County voters can continue to support BATA public transit

From staff reports

Next Tuesday is Election Day, albeit an “off-year” election. Nevertheless, Leelanau County voters can continue to support Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA) public transit by voting in favor of a millage that would begin in 2013 and continue through 2017. BATA’s current five-year levy expires in 2012, according to the Leelanau Enterprise, the county’s paper of record.

The ballot in question asks for .3454 mills, beginning in 2013 and continuing through 2017. If approved and levied in full, two years from now, the millage is expected to generate an estimated $2,305,190 in Leelanau and Grand Traverse counties.

BATA director Tom Menzel told the Enterprise that they decided to appear on the ballot this year because “we didn’t want to get lost in the 2012 General (Presidential) election.”

According to BATA, 552,830 passengers road buses in Leelanau and Grand Traverse Counties between Oct. 1, 2010 and this past Sept. 30. The Enterprise reported that “more than 12 percent of the ridership total can be attributed to an innovative program to provide bus service to Suttons Bay school students.” The Glen Arbor/Empire zone boasted the highest number of BATA call-for-rides, at 6,229, whereas the Cedar/Maple City zone finished last at 3,980.

The Michigan Land Use Institute this summer released its “Gets you where you want to go” bus brochure, which includes BATA routes. Learn more about their six-county schedule here. The Glen Arbor Sun also features a link to the Land Use Institute’s bus schedule on the “Go Green, Ride the BATA Bus” section of our homepage.

This story was sponsored by Forest Gallery on Lake Street in downtown Glen Arbor.