BEULAH — At sunrise Tuesday, Bill Kennis, executive director of Benzie Bus, said he is expecting to make someone’s day.

At 7:20 a.m. the public transit system expects to provide its one millionth ride.

“This is a very cool milestone,” Kennis said. “We’ve been at this since 2007.”

The lucky rider will receive a one-year bus pass and a basket of gifts including $25 gift certificates from The Cabbage Shed and Honor Building Supplies, as well as a commemorative T-shirt with the Millionth Rider logo and sweets from Kilwins Chocolates.

Benzie Bus transported 108,000 riders in 2019, and 95,000 in 2018, and Kennis attributed the increase to his staff listening to what riders need.

“We surveyed our riders and are offering programs and times available that meet their needs,” Kennis said. “This summer we started a Lake Express for people that lived around Crystal Lake who wanted to go into Frankfort, we cover festivals, the 4th of July in Elberta, and have a students after school program.”

The Crystal Lake Express on Friday and Saturday evenings added 1,100 riders in 2019, and the 4{sup}th{/sup} of July added 1,000 riders, Kennis said. Oct. 1 was an all-time record, with 506 rides.

Benzie Bus riders include seniors, disabled, and riders who do not qualify for senior or disabled status, along with those heading to and from work, and those going to medical appointments.

Kennis said estimates predict most people will outlive their mobility by seven years, and so if you don’t ride a bus now, you may in the future.

Recommended for you