Local representatives have been working together on an initiative called “Shaping the Avenue” to spark economic development across four mid-Michigan cities. This is a multi-jurisdictional partnership between the City of East Lansing, City of Lansing, Lansing Township, Meridian Township and the Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA).
Capital Area Transportation Authority, or CATA, will offer free rides on Election Day, Nov. 8. A bus pass will not be required. CATA Director of Marketing Laurie Robison wrote in an email that “a valid voter registration card is all that’s required for a free ride aboard CATA on Election Day.”
CATA plans on adding two designated bus lanes right down the center of the Grand River Avenue corridor for the Route 1 bus. The bus rapid transit (BRT) system is expected to improve certain aspects of Grand River Avenue including traffic congestion, safety, and attractiveness. “CATA is not changing the entire system to a BRT system. CATA is proposing to change Route 1 to a Bus Rapid Transit line to improve travel for all modes along the corridor,” said Debbie Alexander, the assistant executive director of CATA. “When buses operate in their own lanes and use stations for boarding, the speed of travel for the bus rider is improved by up to 13 minutes, and the flow of auto traffic is improved because buses are not stopping frequently to drop off and pick up passengers along the 8.5-mile corridor,” said Alexander..
By Griffin Wasik
Ingham County Chronicle Staff Reporter
A $143 million proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system could be finished as soon as 2018. The BRT would run from the Capitol to Meridian Mall via Michigan and Grand River avenues. It would also add a designated bus lane, remove current bus stops, and add traffic signals, according to Meridian Township documents. “The total cost of the BRT is not $133 million,” John R. Veenstra, a Trustee member on the Meridian Township Board of Commissioners, said. “Many people are getting this confused.
Imagine living without a form of transportation. Many people in Meridian Township rely on the CATA bus system to get them to and from destinations within the town. “[Without the CATA bus system] we would have a couple of different types of problems,” said Julie Brixie, treasurer and CATA board member of Meridian Township. “One would be that traffic congestion would be remarkably higher than it is today. [Secondly,] I believe that some of our bigger employers in the area, including Meridian Mall and Meijer, would have difficulty getting some of their employees to work, and they might have a harder time filling some of the positions that they have.
By Lauren Captain
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter
Your preference of transportation mode matters on a normal day, but this past St. Patrick’s Day CATA buses overpowered the inclinations of some to use their own motor vehicle. CATA’s Entertainment Express, that runs every week Thursday to Sunday to offer a primary mode of sober transportation, was helping the cause to promote against drinking and driving. The Entertainment Express is used in hopes of consumers helping themselves and other pedestrians from drunk driving accidents, not only this day, but every time the trolley rolls around. “Keep in mind that with or without the free-sober ride offer, CATA was already scheduled to operate Entertainment Express between the Capitol and East Lansing, and that the majority of those riders own a Student Semester pass, giving them unlimited rides aboard all fixed-route services, meaning they wouldn’t have had to pay any more to ride on St.
The Meridian Township Treasurer’s Office spends just about 6 percent of money received from taxpayers on the Capital Area Transportation Authority. In comparison, about 4 percent is spent on their police force. “Voters [in Meridian Township] have approved the tax support for public transit,” said Julie Brixie, who is a member of the CATA board of directors and the township’s treasurer. “CATA receives subsidies from both the state and federal government as well.”
While taxpayers in Meridian Township are also paying for CATA’s bills, a large sum of the funding is actually paid for by the state and federal government in the form of subsidies, explained Brixie. More revenue comes from the state government, accounting for approximately a quarter of CATA’s revenues in 2015.
By Zachary Barnes
Old Town Lansing Times Staff Reporter
Old Town Lansing is not slated to see public bus service become more frequent in the near future. That’s bad news for Old Town bus riders. Currently, during evening and weekend hours CATA will only pass through the Old Town area roughly every 45 minutes. This does not include the time it takes to get to the downtown Lansing CATA bus station where one must connect to the specific bus that will take him or her to Old Town. One must connect again when leaving Old Town to get on the right bus that will take them home.
Proposals for CATA’s Redi-Ride service could increase taxes for Meridian Township citizens. Former Meridian Township Treasurer Tom Klunzinger said when Redi-Ride was voted into effect in 2000, the board proposed for a .2-mill tax to provide the service on a trial basis. Redi-Ride is a curb-to-curb bus service for citizens to any destination within Meridian, according to Township Manager Frank Walsh. “We have had some concerns raised about the service,” said Walsh, “So we are holding a community meeting to listen and engage the community in what issues have arisen.” The meeting was held on Oct. 27 at the Meridian Township Hall.
By Haywood Liggett
Listen Up, Lansing staff reporter
Local citizens relying solely on public transportation are giving mixed reviews on public transportation in the city. Numerous people have taken the bus at least once. However, a vast amount of the populous have access to a vehicle of their own, or that of a family member, close friend, significant other etc. But there are a large number of Lansing citizens that rely exclusively on public transportation. CATA, Lansing’s only bus system, is one of typical ways those without vehicles get around.