Join Renew Donate Gift It
Site Search Show Navigation

Regional Rider: The 'Share Your Opinion' EditionPrint

Thriving Communities | February 14, 2013 | By James Bruckbauer

Benzie Bus is now saving dollars and helping to save the Earth by running their buses on propane, not just diesel.

Hey transit fans,

The results are in: Many northern Michigan residents want to see more money invested in bike trails, sidewalks, and transit, even if that means less money is spent widening roads, according to a new survey by Northwestern Michigan College.

That should send a clear message to our bus agencies: Keep up the great work! Your service is improving, and the community’s noticing.

It sounds like ridership is growing, too. Our field reporters tell us that there’s an increasing number of riders on the Frankfort to Traverse City Connector, and that buses all over town are filling up. That’s news we like to hear.

What about you? Do you think transit in this region is improving? Do you see more people at bus stops around town? Do you ride the bus? Why or why not?

Share your opinions and join the community discussion on transportation, housing, and energy at a new Grand Vision site called Let’s Decide How. It’s a fun way to voice your thoughts and see what others think about our growing transportation network. The site is free to join and managed by the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments.

Northwest Michigan transit in action

Have you heard the news in Benzie County? Benzie Bus is now saving dollars and helping to save the Earth by running their buses on propane, not just diesel. Over time, the fuel switch will allow the agency to spend fewer resources on gas, and invest in more resources to serve their customers. Way to go, Benzie Bus!

What’s happening around the state?

Last week, Gov. Rick Snyder officially unveiled his proposal for how he thinks the state should raise money to repair its crumbling infrastructure. He’s proposing to increase registration fees and make a few changes to fuel taxes. Now it’s up to the state Legislature to work out a plan.

If you’re interested in transit, there’s good news: The governor’s proposed budget would spend more this year on buses and trains than last year, and more than any other governor in the past. Since people all over the state— including here in the Grand Traverse region—keep saying they want better transit and safer streets, hopefully the state’s decision-makers continue to focus on the whole transportation system and not just roads alone.

Learn more about his proposal here.

Upcoming events

► Feb. 27 at 9 a.m. – Bay Area Transportation Authority Board Meeting at the BATA Hall St. Transfer Center (115 Hall St., Traverse City, MI)

► Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. – Grand Vision Transit Subcommittee at the BATA Hall St. Transfer Center (115 Hall St., Traverse City, MI)

► Mar. 5 at 3:30 p.m. – Grand Vision Transportation Network Meeting at the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments (600 E. Front Street, Traverse City, MI)

► Mar. 13 at 12 p.m. – Benzie Bus Board Meeting at the Benzie Bus Headquarters (14150 U.S. 31, Beulah, MI)

You might be interested in…

► To reduce congestion, Ann Arbor residents choose light-rail (Heritage)

► Another way to ease congestion? Bike share. (AnnArbor)

► Amtrak's also improving service and breaking ridership records in Michigan (MLive)

► Sorry bus riders, it looks like bike riders are the happiest commuters (BikePortland)

► I didn’t see BATA’s Empire Connector on this list… (Outside)

See you on the bus!

-James