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The Regional Rider: ‘Fun Fact’ EditionPrint

Thriving Communities | April 24, 2013 | By James Bruckbauer

We're releasing a new brochure next month filled with lots of facts about our transportation habits. (Photo by Gary Howe)

Hey transit fans,

Did you know that over 30% of transit riders get their recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise without stepping one foot in a gym?

As it turns out, walking - even just a block or two to a bus stop each day - pays off.

Or, did you know that most Grand Traverse area households spend one-third of their income on transportation?

For many families, that's a serious chunk of change.

Those are just a few of the facts and figure's we're uncovering in a new mini-report about our transportation habits. Stay tuned. We'll release the new mini-report next month.

For now, though, you can 'save the date' for our June 4 - Getting Transportation to Work Commuter Summit from 3-6PM at the Traverse City Opera House. That day, national transportation experts will help us create strategies for improving how we get around in the Traverse City region. More details about that event are on the way.

Northwest Michigan transit in action

The Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA) will soon be adding more service on its routes that connect places like Kingsley, Empire, Suttons Bay, Interlochen, and Williamsburg to downtown Traverse City. Riders from those areas will soon be able to jump on a bus almost every hour. The Record-Eagle has more on some of BATA's upcoming changes.

You can also stop in at any of the information sessions listed here.

What's happening around the state?

State officials were in Grand Rapids earlier this month breaking ground on the state's first-ever bus rapid transit system. For us bus geeks, this is a huge deal! The almost 10-mile long bus line will enjoy its own dedicated street lanes, intersection lights will give the bus special priority, and riders will board on a platform instead of on a curb, cutting down on wait times to board the bus and ultimately shaving off a normal commute time by 40 percent. It's expected to open in August 2014.

Zane McMillen gives a history of the project on MLive here.

Thanks for keeping up with the Regional Rider!

Upcoming events (lots of 'em this time)

•    Apr. 24 at 9:00 a.m. - Bay Area Transportation Authority Board Meeting at the Leelanau County Government Center (8527 E. Government Center Dr., Suttons Bay, MI)

•    Apr. 24 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. - Wexford County Grand Vision Framework For Our Future Expo at the Cadillac Junior High School (500 Chestnut St., Cadillac, MI)

•    Apr. 24 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. - Bay Area Transportation Authority Information Session at the BATA Hall St. Transit Center (115 Hall St., Traverse City, MI)

•    Apr. 25 at 4 p.m. - CANCELED: Grand Vision Transit Subcommittee at the BATA Hall St. Transfer Center

•    Apr. 25 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. - Antrim County Grand Vision Framework For Our Future Expo at the Bellaire Senior Center (308 Cayuga, Bellaire, MI)

•    Apr. 29 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. - Leelanau County Grand Vision Framework For Our Future Expo at the Leelanau Hort. Research Center (8527 E. Government Center Dr., Suttons Bay, MI)

•    Apr. 30 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. - Grand Traverse County Grand Vision Framework for Our Future Expo at the Hagerty Center (715 E. Front St., Traverse City, MI)

•    May 7 at 3:30 p.m. - Grand Vision Transportation Network Meeting at the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments (600 E. Front St, Traverse City, MI)

•    June 4 from 3:00 to 6:00 PM - SAVE THE DATE: Getting Transportation to Work Commuter Summit at the Traverse City Opera House (106 E. Front St., Traverse City, MI)

You might be interested in...

Are younger generations seeing automobiles as simply a tool? (NPR)

Grand Rapids Lifts Michigan Into New Era of Rapid Transit (MLUI)

Stanford commuters discover benefits of reducing peak traffic (StanfordNews)

Public Transit Does Relieve Traffic Congestion, Just Not Everywhere (AtlanticCities)

Transit advocates celebrate as authority gets to work (Freep)

See you on the bus!

~James