2015-10-01 / Local News

Bus service expanded for Northport loop

By Amy Hubbell Of The Enterprise staff

The Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA) will begin new Village Loop service to Northport today.

BATA is expanding its Loop Route 10 to provide three weekday roundtrips to Traverse City.

“We received feedback from members of the community that they’d like to see more services and additional times,” said Eric Lingaur, BATA’s marketing and sales manager. “Previously,wehada6a.m.slot originally set up for commuters. But the citizens said that didn’t work for them and they suggested later times.”

BATA will be making weekday stops in Northport at the Village office at 9:35 a.m., 12;35 p.m. and 6:35 p.m.

An additional bus stop has been added to Route 10 — at the Omena Post office when the route extends to Northport and a stop at the new Leelanau Studios (formally Norris Elementary) on Cherry Bend Road.

Other route adjustments include the removal of BATA’s St. Michael Church stop in Suttons Bay due to “non-existent ridership.” However, Suttons Bay riders can continue to board at BATA’s stop location next to the Suttons Bay Library.

“We’re always looking for ways to improve our service delivery and Northport is on one of those areas where we’ve received increased interest,” said Kelly Yaroch-Dunham, BATA’s director of operations and human resources. “We made this adjustment based on ridership data and community feedback to coincide with the transportation needs in the area.”

Weekend Route 10 service to Northport is not changing and will continue to make two weekend roundtrips on both Saturday and Sunday. As with all BATA routes and services, the expanded Northport schedule will be monitored for ridership over a 12-month period and the service level will be adjusted accordingly based on actual usage.

According to Linguar, ridership on Route 10 averages between 40 and 50 trips per month. He anticipates a 20 percent increase with the change in service.

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