it becomes crucial to be able to provide transit services, enabling people to have access to employment opportunities, medical facilities, and educational programs.