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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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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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