State, federal and local taxpayers help chip in for CATA services

By Chris Hung
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

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.

The struggle is real: parking in downtown Lansing

By Ella Kovacs
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

Everybody knows the feeling of struggling to find a parking spot. Especially in congested city areas, it can be difficult to find a place to leave your car before a shopping outing, a quick bite to eat, or even a day of work. There are several options—you could drive in circles looking for a street side opening, where you’ll empty your pockets of change for the meter. Or you could find a parking garage and pay significantly more for your temporary spot. People on the streets of Lansing were more than willing to share their transportation stories.

In Clinton County, a lack of mass doesn’t preclude mass transit

By Diamond Henry
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter

DEWITT — Small cities don’t usually have a lot of traffic flow, but not everyone owns a car. So how do the citizens of DeWitt get to where they need if a car isn’t an option? Clinton Transit is how. Compared to larger cities like Lansing or Detroit, DeWitt’s need for a large transportation system is not necessary. “We are different because we don’t have a big population in DeWitt; we have about a population of 76,000 in all of Clinton County,” said The director of Clinton Transit Dawn Benson.

Changes to CATA route could improve commute between Mason and Lansing

By Daniel Hamburg
Mason Times staff writer

A grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is helping to gather input from citizens in Mason and Lansing about adding additional CATA bus service between both cities. Route 46, the bus route between Mason and Lansing, runs one northbound trip daily at 7:05 a.m. from downtown Mason, and one southbound trip at 5 p.m. from the CATA transportation center in downtown Lansing. Doug Klein, executive director of the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce, said the proposed change would add one more bus in the morning and evening, possibly an hour later than both times, alleviating problems of many people working a 9 to 5 job. The Mason Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Mason and the Mid-Michigan Program for Greater Sustainability are some of the organizations looking to determine if adding routes would benefit both CATA and citizens who live or work in Mason. Julie Powers, executive director of the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council, says the grant of about $5,000 is being used to assess the need of more public transportation, as well as enable community members to get involved in the transportation planning process.