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Grand Rapids Lifts Michigan Into New Era of Rapid Transit

All Aboard | April 17, 2013 | By James Bruckbauer

Last week in Grand Rapids, Gov. Snyder joined a group of state officials, business owners, and community leaders to break ground on a $40 million new bus line that’s expected to spur millions in new development and connect suburban commuters to downtown....

Are we ready for a ‘modal shift'?

Choices | April 4, 2013 | By James Bruckbauer

As the clouds make way for the spring sun, a lot of people are dusting off their bike helmets and heading out to work on two wheels. A “modal shift” is going full-speed ahead around the state and here in Traverse City. And it’s more than a seasonal change—it’s a long-lasting shift. Just take a look around....

Regional Rider: ‘Make No Little Plans’ Edition

Regional Rider | March 14, 2013 | By James Bruckbauer

Five transit agencies working together to create an interconnected regional transit system covering six counties doesn’t just happen overnight or over a few years. It takes lots of planning, lots of coordination, and effective communication....

For Roads, State Solutions Help, But Cities Need More

All Aboard | February 28, 2013 | By James Bruckbauer

More money is needed for transportation in Michigan, especially when it comes to rebuilding our freight and passenger rail network, improving transit, maintaining the roads we already have, and building our cities. But unless state lawmakers offer more local financing tools amid the state transportation debate, city streets will continue to crumble....

Regional Rider: The 'Share Your Opinion' Edition

Choices, Regional Rider | February 14, 2013 | By James Bruckbauer

It sounds like bus ridership is growing. 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 website....

Survey: Residents want bike trails, sidewalks, buses—not wider roads

Choices | February 11, 2013 | By James Bruckbauer

Northern Michigan residents want to see officials invest more money in bike trails, sidewalks, and transit, even if that means less money is spent widening roads, according to new survey by Northwestern Michigan College....

Running Out of Options for MI Transit

All Aboard | January 31, 2013 | By James Bruckbauer

Michigan has few choices when it comes to raising money locally for transit. Transportation agencies can only ask voters to pitch in through local property taxes. They must rely on fewer and fewer state and federal dollars for the rest of a project’s cost. Michigan lawmakers must stop holding its cities back. Our towns can start meeting their transportation needs without waiting for the state to solve the state transportation crisis....

Governor Pleads for Road Funding, But Details Are Unclear

All Aboard | January 17, 2013 | By James Bruckbauer

In his third State of the State address, Gov. Rick Snyder asked the Legislature to come up with a way to raise about $1.2 billion dollars that he says is needed to fix the state’s roads, bridges, buses, and trains. The state that brought modern transportation to the rest of the world is now fractured by crumbling roads, congestion, airport and train delays, and poor bus service. But questions remain, and local funding options should remain a high priority. ...

Regional Rider: Old Man Winter edition

Choices, Regional Rider | January 16, 2013 | By James Bruckbauer

National experts are coming to the area to help make our regional transit system even better. Smart Growth America, a national nonprofit dedicated to thoughtful city development, will enlist a team of big-time consultants to work with local transportation officials on developing a list of ways the state can encourage more collaboration among the region’s transit agencies. Plus, Snyder's state of the state address and the Wililamsburg Connector. ...

Snyder expected to tackle transportation in State of State

All Aboard | January 9, 2013 | By James Bruckbauer

You can expect one topic to be high on the agenda when Gov. Rick Snyder delivers his annual State of the State address next week: How we’ll pay for transportation in Michigan. The Republican governor, who set out to change the way Michigan invests in its road and transit network, is expected to unveil more details of his long-term strategy for fixing Michigan’s broken transportation system....

Regional Transit Authority a big win for Michigan

All Aboard | December 13, 2012 | By James Bruckbauer

Reliable, convenient, and efficient transit may soon make a much-needed comeback in the city that gave the world modern transportation. Last week, lawmakers in Lansing passed a series of bills that would create a regional transit authority (RTA) for Metro Detroit. It’s a big win for Michigan, for Detroit’s revitalization, and for the groups that have advocated for regional transit over the past few decades, including many members of the Transportation for Michigan coalition....

Short Gains for Detroit Transit

All Aboard | December 4, 2012 | By James Bruckbauer

After almost 40 years of failed attempts, senators in Lansing last week finally passed a series of bills that would create a much-needed regional transit authority for Michigan’s largest metro region. Now it’s up to the House, where, on Wednesday, the Transportation Committee will discuss the bills....

Regional Rider: Transit Authority, Grand Rapids Buses

Choices, Regional Rider | November 28, 2012 | By James Bruckbauer

In Lansing, the Michigan Senate passed a series of bills that would create a regional transit authority for Detroit and its surrounding counties. The authority would be responsible for coordinating and improving transit service in the Metro Detroit region. The House of Representatives could vote on the bill this month. This is a monumental step toward making transit service in Michigan more efficient and much more effective....

Voters Want Movement on Division Street

Great Towns | November 15, 2012 | By James Bruckbauer

The outcome of the recent local election signaled hope for many Traverse City families that improvements are possible along a dangerous thoroughfare that cuts through town....

New bus service brings Benzie, Traverse City a little closer

Choices | November 15, 2012 | By Jim Lively

This month, two regional transportation agencies launched a partnership that makes it easier for riders to travel between Benzie County and Traverse City while leaving their cars at home. The Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA) and the Benzie Transportation Authority (Benzie Bus) teamed up to offer a new connection service that allows Benzie Buses to transfer riders to BATA buses at Ric’s Food Center in Interlochen beginning Nov. 1....

Regional Rider: Frankfort, TC get a little closer

Choices, Regional Rider | October 17, 2012 | By James Bruckbauer

The Regional Rider is a monthly update that highlights the efforts to coordinate transit service in the six-county Grand Vision region. This month: Frankfort and TC get a little bit closer; Metro Detroit considers transit authority; coming events; and a new Bruckbauer on the bus. ...

Marohn: Big-box investments have long-term costs

Great Towns | October 17, 2012 | By James Bruckbauer

A speaker at a recent Mackinac Island convention spoke to city leaders from across the state about the long-term costs of big infrastructure investments like big-box stores. Chuck Marohn said they usually create impressive short-term financial gains for cities but almost always ends up crippling them with long-term debt....

Streets Should Connect, Not Divide

Choices | October 4, 2012 | By James Bruckbauer

On November 6, Traverse City voters will have a chance to take a crucial next step on one of the most important transportation challenges facing our city: Division Street....

Traverse City Rents Swell With Housing Demand

Great Towns | September 20, 2012 | By James Bruckbauer

Young people and young families want to live where they can bike downtown, walk to schools and parks, and shop at a nearby grocery store. But high rent prices are forcing them to the outlying areas where they have no choice but to drive to meet their basic needs....

The Vision Continues

Great Towns | September 20, 2012 | By Jim Lively

Four years ago, more than 12,000 citizens shared their vision for future growth and investment in our region. The Grand Vision was discussed in terms of decades, but there has already been tremendous community action to make some of those plans a reality. Community members are invited to celebrate this progress at a series of six Community Action Updates....

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