The effort to reestablish passenger rail between southeast Michigan and the Traverse City and Petoskey areas reached another major milestone when the Groundwork Center and the Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA) selected rail industry experts, Transportation Economics and Management Systems (TEMS), to explore costs and create a business plan for regular train service.
Andrew Vriesman, a 22-year-old senior at Central Michigan University, is excited about passenger rail that will one day connect Mt. Pleasant with Ann Arbor to the southeast and with Traverse City and Petoskey to the northwest. The route will travel through thriving downtowns that include growing businesses, tech sectors, and colleges that are collectively home to 90,000 students.
The Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA), which provides bus service for the Grand Traverse area, will ask local voters for continued support during a May 2 millage. Groundwork fully supports this millage because we believe that BATA provides a crucial service for the future of the region.
A “green team” of renewable energy leaders will help Traverse City fulfill its pledge to wean the city off fossil fuels for municipal electricity use. The target date for going 100 percent renewable is 2020.
Even on “The Jetsons,” hapless George would still get stuck in traffic jams on the way to work. Instead, says the Michigan Land Use Institute, what we need is a new vision for the future of commuting. MLUI wants to begin with a program called Local Motion, a community effort with local businesses, and a new website.
Back in 2009, some of the bumpers on BATA buses in Traverse City were held together with duct tape. Today, the 75-strong BATA bus fleet is taking more commuters than ever before to and from their jobs. They did this by adding routes and providing services that “fit residents’ lifestyles,” according to BATA’s business development director. This caught the attention of Jeffrey Tumlin: It is fortunate “you have a transit operator that really gets it.”