BATA and Benzie Bus Increase Commuter Options with Express Routes

Feb. 6, 2017
Starting February 6, BATA, in partnership with Benzie Bus, has increased regional service with weekday connections to Lake Ann, Michigan, and the addition of Express Routes.

Starting February 6, the Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA), in partnership with Benzie Bus, has increased regional service with weekday connections to Lake Ann, Michigan, and the addition of express routes from Interlochen, Michigan, and Acme/Williamsburg, Michigan, (starting Feb. 13) to downtown Traverse City.

Increased connectivity includes:

  • New direct service to Benzie County, through Lake Ann
  • Expanded service to Brookside Commons and Munson Medical Center
  • Limited-stop express service to and from Interlochen and Acme/Williamsburg to Traverse City with travel times of 30 minutes or less

“One of BATA’s goals is to continue to enhance transportation options for our commuter population in conjunction with our regional transportation partners,” said BATA Executive Director Kelly Dunham. “Commuters have shared that offering direct routes to downtown Traverse City would make using public transportation a more viable option for getting to and from work and we’re excited to pilot these new Express Routes made possible by grant funding support from Rotary Charities and MDOT [Michigan Department of Transportation].”

Funding for the expanded service pilot came from a grant BATA and Benzie Bus received from MDOT through the Job-Access Reverse Commuter (JARC) program to increase connectivity for low-income service areas and expand commuting options. Rotary Charities also provided grant support to allow BATA and Benzie Bus to gather input from local businesses on transportation needs with the help of Networks Northwest.  

BATA’s Village Loop Route 11 express service from Interlochen will include stops at Ric’s Market on M-137, Grand Traverse Mall and its downtown Hall Street Transfer Station. BATA’s Village Loop Route 14 Acme/Williamsburg express service will include stops at Acme Meijer, Grand Traverse Resort, Acme Park-n-Ride and BATA’s downtown Hall Street Transfer Station.

These new express routes will increase transit availability for regional commuters while reducing travel time by more than 50 percent. Express routes from Acme Meijer and Ric’s Market in Interlochen to downtown Traverse City will average 25 minutes and will run Monday through Friday during morning and evening commute times. Fare prices for the service will be $3.00 one way or $1.50 for riders who qualify for reduced fare and transfers from Benzie Bus to BATA will be accepted in Interlochen and Lake Ann.

These expanded services will give Benzie County residents 22 ways to commute to Traverse City, including 10 express routes plus 12 regular rides from Interlochen each day.

“We have grown our TC Express business to about 20 percent of our revenues and believe that helping workers get to work is a primary responsibility for public transportation,” stated Chad Hollenbeck, Benzie bus operations manager. 

For more information on the routes visit

Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA)
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