Michigan Land Use Institute

Thriving Communities / News & Views / A Summer of Smart Commuting: The BATA Connection

A Summer of Smart Commuting: The BATA Connection

Exploring Glen Arbor with the help of BATA

Choices | June 25, 2013 | By Zoë McAlear

Recent Posts

BATA Bus Moves Toward Solar

Fresh to TC | July 22, 2014 | By Rebecca Fisher

While some may not believe that solar could be successful in northern Michigan, there are already local moves toward solar that say otherwise. One example is the Bay Area Transportation Authority using solar panels on their 14 new bus shelters....

MLUI report examines potential for rail in Traverse City

Rail | July 17, 2014 | By James Bruckbauer

MLUI's latest report describes how rail travel could boost tourism and development in the area; the upgrades needed to run passenger trains along the tracks; and how comparable towns around the country restored old train lines....

MLUI to release rail report July 19

Rail | July 2, 2014 | By James Bruckbauer

The Michigan Land Use Institute will release the report, “Getting Back on Track: Uncovering the Potential for Trains in Traverse City,” on July 19 at the historic train depot in Traverse City. The report will describe what it would take to have some type of train running on the 11-mile stretch of tracks between Traverse City and the Acme/Williamsburg area....

Just outside of Traverse City you can find so many wonderful areas to explore. I don’t think that I need to remind anyone that this corner of Michigan is full of unique towns, open farmland, and beautiful wilderness areas.

Fortunately, BATA is working to provide even more access to all of these areas—without ever having to get in your car.

As part of their revised public transportation system, they’ve revamped their connections to places outside of Traverse City. Village Loops provide access to outlying areas, offering an option for commuters and maybe even convincing some people to leave their cars behind when they venture out.

And it’s so simple! If you can find your way to the Hall Street Transfer Station (bonus points for biking, walking, or taking a BATA bus) you have access to buses that can take you to Interlochen, Suttons Bay, Kingsley, Williamsburg, Glen Arbor, and all of the places in between.

I chose Glen Arbor as my destination for the weekend and decided to take my bike with me to explore a bit more. The buses leave Traverse City three times a day on the weekend (more during the week) and are spaced out to give you either four or eight hours to explore once you arrive.

I rode the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, accessible off of M-22 just south of Glen Arbor, all the way out to the Dune Climb where it ends for now. It’s only 4 miles long but there are ambitious plans to extend it to 27 miles before it’s complete. For now, it provides a safe connection between Glen Arbor and areas of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore for people choosing alternative modes of transportation.  

The trail provides a beautiful ride through the area. I was able to enjoy time on the beach in the historic village of Glen Haven and visit the attractions that include a restored general store and blacksmith shop, as well as the Glen Haven Canning Co. that has been turned into the Cannery Boathouse Museum. It’s a spot with a perfect mix of history and access to the beautiful shoreline. From there, it was nice to escape into the woods for a little while and ride through quiet scenery before the trail ends at the Dune Climb. Although I didn’t make the hike this past weekend, it’s always fun to watch people struggle to climb up the dune and then celebrate with a race back down.

And after an exploration of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Glen Arbor awaits with good food, art galleries, fun shops, and ice cream. 

BATA is a wonderful, and necessary, resource for someone like me who doesn’t have access to a car, but it can also be an exciting and feel-good option for someone who is choosing not to use theirs and looking for alternatives. 

Zoë McAlear is an intern at the Michigan Land Use Institute. She can be reached at zoe@mlui.org

No Comments

By submitting this comment you agree to our commenting policy.
Name:
Comment:
*Comments are limited to 1000 characters.

Search Archives

Michigan Land Use Institute

148 E. Front Street, Suite 301
Traverse City, MI 49684-5725
p (231) 941-6584 
e comments@mlui.org