The St. Joseph County Transportation Authority’s Circle Line in Three Rivers has introduced Saturday service . The $1, one-way ride via the Circle Line provides stopping points and pick-ups at a number of fixed locations throughout the city. The Circle Line service previously was offered only Monday through Friday in Three Rivers. Prospective riders who live on the fringe of a Circle Line stopping point may ask in advance for Flex-Route service by making arrangements in advance with SJCTA dispatchers. Saturday Circle Line hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Renewal of one-third of a mill was granted Tuesday to the St. Joseph County Transportation Authority. The Three Rivers-based agency was seeking a four-year renewal in order to maintain its current level of services.
Steve Yorks, executive director of the SJCTA, said he appreciates the vote of confidence St. Joseph County residents have in the agency, as evidenced by the 61 percent of the vote of support it attracted.
The 0.33-mill amount will generate about $600,000 annually, starring in 2011.
Steve Yorks, executive director of the St. Joseph County Transportation Authority, has announced that four new cutaway buses are ready to hit the streets.
The buses were purchased through a Michigan Department of Transportation grant. Once delivered a month ago, the four buses were sent to Mendon, where the SJCTA’s covered bridge logo and the agency’s telephone number were inscribed onto their exteriors. The buses will replace four vehicles that date to 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2002. Yorks said the addition of the four new buses and elimination of its four oldest vehicles will see the agency maintain a 19-vehicle fleet.
Yorks said the agency is trying to maintain a high profile around the county in advance of an August millage request, which will ask St. Joseph County voters to renew 0.33 mills for basic operations.
State Rep. Tonya Schuitmaker and Sen. Tom George are asking local community organizations and businesses to participate as event sponsors and exhibitors in the fifth annual Kalamazoo area Senior and Veteran Expo.
The event, hosted by state Rep. Tonya Schuitmaker, Sen. Tom George and the Mattawan Lions Club, takes place on Monday, April 19th, at the Antwerp Township Activity Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“This is a great opportunity for local groups and businesses to showcase their organization and for seniors and veterans to learn more about what our community has to offer,” said Schuitmaker, of Lawton. “This has always been a popular event in the past but we are hoping to even greater participation and more than 100 exhibitors this year.”
Schuitmaker said exhibitor tables and sponsorships are a perfect marketing opportunity for local businesses. The expo will include health screenings by Bronson Lakeview Hospital, including free cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar tests as well as vision screenings.
Military memorabilia will also be on display.
Admission is free and transportation will be provided for seniors and veterans to attend the event.
For more information, visit www.seniorandveteranexpo.com or call toll free 1-800-679-7365.
Volunteers play a key role in providing the services offered by the St. Joseph County Commission on Aging (COA).
That fact was underscored during the March meeting of the COA Board as Activities Coordinator Renee Welch shared a handout summarizing “Volunteer Hours from April 2009 to March 2010.”
The report illustrated the variety of ways that volunteers assist with COA operations and showed a grand total of 7,885 hours by 185 volunteers.
According to COA Executive Director Lynn Coursey, that volume of volunteer efforts is equivalent to around 3.75 fulltime employees – non-benefited.
Welch said volunteer hours are calculated at this time of the year, rather than at the end of the fiscal year, because April is Volunteer Recognition Month and the COA is gearing up for its annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner on Wednesday, April 21st.
Welch said the event will be staged at the Three Rivers Community Center from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. and feature entertainment by “GO 4 IT,” a barbershop quartet.
Reservations are requested and should be made by April 12th by calling 1-800-641-9899 or (269) 279-8083.
Federal Recovery Act funding continues to flow to Michigan, this time as a $524,000 Flex Funds Grant to small transit agencies in 13 counties including St. Joseph County.
According to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the grant will enable bus agencies to purchase items needed to provide services and keep operations running efficiently. Purchases will include maintenance equipment, computers, vehicles, tires, bike racks and surveillance equipment and more. This round of federal funding represents another opportunity to upgrade the overall condition of the rural transit fleet.
The Flex Funds Grant includes a total of $110,121 for the St. Joseph County Transportation Authority (SJCTA). Here are the projects and associated costs included in the funding for the SJCTA:
• Support Vehicle – $23,156
• Upgrade Phone System – $25,000
• Computer Replacement – $1,200
• Maintenance Equipment – $9,569
• Facility Renovation – $51,196.
The projects were selected at the local level, involving road, transit and local governments. The funding grants required no match from the local system or from the state of Michigan.
To view details about the Flex Funds Grant of 14 projects in 13 counties that was approved by the Federal Transit Administration, plus the project cost, click here.
Earlier this month, MDOT announced $12 million-plus in Phase 2 of Recovery Act funding in a two-part distribution of approximately $25 million to benefit Michigan’s rural and small city bus passengers. That round included $56,715 for the SJCTA.