Harbor Transit looks to add SL Twp.

Board members aren’t all aboard a plan to expand Harbor Transit service into Spring Lake Township, but they are willing to let voters be in the driver’s seat.
Marie Havenga
Jun 10, 2014


Harbor Transit officials attended Monday’s board meeting armed with signatures from nearly 200 Spring Lake Township residents who say they are in favor of bringing the issue to the November ballot.

But several board members balked at the bus service proposal, including Township Clerk Carolyn Boersma and Township Treasurer Jim Koster.

“I’ve never been real excited about it at all,” Trustee Larry Mierle said. “Whether it would work here in the township, I don’t know. We don’t have a Wal-Mart or Meijer to draw people to or from.”

Rick Homan was the only township trustee to give the idea an enthusiastic thumbs up.

“But I’m a little concerned — maybe a lot concerned — about the timing because there are going to be a lot of millage requests,” he cautioned. “People are going to pick and choose what they want to spend their taxpayer dollars on. But, for me personally, I think it’s a great thing. I think it will help the township.”

Despite the lukewarm reaction, Grand Haven Transportation Director Tom Manderscheid, who oversees the local bus service, said his group will proceed with ballot language.

“I was hoping for a better outcome, but I think we had the majority (to put it on the ballot),” he said. “We are going to go forward with what we need to do.”

Manderscheid said a ballot proposal could be similar to what other communities are paying – six-tenths of a mill for five years. Those agreements run through June 2015.

Exact ballot language will be brought to the Township Board in July.

Manderscheid said he tried to get Spring Lake Township leaders onboard in 2010 when talks of Grand Haven Township joining the dial-a-ride routes. Voters in that community approved a millage for it and service was launched in January 2012.

Harbor Transit ridership grew more than 24 percent that year, according to Manderscheid. Last year, Harbor Transit buses carried 36,674 passengers in Grand Haven Township and more than 200,000 overall.

Manderscheid projects if voters approve a similar ballot proposal in Spring Lake Township, more than 32,000 residents would climb aboard in the first year. He anticipates increasing the number of buses from 21 to 27.

To read the whole story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



The board member,s are not in control, let the people vote on and decide, we voted in the money for Harbor Transit


They provide good quality and reliable service, if they grow as a result its a good thing!


why is the Board undermining our convenience? lets peel back the onion here....is someone being paid off by the taxi cab companies?



I highly doubt there is enough money in the taxi cab world of Spring Lake to pay off officials.

Why hike taxes more for a service so few will ever use? Everyone paying .6 mill for a service that will be used by less than 50 people a day, based on their estimate? (assuming one person uses the system for one trip there and back)

I think their estimate is a bit higher than actual usage would be.

Back to the Wall

It's about time for the harbor transit to begin serving the outlying areas. So, the township board doesn't care for it? Then get a wiggle on and complete the bike paths.


“I’ve never been real excited about it at all,” Trustee Larry Mierle said. “Whether it would work here in the township, I don’t know. We don’t have a Wal-Mart or Meijer to draw people to or from.”
No but there IS a Wal-mart AND a Meijer in Grand Haven.....which YOUR residents would be able to get to via Harbor Transit.


It would be a great idea that Harbor Transit be allowed to expand to Spring Lake Township. This would only enable "more people" to use an already wonderful service! I use Harbor Transit during the summer. Let more people experience and enjoy the use of this wonderfully run service!


That would be cool, have our transit system connected with muskegon, it was mention before, but no one cared to express concerns


I think that the expansion into Spring Lake Township would be a benefit to all the homebound seniors and disabled to be able to get into Grand Haven on their own. It would also open up employment opportunities.


I think if the people out in the township knew they would get good service, they would use the Harbor Transit, there are two trailer parks out state road and some rental units could benefit, i am sure they would like to go shopping in Grand Haven or to the doctor and not have to worry about a ride, we dont know how it would work, give it a chance


Judging by the few comments, i really expected more people to jump on this and voice their opinion, its our money !!


Someone just told me yesterday that they wished the bus would go to Spring Lake .She said it would give her needed transportation to a larger job selection. Earlier available time would also help.


Harbor Transit would be very helpful for me to get around the TriCiites area. I do not drive due to a disability and would like to go to the library, aquatic center and to restaurants in the area. Shopping access would be helful too.
Please consider this important service as I am a taxpayer and would support the expansion. Contact John Nash and other board members to express your opinions. Thank you!


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