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The Regional Rider: 'Kid Friendly' EditionPrint

Thriving Communities | August 20, 2013 | By James Bruckbauer

Hey transit fans,

Looking for a better way to get your kids to summer camp? How about transit? Last month on MyWheelsAreTurning, Ashley Walter shared a story about the wonderful experience she had allowing her daughter and three other kids - all under six – to ride the BATA bus to the Boardman Nature Center. 
 
Here’s an excerpt:
“Don’t get me wrong, the kids also loved the activities, games, friends and crafts during the camp too. But what got my 4-year-old out of bed in the morning? “You’re going to be late for the bus.” I’ve never seen my daughter jump out of bed and get dressed so quickly. Not even on her birthday!”

Well there you have it. Just like that, the number of transit fans keeps growing and growing.
 
Since we know kids love buses, what are we doing to encourage more family-friendly transit?

Northwest Michigan transit in action

Did you know the Grand Traverse Resort and Casino offers transit passes to their employees at a discounted rate? Or did you know Hagerty Insurance reimburses employees for a portion of their bicycle expenses if they commit to biking to work a certain amount of days a year? What a deal! These companies are reducing traffic, promoting health, and providing reliable travel options.  
 
We’ve launched a new program called Local Motion that’s dedicated to helping commuters figure out the best way to “smart commute” and helping companies create their own company-wide smart commute incentives. Stay tuned for more details.

What’s happening around Michigan

Interested in freight and passenger rail in Michigan? Consider attending the Michigan Rail Conference on August 27 in Lansing: More details here.
 
Can a person travel around Michigan using only bikes, buses, and trains? You can, but it's tough. Last year a group of us made a valiant attempt to travel the state during the Michigan Transportation Odyssey. This year, a new group will try again, but this time, in reverse. This year’s Odyssey begins in Traverse City on September 25 and ends in Detroit on September 27, with stops in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Ann Arbor.
 
Want to chat with them as they stop? Check out the Transportation for Michigan website for details on how you can participate.
 

Upcoming events

 

Parting thoughts…

To fund roads, the legislature may put sales tax hike on Nov. ballot (MLive)
Oregon’s solution? Charge users per mile they drive (AtlanticCities)
West Michigan is moving forward with transit, state Rep. says (RG)
To spur growth, northern Michigan towns look to trains (R-E)
Ypsi looks to trains, too (AA)
Ann Arbor leaders to welcome new bikes (Concentrate)

See you on the bus!

James
 

The Regional Rider is a monthly email newsletter that highlights the efforts to coordinate transit service in the six-county Grand Vision region. It's published by the Michigan Land Use Institute's transportation policy specialist, James Bruckbauer. Contact James with any questions or to provide feedback. Follow him on Twitter: @jimbruckb.