Traverse City Record-Eagle

Our Views

April 11, 2014

Editorial: Recent BATA changes put accountability first

The Bay Area Transportation Authority is undergoing some needed accountability changes that should improve service to some while rewarding others for playing by the rules. Public input over the next few weeks could further improve what the agency does.

A year ago the bus system, which is supported by a voter-approved millage on Grand Traverse and Leelanau county properties, trimmed so-called “loop” service to its farthest-reaching stops. BATA said the routes had low ridership and the change was intended to cut costs and make existing routes more time-efficient. Riders could still use BATA’s dial-a-ride system.

But public transit users wanted more consistency, and BATA has now extended its Glen Arbor, Suttons Bay and Kingsley loops to include early morning and late evening extensions to Empire, Northport and Fife Lake, respectively. The loop extensions are to start Monday.

While BATA deserves credit for restoring and expanding the service, the agency should also better explain why it made cuts in the first place. Saving money is important, but taxpayers have voted to support BATA over the years in order to provide transportation for those who need it, not just save money. Efficiency is a must; but service is why BATA exists at all.

BATA officials spoke with village and township boards for about a year to come up with a solution that provides options but keeps costs down and routes efficient.

BATA made another efficiency move recently; this one makes a lot more sense than simply limiting a needed service.

The agency implemented a new rule to temporarily suspended riders who fail to appear at a pre-arranged pickup for dial-a-ride service three times within four weeks. First-time offenders will be suspended for 30 days. Repeat offenders face suspensions of increasing lengths. Those riders can sill still utilize BATA’s fixed-route buses.

Text Only

Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot