After One Week, BATA Busing High School Students Has ‘Gone Very Smoothly’ – 9&10 News

It’s been a little over a week since the Bay Area Transportation Authority began busing high school students in Traverse City, and they say there’s been no issues so far.

The change in busing comes after a shortage in school bus drivers for Traverse City Area Public Schools left some students without a ride.

“We’re only into the second week of it so far, but the students are adapting well,” says BATA Communications Director, Eric Lingaur.

Lingaur says while some students have liked the change, it’s been a learning curve for others.

“Some of them it’s new. It’s figuring out which route to hop on, which bus to transfer to get them as close to home as possible, because they’re using existing BATA services to supplement the lack of yellow bus transportation,” Lingaur admits.

BATA is giving rides to high school students from Traverse City Central and West. On one of the routes, the bus takes students from Traverse City West High School and drops them off at the Hall Street Station. At which point students are picked up by parents or hop on another bus that takes them closer to home.

Linguar says everything has gone smoothly so far and says there’s been no concerns about student safety. He also gives credit to TCAPS for getting the word out to students and parents. A student at Traverse City West High School says she’s actually been enjoying the change so far.

“I’ve [ridden] both and this is a lot better. It’s got Wi-Fi and air conditioning and fewer people,” she states.

BATA is in conversations with TCAPS to find out how long they will need their help. Their current timeline is until Feb 10.

“It’s all about community partnerships and trying to help out. And at the bottom line we’re just trying to get people home as safely as possible whether they’re students or regular BATA riders. If public transit can provide support that’s what it’s all about,” Linguar says.

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