70
      Saturday
      82 / 67
      Sunday
      85 / 70
      Monday
      79 / 60

      Transit leaders look to simplify public transportation

      At a Buses Without Borders meeting Monday, leaders focused on what it would take to build a regional transit network.

      For those who use public transportation it may be easier to get around northwestern Lower Michigan in the future.

      At a Buses Without Borders meeting Monday, leaders focused on what it would take to build a regional transit network.

      Grand Traverse, Antrim, Benzie, Leelanau, Kalkaska and Wexford counties are part of this proposed network, and already have bus services. It's a matter of connecting those bus services that brought transit leaders, including the director of the Michigan Department of Transportation, to the Hagerty Center.

      Officials say right now it's difficult to use buses if people want to travel between counties.

      A representative from the Northwest Oregon Transit Alliance shared the lessons they learned in creating an alliance in a rural area.

      Organizers say the framework for this program is already there. They just need to do more work to get it up and running.

      ??We're paying for this service already. Can we make it efficient and effective enough that everybody can use it for some of what they do some of the time??? said Roger Millar from Smart Growth America.

      This meeting comes after an 18-month study. From the study, organizers say they hope the transit authority will benefit both residents and visitors to northern Michigan.

      Similar transportation alliances are being discussed in areas such as Grand Rapids and Lansing.