Lincoln Township Trustees listen to possible public transit solution

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

STEVENSVILLE — With a light agenda Tuesday night, the Lincoln Township Board of Trustees was treated with a presentation on the public transit system in Berrien County.

Kim Gallagher, a Southwest Michigan Planning Commission senior planner, made the presentation and went through some of the problems county residents are faced with when it comes to public transit.

Gallagher told the board the four public transit systems in the county – Berrien Bus, Buchanan Dial-A-Ride, Niles Dial-A-Ride and Twin Cities Area Transportation Authority – have more than $4 million in expenses each year.

“We are the only county in the state of Michigan to have four public transit agencies,” she said. “We are also the only county of our size in the entire United States to have four separate public transit providers.”

The guest speaker spoke of a lack of handicap-accessible transportation, a large unserviceable area and varying amounts for transit fare.

As a solution, Gallagher said the SWMPC is looking to establish a county-wide system operated by one entity.

“This would change what they have done since the 1970s,” Gallagher said. “This came before we had people working 3 p.m. to midnight at Wal-Mart. The service isn’t frequent.”

Supervisor Dick Stauffer said he wanted to bring the board up to date with the transportation conversation that has been ongoing for the county.

“It’s a hot-button issue,” Stauffer said. “There are several agencies involved and there’s going to be some adjustments.”

Acres rezoned

The board had its second reading to consider the Lincoln Township Planning Commission’s recommendation to rezone three parcels along 6907 Red Arrow Highway between Defay and Linco roads.

The 30 acres were rezoned from neighbor residential to light industrial to accommodate a new business called Stay and Obey.

The next Township Board meeting is at 7 p.m., Aug. 11 in the municipal building at 2055 W. John Beers Road.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@thehp.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on July 16, 2015)

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