Township Board Approves Redi-Ride Hours Expansion and Fare Increase Proposal

Township Board Approves Redi-Ride Hours Expansion and Fare Increase Proposal

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - Additions and changes to the Capital Area Transportation Authority's (CATA) Redi-Ride Service has been a topic of conversation in Meridian Township for quite some time. The Township Board discussed Redi-Ride again at their March 20th meeting.

Some Township residents were concerned about the proposed expansion to Redi-Ride's hours of operation because of the proposed increase in fares to use Redi-Ride.

Karla Hudson, a resident of Meridian Township and a member of the Transportation Commission, opposed the fare increase until Brad Funkhouser, who is the CEO of CATA, could speak with the Township Board and provide insight into what the hours of operation expansion and fare increase would mean for Redi-Ride users.

"We've waited three years for this extension; we can wait three more weeks if that's what it takes to get Brad Funkhouser here," Hudson said. "I request that you table this until you can have the professionals here. We need to make sure we're doing this right."

Fred Wurtzel, who is on the Board of the Lansing Chapter of National Federation of the Blind, also opposed increasing fares and requested tabling the discussion until Funkhouser could be in attendance.

"Money is hard to come by for some people," Wurtzel said. "These things can add up and significantly subtract from a very small beginning income. I would recommend that you somehow amend this motion to keep [the fare] at $0.60 or table the whole thing until Mr. Funkhouser can be here and discuss other alternatives or a different way of planning this out."

"We need to make the existing Redi-Ride program better," said Supervisor Ronald Styka.

Despite residents' concerns, the Township Board approved to proposal to enter into an agreement with CATA to expand Redi-Ride's hours of operation and increase the fare. There was a 6-1 vote; Clerk Brett Dreyfus opposed the motion.

With this proposal, the hours of operation for Redi-Ride would be 7:30 am-6:30 pm Monday-Friday and the new fare would be $1.25 for people with Medicare, seniors 62 and older and people with disabilities, while regular passengers and students will be charged $2.50.

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