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Making the ‘One-Seat Ride’ across counties a reality

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Categories: Blog

By Andrew Brieschke, Deputy CEO

Imagine a world where everywhere you need or want to get to is only one seat away. In the tri-county region, that world is about to become a reality.

In recent weeks, CATA has been working on preliminary coordination plans with both EATRAN and Clinton Area Transit System. The three agencies have collaborated to provide cross-boundary trips under interlocal agreements. All three systems are now preparing to better meet the needs of their respective riders.

The goal is to break down barriers that historically made cross-county public transportation time-consuming and inconvenient for riders.

Map of Ingham, Eaton and Clinton Counties"The concept of a ‘one-seat ride’ will dramatically improve service efficiencies for us and convenience for our riders," said CATA Chief Executive Officer Bradley T. Funkhouser.

At its core, regional mobility is defined as the provision of seamless transit options for residents, regardless of economic or geographic boundaries. By using a multitude of services and resources, riders have more access to desired destinations, shorter trips and wait times, and fewer transfers to connecting buses or service types. For many who rely on public transit, these options can cut trip times in half and provide cost savings.

But the benefits of a regional mobility plan for the tri-county area don’t end with public transportation. Now, CATA and its partners are a driving force for people to choose where they want to live, work and play.

A full regional mobility plan takes riders to workplaces, medical care and appointments, school, shopping, recreational and community activities. This means employers can fill open positions, family members can receive lifesaving health care and friends can visit one another.

Still, while progress toward regional mobility has been made in recent decades, 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.

Current and future businesses and residential developments are cropping up across the tri-county area, including General Motors’ battery plant and industrial parks in Delta Township.

"I’m proud of what CATA has been able to do to expand services across our region so far, and I’ve seen firsthand just how devastating it can be to our riders to not have access to transportation to get to work or medical appointments. Regional mobility supports everyone — riders, employers, businesses and families. I look forward to seeing where we can take our community with the support of our leaders and partners," Funkhouser added.

This content has been published in the 2022 Community Report.

Press Release: Tri-County public transit agencies launch unprecedented partnership to enhance regional mobility 

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A word from our CEO

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Categories: Blog

Dear Capital City Resident:

January 2022 marked the Capital Area Transportation Authority’s 50-year anniversary. We quietly celebrated our service to the region over the span of five decades. Needless to say, it has been an honor to deliver our much-needed transportation services to our community of riders.

Brad and other community leaders smile while going for a test ride on the Electric Nova busWe are grateful for our many partners — service agencies, contractors and colleagues. Without doubt, their trust in the Authority and its dedicated employees has contributed to our success story.

At the conclusion of 1972 — our first year in service — we recorded 732,609 trips on seven established routes, compared to 11.4 million trips at the end of fiscal 2019 and 33 routes. Additionally, our operating fleet has grown in number, today in excess of 200 buses and minivans.

Since March 2020, however, as our industry adapted to evolving safety protocols and mandates related to the pandemic, transit ridership declined — not only within the Capital City region, but globally. Still, our riders — especially those who rely on CATA to get to work and to access other essential services — remind us every day of the critical role we play in driving jobs, economy, community and, of course, you.

In this, our 50th year, our work is only now beginning.

CATA honors its past and looks forward to continuing to do what we’ve always done best: driving mobility solutions throughout Ingham County and, thanks to a shared vision with neighboring counties, in greater portions of Eaton and Clinton counties.

Our partnership with community leaders and organizations, along with updates in technology, will allow CATA to improve onboard safety and security, and fleet electrification to enhance rider experience.

We are pleased to present CATA’s 2022 Community Report in digital format. The stories inside the pages of this report reflect the Authority’s commitment to regional mobility, customer experience excellence, organizational strength, community partnership and a dynamic workplace.

As we begin our journey into the next 50 years, we remain committed to stewarding public trust and striving to provide exceptional public transportation services.

Sincerely,

Bradley T. Funkhouser

This content has been published in the 2022 Community Report.

 

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CATA Salutes the Trades

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Categories: Blog

Like most U.S. employers plagued by labor shortages, CATA has been rebuilding its workforce over the past 14 months. CATA bus operators represent 66 percent of the Authority’s employee base, making the recruitment and retention of new drivers – as well as mechanics and administrative personnel – paramount to the organizational strength, but also a challenge.

Looking beyond its standard recruiting practices, however, CATA recognized the opportunity to attract a new generation of employees, some of whom rely on its services for personal or family transportation.

“We cracked the code by taking an aggressive approach, offering unprecedented signing bonuses and newly committed resources,” said CATA Chief Executive Officer Bradley T. Funkhouser.

The result?

“We launched the “Look to the Road for Your Dream Career” campaign,” Funkhouser said. “It’s a timeless, turnkey and clever recruitment initiative that pulls out all the stops and actually brings applicants through our doors.”

One thousand nine hundred eighty-seven applicants, to be precise. Of those, 557 applied for an operator position.

Many applicants live in the Capital City region. They represent CATA’s widely diverse community of riders, and the potential to contribute to their community as a bus driver, mechanic or customer experience representative resonates with them.

Since the campaign’s spring 2021 launch, CATA has hosted five job fairs and onboarded no fewer than 170 candidates who have already begun their dream careers.

“We’re nowhere near ready to stop,” Marshea Brown, Director of Human Resources, added. “Recruiting continues in full swing. The Great Resignation isn’t going away anytime soon, and Baby Boomers are retiring in droves, so we are tirelessly keeping up the momentum. Our community will always need bus drivers because public transportation is an essential service for both those who don’t have other viable transportation options, as well as for those who are looking for affordable modes of transportation. CATA is proud to be the people’s public transportation service provider, bringing them one step closer to their dream careers and the best life they can live today.”

As news of CATA’s efforts to achieve regional mobility in the tri-county area takes flight, opportunities for a promising career in local public transportation is tangible.

“CATA remains committed to recruiting and retaining a robust workforce that keeps driving our communities forward, because that’s how we roll,” Brown said.

Looking for the career of your dreams? Apply today at www.cata.org/drive.

  • CATA is seeking bus operators and mechanics.
  • Competitive wages.
  • Excellent benefits packages.
  • $2,500 signing bonus for bus operators / $5,000 for mechanics.

Join CATA at their next Job Fair on Thursday, Sept. 15 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Frandor Shopping Center in the former Sears building (3131 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing).

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