Listen to the interview with John Stapleton, Delta Area Transit Authority
ESCANABA — Four townships in Delta County will be voting on a millage to fund public bus service in the August 7 election. The half mill request for five years in Escanaba Township is a renewal. Bark River, Cornell and Bay de Noc Townships are being asked if they want bus service with the same request.
Delta Area Transit Authority Executive Director John Stapleton said DATA service in Escanaba Township has grown tremendously since it started five years ago.
“We started there with virtually no riders when that millage was passed. We’re now doing about 6,000 rides a year in Escanaba Township. So, that picked up day by day, year by year,” he said.
Stapleton said the request in Bark River, Cornell and Bay de Noc Townships is a yes or no vote on whether they want to have service in their area. He says the request is based on interest in the township.
“What generally happens is we’ll get a call from somebody that lives in one of the out lying townships that needs to go to a medical appointment or dialysis or to work, sometimes school, bay College. We get a call saying they need a ride once or twice a week and what they learn is we don’t service that area,” said Stapleton.
The money raised is used as matching funds for state and federal grants to operate the DATA service. Stapleton says the millage amount to about $25 a year for a home worth $100-thousand.