Traverse City-area bus agency seeks higher tax in 2 counties

Posted at 7:35 AM, Mar 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-06 07:35:30-05

The bus agency that serves the Traverse City area will ask residents in two counties to raise a property tax.

The Bay Area Transportation Authority says its buses travel in Leelanau and Grand Traverse counties, roughly the size of Rhode Island. The tax would rise to 0.5 mills if voters approve on May 2.

It would cost $50 a year for the owner of a $200,000 home, compared to $34 now. BATA hasn't asked for an increase in more than 14 years.

If the millage fails, BATA would lose 35 percent of its funding.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle says the transit agency is pledging to replace older buses, reduce wait times and add real-time tracking and mobile fare payments. Ridership increased 7 percent in 2016.