There are transit-oriented developments and then there are BOLD transit-oriented developments. Here is Traverse City, we are fortunate to have a transit agency with a bold vision for a better tomorrow – the Bay Area Transportation Authority or BATA.
Being fortunate to have sat on BATA’s Steering Committee for the Bayline, a free crosstown bus service added in 2018, I have seen firsthand how BATA is striving to provide top-notch, reliable, and sustainable transportation services to the region, as well as their vision for making the area more transit friendly.
Like so many other places, Traverse City is dealing with a housing affordability crisis, which has become more acute as the region has experienced a resort and retirement boom. While the city’s population more than doubles each workday, many of those workers must commute from places like Kingsley, Suttons Bay, Interlochen, Kalkaska, and other distant communities. This results in higher commuting costs, increased congestion, mobility issues, and parking problems.
To address these issues, the latest bold move by BATA is to work with the Traverse City Housing Commission to include a 120-unit affordable housing component as part of its newly planned operational facility and transfer station. A park & ride is also planned as part of the project. To my knowledge, this may be the first such venture in the state of Michigan and will not only create a new affordable housing option, but provide ready customers for their transit services. Sounds like a win-win situation to me!
Congratulations to BATA and the Traverse City Housing Commission for formulating a groundbreaking idea here locally.