MTA seeks millage renewal for support of Your Ride services

GENESEE COUNTY — The Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) is seeking a millage renewal at the Aug. 7 state primary, where the funds would be used to provide the Your Ride service to the elderly, persons with disabilities and other members of the public in Genesee County.

If approved by voters, the millage renewal would levy .4 of one mill on the taxable valuation of property in Genesee County for five years. This renewal would begin after the current millage expires after the 2013 levy and run from 2014 through 2018.

The first millage for support of the MTA was first passed in 1996, with the original millage for support of the Your Ride serve first being passed in 2000. Overall, there has been 14 millage votes since 1996 seeking support for MTA, with each one being passed.

“The residents of Genesee County value public transportation and continue to show their support for county-wide services by supporting millage renewals,” said Edgar Benning, the general manager and CEO for MTA.

Your Ride provides complimentary bus service to the fixed route busing system and is mostly used by persons with disabilities and seniors.

“Public transportation is an essential service that provides a higher quality of life for those living in the community. People are living much longer and that is great, but unfortunately they are also living with medical issues or affected by disabilities,” Benning said. “Your Ride is a lifeline for those that are unable to drive and need assistance for basic travel throughout the community.”

The MTA provides Your Ride services to destinations across the entire county. Benning said that with demographic changes in the community that have caused the population to drop in the City of Flint and grow in the outer spots of the county, an open system of small vehicles which is focused on demand such as Your Ride will provide the most cost effective service to the entire community.

Benning said more than 600,000 Your Ride passenger boardings take place each year.

“Public transportation works for everyone, and the number of people choosing to use it as the option of choice is growing tremendously,” Benning said. “The MTA has one of the most aggressive Your Ride services in the State of Michigan.”

Individuals can schedule a ride from the service as early as 24 hours before they need the ride, and the MTA provides the Your Ride service from 6:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. on Sunday.

The Your Ride service is $2.50 each way for the general public and $1.50 each way for people with disabilities and seniors. A monthly pass is also available.

The estimated revenue that would be collected in the first year of this millage renewal is $3,340,081. However, due to the loss of property values since 2008, the same millage provided over $4.5 million in the past, Benning said.

The MTA Your Ride service is funded through state operating funds, the millage, and collected fares.

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