By Tyler Clifford
Ingham County Chronicle staff writer
Capital Area Transportation Authority bus route services will not operate Sunday in observance of Easter.
“It allows our employees, particularly the drivers and the folks that would be in the dispatch center, to actually spend time with their families,” said a spokesperson in the by company’s marketing department. “We close only seven days out of the year and that is to celebrate the seven major holidays.”
The spokesperson said that those most will be those who use Route 1 on Sundays. This is CATA’s busiest and most consistent route throughout the week and weekends.
“Typically, those who use our services to travel to and from Sunday church services as well as riders trying to get to Meridian Mall will be most affected by these changes,” the spokesperson said.
CATA has informed riders of the closings through social media, the CATA website and by phone for riders that tend not to use the Internet.
However, some Ingham County residents had not received the message and were not expecting the change in service.
Michigan State University student Jennifer Onwenu said college students would be affected, but many of her peers are returning home for the weekend.
“I think it’s a smart move that CATA is closing its Sunday campus services because there will not be many students on campus that really need to get around and they would be losing money because many students go home for the holidays to be with family,” she said Tuesday. “But I know many like to go to the mall on their Sunday rest day or even catch the bus to church, so those who are not going home may have a hard time getting around.”
CATA plans to continue operating its campus Night Owl service at its usual operation time Monday at 2 a.m.
“I know this will affect many Lansing area residents who depend on the CATA to get around,” Onwenu said. “They will have to seek out other ways to get around town.”
Lansing resident Delorean McKinney is a frequent CATA rider that will be affected by the Sunday holiday. She said she will have a hard time getting to where she needs to go.
“They take off for the holiday, but this won’t be a holiday for me away from church,” she said Wednesday while waiting on the Route 1 bus at Frandor. “I depend on the CATA and I pay good money to get where I need to get. It’s still another day for people to get to work or anywhere else as well, so it will be difficult for those who do not have any other alternatives.”
The CATA spokesperson said that there are no local competitors that will be able to benefit from its Sunday closing.
“The only service that we will provide is Lot Link which will end at 11:30 p.m. Saturday and resume 3 p.m. Sunday,” the spokesperson said.
CATA’s Spec-Tran lines will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday for Monday ride services. Spec-Tran can be contacted at 517-394-2282.
All CATA services will resume at regular schedule times on Monday, April 1, according to its website.
CATA customer service can be contacted at 518-394-1000 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.