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Free Rides to Your Dose of Hope

Monday, March 29, 2021

Categories: Blog, Community

As Michigan and the nation work to safely distribute COVID-19 vaccines, Michigan’s public transit systems have the infrastructure to support the equitable distribution of vaccines to people across the state who face transportation and access challenges in rural and urban areas and communities.

We at CATA are working with the state, local health departments and regional transportation partners to give you, our loyal riders, a ride to your dose of hope. We are supporting the state’s Spread Hope, Not COVID public education campaign to help inform and educate our community on the three safe and effective vaccines.

"If there is ever a time that we should come together as a community and serve those with the greatest need, it is now," said CATA CEO Bradley T. Funkhouser, "And CATA is poised to help."

CATA understands the obstacles that marginalized populations face when it comes to transportation. We would like to step in and solve that obstacle by giving free rides to scheduled COVID-19 appointments.

"We partnered with other state agencies and transit leaders, including Clinton Transit and Eatran, resulting in unparalleled coordination of transit in our region," Funkhouser said. "Together, we are helping to educate underserved populations about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, and to provide safe transportation to and from vaccination sites on behalf of those who still have too little."

All individuals with proof of a COVID-19 vaccination appointment are eligible for free transportation service. CATA rides are available seven days a week to vaccination sites. Clinton Transit and Eatran trips are also offering free trips. To schedule your ride to hope, visit cata.org/RideToHope or click the image below.

Ride to Your Dose of Hope Web Button

CATA is here to help you! That is why we have taken on this task to keep our community safe by helping to inform and transport residents to their dose of hope.

For more information about how to schedule your vaccine appointment, visit Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine. Residents who don't have access to the internet or who need assistance navigating the vaccine scheduling process can call the COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 (press 1) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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7 Things to Do in Lansing this Winter

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Categories: Blog, Community

Lansing Capitol building with snow

One of the best ways to fight the winter blues? Explore local activities with family and friends! Here are some of our favorite ways to enjoy Greater Lansing in the colder months:

1. Get up close to the biggest Christmas tree and ornaments in Lansing

People come from all over the state to see the 58-foot tree displayed in front of the Michigan Capitol building. It’s become a clear icon to the city, standing tall and proud. And for the first year ever, the state Christmas tree comes right from Lansing, thanks to two generous donors.

The red holiday ornaments are another crowd favorite. These giant picturesque sculptures are in the roundabout at Michigan Avenue and Washington Square, within walking distance from the Capitol. 

Save on parking and take the bus to these gorgeous decorations! Check out our trip planner to find the best route for you.

2. Experience the Wonderland of Lights at Potter Park Zoo.

Holiday lights, music, animal encounters and goodie bags make this event a real treat. Catch the Wonderland of Lights from Thursday through Sunday until Dec. 27.

Click here for details.

3. Support local artists at the REO Town Marketplace Holiday Bazaar.

Still have a few people on your holiday shopping list? The REO Town Marketplace presents a chance to shop for Michigan artisan-made goods. This fun new way to shop local is open now until December 24.

Click here to learn more.

Kids on tubes at the bottom of the snow hill

4. Hit the snow-covered slopes at Hawk Island.

As Hawk Island is less than a mile from CATA headquarters, this is one of our favorite wintertime activities. Bring your family, grab a few friends or go it alone on one of Hawk Island’s tube runs, ranging from 500-600 feet long. Then warm up at the snack bar with a cup of hot chocolate and s’mores.

Click here for snow tubing hours and pricing.

5. Challenge your inner learner at Impression 5 Science Center.

Impression 5 is an awesome place for kids of all ages to explore, learn and have fun! It was one of the first hands-on science museums in the country when it opened in 1972. Forty-eight years later, it remains a spot for the entire family to enjoy.

For hours and pricing, please visit impression5.org.

6. Shop small at the East Lansing Small Business Crawl.

Support local small businesses and earn points to win prizes during this year’s football-themed East Lansing Small Business Crawl! Players receive points by saving their receipts and submitting them on the Lansing Regional Chamber website. The more points earned, the more chances to win the grand prize of $1,000. The event is running from December 7-12. 

Learn more about the event here.

7. Treat yourself every Tuesday in Old Town Lansing.

Treat Tuesdays in Old Town are the perfect way to add some fun to your week. Each Tuesday, a different Old Town business will feature a “treat” which could be a sale, a giveaway, or other perks that make shopping local even greater. Treat Tuesdays will be going into 2021, so there are plenty of chances to explore local businesses in Old Town. 

See the full schedule for Treat Tuesdays here.

Brick Wall that says Love Lansing

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Collaboration Meets Innovation to Create a New CATA Bus Stop

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Categories: Blog, Community, Employees

Collaboration and innovative ideas are part of what makes our team so special – especially when they’re least expected. 

Nick Zickefoose, a customer experience representative at CATA, saw a need in the community and set out to fulfill it. 

Using Teamwork and Customer Feedback to Turn an Idea into Reality

A CATA rider contacted Nick suggesting a new bus stop on Route 9 in front of Atlas Meds Pharmacy. “He told me about how a lot of elderly and disabled customers use that particular pharmacy, but they had to walk from the current Route 9 stops to get there – which isn’t always easy for someone depending on their situation,” Nick said. Before a new stop was in place, the walk to Atlas Meds Pharmacy was several blocks. 

“The addition of this stop made sense from a number of angles,” said Kai Christiansen, the CATA Service Planning and Scheduling Manager. 

Kai received an email from Nick with the new bus stop suggestion. “I didn’t want to just let [the] request go unheard as it sounded like it had the potential to help a lot of people,” Nick said. “I remembered being told early in my time at CATA about Kai Christiansen over in planning and he’s incredibly good with these sorts of things.”

CATA Customer Experience Representative Nick Zickefoose

 

Kai was pleasantly surprised when Nick reached out to him and immediately got to work. “The quality of the information which Nick provided to me made my work easy,” Kai said. He noted it was "clear and actionable, making this process very straightforward.”

How a New Bus Stop is Created

The creation of a new CATA bus stop involves communication with stakeholders and configuration to meet customer, property owner and municipal needs. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance is also important. 

Once the stop has been designed, the building can begin. A contractor is methodically chosen, geolocation is added and a stop number is assigned.

The process to create a new bus stop involves CATA’s planning, facilities and procurement departments. It wouldn’t be possible without a strong and passionate team.

“It is always rewarding to be able to help facilitate the needs of our customers and create transportation solutions that make sense,” Kai said. 

The new stop on Route 9 is now up and running on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in front of Atlas Meds Pharmacy.

CATA bus stop #6081 in front of Atlas Meds Pharmacy

CATA’s priority continues to be meeting the mobility needs of our region. This priority is made possible in part through our dynamic, collaborative workforce. 

To learn more about Nick Zickefoose and the collaborative efforts of his department, click here.

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