New bus service brings Benzie, Traverse City a little closer
Connection lets bus riders count on regular transfers
Choices | November 15, 2012 | By Jim Lively
For more information
Transfers take place five times a day from 6:20 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. at Ric’s Food Center on U.S. 31 N. in Interlochen.
Bus schedule for the Frankfort/Interlochen portion of the route (scroll down to see the times)
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- Pat Weber: The music tradition in Traverse City begins in its schools- the feeder system as it were. Traverse City Area Public Schools has had a long and rich music legacy in both vocal and instrumental instruct...
- Mario: Great article Hans Well written and an important message....
- Cory Johnston: Your reasons to vote NO are reason enough for me. This is 1960's mentality being used to fix 2015 and beyond problems. While mentioned, is there any guarantee that alternatives to one driver/one car w...
- Gerald Wilgus: Much of this is disingenuous rationalization in support of a "lesser of two evils" argument. This is how privatizing profit and socializing risk is maintained. We all agree that transportation inf...
|Riders can now travel between western Benzie County and Traverse City with a regular, fixed bus schedule—perfect for commuters to TC, and for city residents headed to a show at Interlochen Center for the Arts or to enjoy the Frankfort shore.|
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. With buses leaving five times each day from stops in Frankfort, Beulah, Benzonia, Honor, Interlochen, Grawn, Chums Corners, Grand Traverse Mall, and BATA’s downtown Traverse City station, this bus route links riders with many of the region’s important destinations.
Riders can now travel between western Benzie County and Traverse City with a regular, fixed bus schedule—perfect for commuters to TC, and for city residents headed to a show at Interlochen Center for the Arts or to enjoy the Frankfort shore.
This is the second regional transit collaboration for BATA, which launched a weekday connection in Buckley with the Cadillac Wexford Transit Authority in 2009. It is also the fifth village connector fixed schedule route; others connect Traverse City with Empire, Northport/ Suttons Bay, Acme and Kingsley. All told, BATA now serves more than 20 regional villages with fixed schedule service connecting to Traverse City.
According to BATA’s Executive Director Tom Menzel, by next May the agency will increase the frequency of service to these villages, and add other improvements such as a new Web site and new marketing and signage to help riders find the bus stops.
These partnerships and improvements are tangible results of the Grand Vision process, which called for more transportation choices, including enhancements to the regional transit system. And it’s something MLUI has been pushing for years. These are village connectors in the true sense of the word—public transportation that links northern Michigan’s wonderful towns and cities and their residents.
Fixed schedule buses means that if you can get to a bus stop along the route when the bus comes by, you can get to a job or an appointment at the other end of the route on time. This new service provides an important option for people that cannot drive, or would like an option to drive less – maybe even get rid of the expense of a second car.
Michigan Department of Transportation Director Kirk Steudle visited the region on Nov. 12 to celebrate the kick-off of the new service, and he praised the cooperation between local agencies.
“I applaud this culture of collaboration, especially when a plan is initiated at the local level and we can help make this vision a reality,” he said. “Tell us what you want to do and then ask how we can help.”
Don’t worry, Mr. Steudle. We’ll continue to do that!
Jim Lively is program director at the Michigan Land Use Institute and a regular bus rider.
1522 days ago, 10:11am | by Don Monteith - (Charlevoix) | Report Comment
This is great, now can we hook up the Indian Trails Bus to and from Charlevoix, Petoskey, St. Ignace, Cheboygan and the Soo? Some Day, we'll make the big "Hook-up" at Traverse City, via Great Lakes Central RR to Grand Rapids, Chicago, Ann Arbor to Detroit, Cleveland, and NYC!
Donald Monteith, Chairman Northern Region, of "MARP" (Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers),