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The Regional Rider: The ‘Carefree and Car-Free Summer’ EditionPrint

Thriving Communities | July 25, 2013 | By James Bruckbauer

Hey transit fans,

Trying to get around the Grand Traverse area without a car is no small task. But it’s getting easier every day.

MLUI’s intern Zoe McAlear is finding out first hand.

She is living in Traverse City for the summer without a car. So, of course, we asked her to travel around the region, do cool outdoorsy stuff, and write about it … but with one caveat: She needs to get around without driving.

Impossible? Not a chance, thanks to our transit agencies.

She kicked off her internship during Smart Commute Week with a trip down the Boardman River where she coined the term “kayamute.

Later, after a fun bike ride up and down Leelanau Trail, she rode BATA’s Village Loop out to Glen Arbor. She even tested BATA’s new Bike-n-Ride to Suttons Bay.

On her latest trip, she bused and biked between Traverse City and Acme via the Williamsburg Village Loop and the TART Tail.

What an odyssey, huh? I heard Dinghy’s in Frankfort is calling her name now. Will she make it to the lakeshore? Tune in next month for more adventures.

 

Northwest Michigan transit in action

Even after almost two months, I’m still thrilled about the buzz and excitement around our Getting Transportation to Work Commuter Summit in June.

It was a great day for transportation. We highlighted BATA’s big improvements, launched a new program dedicated to helping people get around called Local Motion, and released the first of three fact sheet that highlight just how much we drive in the Grand Traverse area.

Speakers Jeff Tumlin and Mary Sell showed us how Stanford University and Google save big by paying employees to leave their cars at home.

And local companies, too, are taking notice and creating their own commuter incentive programs.

It’s a great year for biking, walking, and riding the bus in the area! Let’s keep moving!

Next week, Current Transportation and Smart Growth America will hold their third meeting with local transportation officials to discuss next steps to improve our region’s transportation network. The mobility management strategy meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Aug. 1, in the conference room at the Michigan Works office on Garfield in Traverse City. We’ll be talking about bus stops, sharing bus passes between transit agencies, linking transit with the airport, and many other topics.

 

Upcoming events

 

Parting thoughts…

Has the car culture ended? It has with young people. (NYTimes)

In fact, in 2011, only 67% of young people — 16- to 34-year-olds — had a driver’s license, the lowest since 1963. (MarketWatch)

Michigan’s top transportation chief takes a Bike and Ride test spin (9&10News)

If you build a bike route, they will ride (Crain’s)

As Legislature breaks for summer, support for road funding shrinks (MLUI)

Transit agencies are responding to the shift (NYTimes)

 

See you on the bike AND bus!

 

James Bruckbauer