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Michigan Flyer could expand bus routes
Posted: August 04, 2011 - 2:45 PM
Michigan Flyer customers potentially will have twice as many opportunities to catch a bus in East Lansing come fall.
Michigan Flyer, an airport shuttle service providing shuttle trips between East Lansing and the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, plans to add a new route to its schedule this fall.
The additional route would utilize I-96 to make stops in Howell, Mich., Brighton, Mich., Ann Arbor and Detroit.
With the addition of a new route, Michigan Flyer will be able to increase the number of buses departing from East Lansing from seven to 14, something Vice President of Indian Trails — one of the parent companies of Michigan Flyer — Chad Cushman said customers have expressed interest in.
“In a nutshell, our customers are asking for it,” Cushman said.
Currently, Michigan Flyer offers one route that utilizes US-127 and I-94 to make stops in Jackson, Ann Arbor and Detroit.
Political science and pre-law junior Merchell Hunt uses Michigan Flyer to go home and visit her parents in Ann Arbor and said she is happy to hear of a potential new route.
“I use it pretty frequently,” Hunt said. “It’s actually the only way I can get home.”
During the summer, Hunt said she has difficulty finding a departure time that fits her schedule, and an additional route might fix that.
Cushman believes the new route will be especially convenient for travelers returning to East Lansing from the Detroit Metro Airport.
“It will better match their flight schedules,” Cushman said.
With the seven current departure times, travelers at the airport sometimes are left waiting to catch a Michigan Flyer bus for an extended period of time, depending on their plane’s arrival time.
In order to pay for the additional route, Michigan Flyer applied for a $1.5 million grant from the federal Transportation, Community and System Preservation Program, or TCSP.
TCSP was not available for comment Tuesday.
In addition to the grant, Michigan Flyer also will contribute $390,000 of their own money and purchase three new buses, which cost about $500,000 each.
In an effort to obtain this grant, Michigan Flyer has requested to be added to the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission’s illustrative list, which is a list of transportation improvement projects.
Once added to the list, Executive Director of the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission Susan Pigg said Michigan Flyer’s chances of receiving the grant might be increased.
Grant winners will be notified in September, and if Michigan Flyer is selected, Cushman said travelers should expect to be able to utilize the new route in time for the 2011 holiday season.
Read the State News article here.