New On-Demand Public Transportation Service Starts Friday in Battle Creek
For the next year, neighbors can take public transportation across Calhoun County, with as little as 30 minutes notice, as part of a collaborative new pilot program. Battle Creek Transit will launch the program on Monday, March 8, under the BCGo name.
“We’re excited to come together as local transportation agencies to offer this innovative, on-demand option,” said Kristy Grestini, Battle Creek Transit’s Mobility Manager. “This collaboration allows us to better meet the needs of Calhoun County, expanding access to education, employment, health care, and social activities.”
Starting this Friday, riders can download the BCGo Calhoun County app on Google Play or the Apple Store. Users can request an on-demand trip anywhere in Calhoun County, and the app will provide current trip information, including vehicle location, and estimated arrival time. Riders can schedule trips up to two weeks in advance.
“Transportation is a big topic right now“, said Battle Creek City Manager Rebecca Fleury. “The City did a transit master plan. The county did a transportation plan. There’s a lot of discussion about what transportation and transit will look like in Calhoun County going forward. We know that public transit is changing. Funding is getting tighter, but also, how people use public transit is changing. I think this BC Go pilot program gives us a chance to see for a year what on-demand service looks like, how many will take advantage of it and where they go with it.”
Anyone without access to the app can call Transit at 269-966-3474, and tell the dispatcher they want to book a ride on BCGo.
More important details:
- Service hours are 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.
- Fares are $3 to $15, depending on the distance rider’s travel. They can pay through the app, or with exact change on the vehicle.
- Children must be at least 8 years old, and not require use of a car seat or booster seat, to ride with an adult. Children must be at least 13 to ride independently.
- All vehicles are wheelchair accessible and can store mobility aids.
- Not all vehicles providing this service will show the BCGo name and branding, because multiple agencies are collaborating to provide rides.
- This is a shared-ride service, so the app will match multiple passengers heading in the same direction. Please note seating will be limited due to COVID-19 restrictions. All riders must wear a face mask covering their mouth and nose.
Calhoun County Coordinated Mobility Pilot Fare Structure
- Less than 6 miles: $3
- 6-10 miles: $5
- 11-15 miles: $7
- 16-20 miles: $10
- More than 20 miles: $15
- Additional passenger(s) $3 each
A Michigan Department of Transportation Service Initiatives grant funded the Calhoun County Coordinated Mobility Pilot. Staff expect the pilot to last 12 months. Battle Creek Transit and Community Action will provide the rides, and the pilot will demonstrate how well it works across Calhoun County to coordinate public transportation using a centralized, on-demand platform. Liftango, a global shared transportation company, built the app for this pilot, one of their first in the United States.
“This pilot gives us the opportunity to collect real data that will play a key role in how we transform transportation in our communities,” Grestini said.
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