SLT puts Harbor Transit on ballot

Spring Lake Township voters will be in the driver's seat on whether or not they want full Harbor Transit service.
Marie Havenga
Jul 16, 2014


The Township Board voted 5-2 Monday night to put a proposition on the November ballot that, if approved, would expand the dial-a-ride service to all areas of the township.

Harbor Transit currently services four Spring Lake Township locations on a contractual basis — Orchard Market, Oakcrest Manor, Heartwood Lodge and Lloyd's Bayou Senior Apartments.

Township Clerk Carolyn Boersma and Trustee Larry Mierle voted against putting the question on the ballot.

After a pause when his name was called in a roll call vote, Township Supervisor John Nash said, “Yes, I guess.”

“Do understand this is to put it on the ballot,” Nash added. “It shouldn't be considered an endorsement by individuals or the board.”

Nash previously said the Township Board works hard to keep its millage rate low and he doesn't want to threaten that with an additional levy.

The proposal calls for up to 0.7 mill to be levied for bus service. Currently, taxpayers in Grand Haven, Ferrysburg, Grand Haven Township and Spring Lake Village pay 0.6 mill, according to Harbor Transit Transportation Director Tom Manderscheid.

Manderscheid said if Spring Lake Township voters approve the measure, he would like to mirror the lower levy there, which would cost the owner of a $200,000 home an additional $60 a year in property tax. If the full 0.7 mill is levied, it would generate $471,000 a year for the bus service.

“We're very excited,” Manderscheid said. “The voters can now decide. We're up for the challenge.”

Although the Township Board did not discuss the issue Monday, aside from voting to place it on the ballot, last month Mierle said he's never been excited about expanding the bus service because he doesn't think there are enough local destinations to make it feasible.

“We don't have a Wal-Mart or Meijer to draw people to or from,” he said.

Boersma said she doesn't agree with the dial-a-ride structure, which she says cuts into commercial taxi cab business.

Read the complete story in today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



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"cuts into commercial taxi cab business"...are you SERIOUS? Obviously you've never taken a local cab ride! 10 bucks to take me from Mohawk Dr to Meijers and back? I think their profits are doing just fine! If "busing" chases away the "taxi's" BE it! Car pooling (so to speak) is all about fitting the MOST people in ONE vehicle! MUCH better for the environment! Currently, Harbor Transit does NOT go into Swiss Village (Spring Lake Twp), and low income families, to include MANY single moms with kids, are forced to walk several blocks in some VERY bad weather conditions, just to be able to catch an inexpensive ride to the grocery store! The people who need the service the MOST, are being deprived of it, by those who need it the LEAST! Welcome to America!!!

Barry Soetoro

You must not get out much - the 12-14 mile round trip cab ride from Mohawk Dr. to Meijer for ten dollars is a steal. Then again, your last two sentences says it all...


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I think we need the Harbor Transit out in the Township of Spring Lake who ever don't drive can take the Bus we need it because alot of people want to go out the Spring Lake Aquatic Center, Vicks Resturant, and to friends houses who ever lives in the Township of Spring Lake and plus it will be a good thing look at Grand Haven Township alot of people goes out to the Grand Haven Township on Harbor Transit I take harbor transit in the winter time alot and in the Summer spring fall I take my bike alot my bike and Harbor Transit is my only transportation. In November if you live in Spring Lake Township make sure to vote Yes


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I'm hoping this is sarcasm.


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Say no to new taxes

Let anyone with a vehicle that can pass a basic safety inspection and can show proof of insurance go into the transportation busines. Let them set there own fares and areas of service. Within a short time the free market would provide a level of service WITHOUT any tax increases. Harbor Transit is heavily subsidised by the taxpayer, those "free" bus's from the federal are anything but free.


I am now disabled, and can no longer afford to maintain a car. Harbor Transit is essential for me-to the point that it dictates where I live. No HT service, no thanks. I truthfully do not want HT spread out even more, but do realize what a tremendous help it would be for so many. And as far as "cutting into commercial cabs"-that also influenced my decision on where to live. I purposely live where I rarely need them-I would rather spend the money at my destination.

Barry Soetoro

So if I'm getting this right the one who enjoys the benefits of taxpayer subsidized bus service doesn't want it "spread out" so others can? That's pretty rich.


I had to read that comment a few times. Agreed Barry, that is pretty rich.


Me too, i lived in Swiss Village at one time, became disabled, disability is not enough to live on and support a car or van, i was forced to move in to town where i can use the local transit system with wheel chair access, walking to the main road was not feasible and i am sure there are many more that just can not afford transportation and rather pay a dial ride fee, more tax dollars is least of my worries

deuce liti

So the money they want will provide more buses and extra drivers to cover the increase in service or will people have to wait longer? And if so, why do they need extra money?


they want someone pay extra, for the same thing they have all ready, like when the bus would go to Meijers, but would not go to Walmarts, they wanted Walmarts pay a hefty fee just to run across the street to pickup their custumers


With Swiss Village on one side of the township, and 3 trailer parks on the other side an expansion of their services would be helping a large population who do need it most. For people in those areas to call a cab to get to Meijers or Wal-Mart has got to be a hefty fare.


For those who need it, HT is the crown jewel of this community.

Harbor Transit does not compete with local taxis as HT doesnt operate during heavy bar hrs.


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