Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Wednesday

April 2, 2014

Three-strikes riders booted from buses

(Continued)

Kelly Yaroch, BATA’s director of human resources and operations, estimated the no-shows cost the system about $15,000 since the policy was implemented.

The policy mirrors that of other public bus services around the state, including in places like Bay City and Marquette, Menzel said.

But Volz thinks the policy is unfair. Volz, who lives in Sugar Plum Apartments in Garfield Township, doesn’t believe he should be penalized the same as someone who lives further from town.

He also contends his violations aren’t accurate. He said one bus showed up more than 30 minutes before the scheduled pick-up time, and once on the wrong day.

Volz works at Disability Network Northern Michigan and said he also worries about disabled people or working people who use the bus and can’t get to a phone to cancel, as well as students who have to stay after school on short notice.

“They’re going to kick the people off the buses that need it the most,” Volz said.

Menzel noted that riders can appeal their no-shows, and BATA can provide a record of when buses make stops.

Additionally, people can cancel any time of day or night, even if the office isn’t open, he said.

This is the third cost-saving measure BATA officials implemented in the last few years. Past changes include requiring people who want reduced fares to prove they’re seniors, students, or disabled and implementing electronic fare boxes.

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