Chris Laton was raised in the West End area and has been living in Seven Lakes North for thirteen years. He remembers the first group of children to attend West End Elementary.
“I remember camping out when [Seven Lakes] was a sand pit,” Laton said.
As an adult, Laton began working in a government position before becoming a driver for Frito-Lay for eighteen years. During this time, he began to wonder if he could make a living by providing quality transportation to people in the community.
“I came up with the idea and never pursued it,” he said.
As time made it more difficult to be a Frito-Lay vendor, it became easier to make a career change.
In February 2018, Laton chose to make his dream a reality with Seven Lakes Transportation.
“It’s a real pleasure to get out and meet people,” he said. “Everyone has a story.”
While driving with Frito-Lay, Laton attended multiple defensive driving classes and learned how to make safe driving decisions on the road. If an accident ever occurred, drivers were asked to “dissect” the accident and decide what could have been done differently.
With his years of safe driving experience and clean driving record, Laton hopes to provide transportation to the community whether he’s taking someone to an airport, hotel, wedding venue, or out to dinner.
“I want to provide a quality transportation that people see as dependable,” he said. “My driving mindset I based on the Smith system of driving. Aim high on steering, make sure people see you, keep your eyes moving, try not to travel in packs, and leave yourself an ‘out’.”
Seven Lakes Transportation is a pre-arranged transportation service that is meant to be planned in advance. There are currently two vehicles operating for the company and if the business grows Laton will consider adding services perhaps to include a handicapped-accessible vehicle.
“In the future I would like to have a handicap vehicle,” he said. “I really see a need for it.”
Laton runs Seven Lakes Transportation with the help of his two sons and a couple of local retirees with considerable driving experience. His wife also helps with the company when she isn’t working on her own business, Regina’s Cleaning Service.
The goal of Seven Lakes Transportation is to help keep business local while providing safety and comfort.
“I would like to get people to their destination safely and on time. With some people, they feel thrown around and rushed around by other services,” Laton said. “Many people call for transportation from other sources outside the neighborhood because they don’t know I am here. I just want the opportunity to become the service they call on.”
Transportation needs are served on a case-by-case basis. Individuals have been transported to the hospital and home before and after a procedure. They have also been taken to and from work.
The service is used primarily as a shuttle service to and from the airport.
“The best thing to do is give me a call and let’s see if I can help you,” he said.
As the business continues, Laton hopes to see an expansion.
“For now, I’m taking it one day at a time,” he said. “I have a second vehicle and drivers on call. I would like for people to compare my service based on price, service, skill, and courtesy. I believe Seven Lakes Transportation is the best value in our area.”
Laton does not answer his phone while driving, so please leave a message if he is not reached. Car riders must be at least sixteen years old or be accompanied by an adult.
To arrange transportation, call or text (910) 773-0368. For more info, email SevenLakesTransportation@gmail.com and visit Facebook.com/SevenLakesTransportationLLC.