The Macatawa Area Express Transit Authority, which has been undertaking a transit study
, will share its proposed service changes on Jan 25 from 4-6:30 p.m. at the GRCC Lakeshore Campus, at 12335 James St. in Holland Township. The location is also a MAX stop.
The proposed changes reflect community feedback and analysis done by MAX’s consulting team, Transpo Group.
“MAX recognized that with the pandemic, our fixed routes and our demand response services were no longer meeting the needs of the community,” said MAX Executive Director Elisa Hoekwater. “We applied for competitive grant funding in order to do this study, and we are basically looking at ways to improve efficiencies.”
The meeting is an opportunity for the public to learn about some of those proposed changes, including increasing the frequency of stops from every 50 minutes to every 30 minutes, Hoekwater said.
“This is a unique opportunity, something that MAX has not done in quite a few years,” said MAX Mobility Manager Sandra Korhorn.
Cutting wait times
In August, MAX began using surveys to get feedback about its services.
Riders wanted longer hours of service and increased frequency of fixed-route buses. Toward that goal, Transpo Group has been putting together potential route changes. Those changes will be unveiled at the Jan. 25 meeting.
MAX Is looking at reducing wait times by adding more trips and different transfer points.
“Right now, all the buses come to Padnos Transportation Center every hour so that passengers can transfer, and we are looking at a variety of different transfer points so not all of the buses will come back to the depot,” Kohorn said. “There'll be transfer points out along the routes, which will then in turn, create shorter travel times.”
In 2023, MAX provided 226,000 trips.
MAX is also looking at new services, including a micro transit service that would provide on-demand service where a rider could make a reservation for a same-day trip.
“It would work in different zones where we don't offer the fixed-route buses,” Korhorn said. “It would pick the riders up and either take them to their destination or transfer them to the fixed-route line so that they can get around. So I think there's just a lot of exciting things that will be offered at the open house.”
Transpo consultants and MAX staff will be at the open house to answer questions and make presentations.
In 2023, MAX provided 226,000 trips, including both fixed-route service and on-demand service that is limited to people with disabilities and seniors. The regional transportation system serves the city of Holland and Holland Township, and it has contracted services with Park Township, Zeeland Township, and the city of Zeeland.
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