"Spring Lake Township is the last Tri-Cities community to offer this as an alternative transportation service. Especially with gas prices so high, it would be cheaper to use the Harbor Transit (buses) than to drive around the lake to drop and pick up for activities. It would be helpful to know if there are other Spring Lake Township residents who are interested in using this service for doctor visits, grocery shopping, or the aquatic center and high school."
Grand Haven Transportation Director Tom Manderscheid, the boss at Harbor Transit, explained that the present service territory encompasses the Village of Spring Lake, Grand Haven Charter Township, and the cities of Ferrysburg and Grand Haven. Last year, voters in Grand Haven Township approved a transportation millage to assist in funding Harbor Transit service throughout that township.
"At that time, we had ongoing discussions with the Spring Lake Township Board to gauge their interest — which at best was lukewarm — in providing service throughout Spring Lake Township," Manderscheid said. "If that would have occurred, (then) what made sense was to have an interconnect into Muskegon County with Muskegon Area Transit.
"At the present time, we are under contract to provide service to three entities within the Spring Lake Township — Lloyds Bayou, Orchard Market and Heartwood Lodge — but not to pickup or drop off township residents at their homes," Manderscheid continued. "As far as Harbor Transit receiving requests from Spring Lake Township residents on utilizing public transportation, it does occur frequently — but we are not keeping track of the numbers."
Manderscheid said the Corradino Group, an outside consultant that was hired by Harbor Transit, completed a transportation assessment of both Spring Lake and Grand Haven townships, back in June 2010. They conducted poll of a large number of Spring Lake Township residents to gauge their interest in expanding bus service to their area.
"The results of the survey are available at our office," Manderscheid said.
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