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Innovation In Motion: New Vehicles And Future Plans

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Categories: Blog

A CATA bus in downtown Lansing with the skyline in the backgroundAt the heart of everything CATA does is the mission of meeting the region’s mobility needs by providing innovative solutions. That includes closely assessing its fleet to guarantee that vehicles are not only safe, but that they provide a comfortable and welcoming experience for riders.

Since Nova buses were introduced to the fleet in 2019, CATA has replaced almost half of its fixed-route buses. For each new vehicle added, CATA retires one old vehicle.

Nova buses currently in operation:

  • 38: 40-foot buses
  • 9: 60-foot buses

The new Nova buses feature USB charging ports on the seats and padded vinyl seats for increased comfort and cleanability. Additionally, the sleeker minimalist design of the exterior and interior of the Nova buses make it easier for riders to spot the buses around the area.

New vehicles being added to CATA's fleet:

  • 4 new Ford Hybrid Escapes (2023)
  • 12 new cutaway buses (2023)
  • 6 new vans (2023)
  • 7 new Nova 40-foot buses (2024)
  • 2 new Nova 60-foot buses (2024)

Still, CATA’s commitment to innovation doesn’t end with simply upgrading its fleet to newer-model buses. CATA has joined many other industries in looking at the environmental impact of public transportation and begun exploring the purchase of two fully electric 40-foot buses. As part of these discussions routes, battery types and efficiencies are key considerations.

This content has been published in the 2023 Community Report.

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Transit Partners Continue Moving Towards Regional Mobility

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Categories: Blog

What happens when leaders from neighboring counties get behind the concept of seamless and convenient rides across boundary lines?

Progress.

What began as an idea to better coordinate public transit services across the Capital City region now has evolved into a historic partnership between CATA, EATRAN and Clinton Area Transit System that results in seamless connections between all three jurisdictions, allowing riders to reach their destinations more quickly and efficiently than ever before.

The new partnershipRoute 3 CATA bus in front of a stop with someone waiting took a monumental step forward last fall with the announcement that CATA CEO Bradley T. Funkhouser would also lead EATRAN, allowing the neighboring public transit agencies to collaborate in powerful new ways to achieve the dream of full regional mobility. Further strengthening cross-jurisdiction connections, CATA and Clinton Transit also forged a new interlocal agreement that will help align each system’s transit services and schedules.

In May 2023, CATA announced the extension of service year-round west of the Lansing Mall to Marketplace Boulevard on Route 3 into Delta Township. Approximately 30 new bus stops were added on the route extension.

“This is a huge win for Eaton County and the entire tri-county region,” said State Rep. Angela Witwer, 76th House District. “Since 2019, I’ve advocated for regionalized transportation. We’ve planned for and worked together to make this vision a reality. It’s a necessity if we hope to compete for and attract prospective businesses and employers to invest in our region.”

While CATA is making significant progress toward regional mobility, much work remains. Extended routes, additional service options and expanded schedules require investment. Local and state officials recognize that Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties are actively working with CATA to fill funding gaps to bring regional mobility to fruition.

This content has been published in the 2023 Community Report.

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Microtransit Improves Access And Equity In Public Transportation

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Categories: Blog

App mockup of the microtransit feature on a phoneHave you ever wondered how CATA plans its fixed-route services and chooses the location of bus stops? Generally, it is based on population density: Fixed routes are intended to make catching the bus as easy as possible for the greatest number of travelers. Obviously, not everyone lives near a bus stop, particularly in neighborhoods with lower population density, where residences are more separated.

That’s where microtransit fills the gap. By connecting people to public transportation services no matter where they live, microtransit helps overcome obstacles and makes access to public transit more equitable.

Think “Uber meets CATA” but with lower costs than those associated with hiring a ridesharing service.

And much like Uber or Lyft, CATA microtransit will operate through a smartphone app that allows riders to see and book the seamless transit connections that will get them to their destination.

Microtransit is not an entirely new concept. CATA’s advanced-reservation, curb-to-curb paratransit services and Redi-Ride services in Mason, Meridian and Delhi townships are forms of microtransit that use smaller, dedicated vehicles to help qualified riders get from place to place. But expanding how CATA utilizes microtransit to connect the community even further promises to deliver significant benefits for area residents in the near future.

This content has been published in the 2023 Community Report.

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