Metro Public Transportation Service Changes Effective Thursday, April 2
Kalamazoo, MI - As a follow-up to recent service reductions designed to mitigate the spread of coronavirus during this time of national emergency, total ridership aboard Metro fixed-route buses has declined substantially but remains higher than recommended to meet social-distancing guidelines, as prescribed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). To ensure successful containment efforts, as recommended by the CDC, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and state and local public health experts, Metro will temporarily suspend regular bus-route service effective Thursday, April 2 through at least Monday, April 13. Instead, Metro will offer Metro Connect demand-response service for the community’s most vulnerable populations as well as its essential workforce.
Trips for essential workforce, medically necessary trips, and grocery and pharmacy will be verified during scheduling. Rides using Metro Connect can be scheduled by calling (269) 350-2970 seven days a week from 8 am to 5 pm. Transportation will be provided:
Saturday and Sunday use of Metro Connect will need to be pre-scheduled the day before. During this time, rides with Metro Connect will be fare-free. Detailed information on scheduling is available at kmetro.com or by calling (269) 337-8222.
“In order for Metro to continue to provide vital transportation to those needing to get to essential employment and medical care as well as groceries and pharmacy, we are providing service using the Metro Connect demand response system instead of the fixed route system,” stated Sean McBride, Executive Director of Metro.
Apple Bus, based out of Cleveland, MO, provides Metro Connect service in Kalamazoo County as a contractor for Metro. They have been providing demand response service in the community for ten years and were recently awarded a new three-year contract with Metro in January 2020.
McBride continued, “Metro’s partnership with Apple Bus will allow public transportation to continue during this time. We are thankful for their willingness to address this vital need as we temporarily suspend fixed bus route service.”
Ridership on Metro’s system has been monitored over the past several weeks with service reduced to 10 pm on Wednesday, March 25 for the fixed-route system. Measures to sanitize buses and the closure of the Kalamazoo Transportation Center have taken place to minimize exposure of COVID-19 to the community and employees. Even with these changes, Metro is continuing to see volumes of riders that present a risk to the community. The suspension of regular bus routes is intended to assist with efforts to slow the spread of illness throughout Kalamazoo County.
The Kalamazoo Transportation Center at 459 North Burdick and the Administration Office at 530 North Rose Street is closed to the public. Questions regarding the service can be directed to Metro at (269) 337-8222. Updates on Metro’s service to Kalamazoo County is available at www.kmetro.com and on Facebook: Metro Transit.
March 24, 2020 Metro Reducing Service Effective Wednesday, March 25
Kalamazoo, MI – Metro, the public transportation system for Kalamazoo County, Michigan, is implementing reduced service hours for the transit system starting Wednesday, March 25. Buses will run once per hour with schedule times published on Metro’s website at kmetro.com. Additional information is also available on Facebook or by calling (269) 337-8222.
The hours of operation are roughly equivalent to hourly service provided on Saturdays.
For Sunday, March 29, service hours will be from 9:15 am to 5:15 pm.
Metro Connect will provide service to bus passengers taking “essential workforce” trips from 10:00 pm until 12:00 am Monday through Friday. An essential workforce trip includes health care workers, emergency medical service providers, first responders, law enforcement, sanitation workers, childcare providers, postal workers, transit workers, grocery store workers or others providing supplies, goods or equipment or those others providing critical infrastructure to Michigan. Rides can be scheduled up to seven days in advance, seven days a week, from 8:00 am until 5:00 p.m. by calling (269) 350-2970.
For the fixed-route system, passengers will continue to board and exit from the rear door and will not be required to pay a fare. The transit system should be used only for essential trips to minimize the amount of contact with others and the community in order for the buses to continue operating.
Please contact Metro for additional assistance with accessing transportation. Metro is anticipating further changes to the hours of operation. Riders should be watching for additional announcements regarding service hours and routes available. Regular updates on public transportation in Kalamazoo County will be available at Metro’s website at www.kmetro.com or by calling (269) 337-8222. Additional updates are also available on Facebook at Metro Transit.
March 23, 2020
Metro Taking Further Steps for Social Distancing Effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Kalamazoo, MI – Metro, the public transportation system for Kalamazoo County, Michigan, continues to provide bus service for essential trips while the community addresses COVID‐19 (coronavirus). Passengers need to use the transit system only for essential trips, such as work, medical, and groceries, to minimize the amount of contact with others and the community in order for the buses to continue to operate.
Starting Tuesday, March 24, all public transit service will be fare free until further notice for both Metro fixed route and Metro Connect. No payment of fare will be collected for either service when boarding.
Passengers on the fixed route buses will be asked to board and exit the bus from the rear door and limit interaction with the driver. Those needing to use a ramp to board will be able to do so at the front door. Maintain distance from the driver and other passengers on the bus. Frequent cleaning continues on all buses during the day.
Please contact Metro for additional assistance with accessing transportation. Regular updates on public transportation in Kalamazoo County will be available at Metro’s website at www.kmetro.com or by calling (269) 337‐8222. Additional updates are also available on Facebook at Metro Transit.
Metro, the public transportation system for Kalamazoo County, Michigan, continues to monitor the safety and security of the public and those that keep Metro operating while the community addresses COVID-19 (coronavirus). As of March 17, all public transit service, including Metro Connect paratransit service, is operating according to posted schedules. Additional measures have been put in place to protect passengers and staff that include:
Starting Wednesday, March 18 until further notice, Metro will be closing the Kalamazoo Transportation Center building located at 459 South Burdick Street to the public. This includes access to the Metro customer service and Amtrak counters and waiting areas for passengers. The following resources are available for those needing to purchase train or bus tickets:
Metro: (269) 337-8222 www.kmetro.com
Amtrak: (800) 872-7245 www.amtrak.com
Greyhound: (800) 231-2222 www.greyhound.com
Indian Trails: (800) 292- 3831 www.indiantrails.com
The outside loading area for buses will remain open to the public. Metro bus fares may be purchased using cash and through the Token Transit app. Fares for Metro and Metro Connect can be purchased through the Token Transit app or Token Transit website at www.tokentransit.com 24-hours a day using a debit or credit card. The app eliminates the need to have cash or touch additional surfaces. Larger orders for tokens or passes may be requested by phone at (269) 337-8222 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Arrangements will be made for large orders with our customer service staff for delivery or pickup. Token machines are located at Harding’s Market on West Main and Walmart on Gull Road.
As we continue to provide public transportation to the community, Metro advises the following:
Additional resources relating to COVID-19 are available through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Kalamazoo County Department of Public Health.
Metro provides fixed-route system that travels throughout the communities of the cities of Kalamazoo, Portage, and Parchment as well as through Oshtemo, Texas, Kalamazoo, and Comstock townships. In addition, our Metro Connect system provides vital transportation links throughout Kalamazoo County.
Please contact Metro for additional assistance with accessing transportation fares and routes. Regular updates on public transportation in Kalamazoo County will be available at Metro’s website at www.kmetro.com or by calling (269) 337-8222.
Voters approved a five-year, 0.9-mill millage tax to help fund the Central County Transportation Authority. The new millage will replace the current 0.75-mill tax, which was approved by voters in 2015 and expires in 2020.
Information articles on the millage vote are available at:
Additional information is available by calling (269) 337-8088.
Metro is taking measures to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus as well as the flu on our public transportation system. Hand santizer is available on all buses and vehicles are cleaned nightly with cleaning agents intended to kill viruses.
The public can help reduce the spread of the virus by:
Washing hands often
Stay home if sick
Cover mouth or sneeze with a tissue then throw tissue away
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Clean and disinfect touched objects and surfaces
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
For more information on the virus, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf
Starting Monday, March 2, we will be detouring Route 8-Egleston outbound due to construction on Cork Street eastbound. The following stops will not have service:
• 794 Fulford at Homecrest
• 975 Fulford at Cambridge
• 811 Fulford at Sheridan
• 302 Cork at Fulford
• 303 Cork at Lincolnshire
• 304 Cork at Emerald Park Apartments
The outbound bus will travel Fulford to Miller Road to Emerald. A temporary stop will be at Miller Road and Fulford and Cork Street at Emerald for outbound travel. We will have service inbound along Cork and Fulford.
Please call 337-8222 for additional stop information or use myStop Mobile to identify stops in the area.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kalamazoo, Mich - Youth Mobility Fund partners are pleased to announce that Youth Mobility bus passes will once again be honored during all Metro operations hours beginning the morning of Monday, February 3. This concludes the pause that has been in effect for the passes between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. on weekdays.
Students will continue to use their school-issued ID cards that have been validated with a sticker and opt-in form through the end of this school year, a system that was put in place in November 2019 to address technical limitations of the initial bus cards. The opt-in forms can be turned in to the administration office at the four schools (Norrix, Central, Phoenix, and KILP) for a validation sticker until June 1. Passes remain valid until new cards with improved technology are issued next school year.
The founding program partners, Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS), City of Kalamazoo, and Metro, as well as new program partner, the Kalamazoo Youth Development Network (KYD Network) are committed to the original vision of the program, “To get young people where they need to go in Kalamazoo so they can get where need to go in life.”
The program partners encourage everyone in the community to help support a positive rider experience on Metro buses and to contact Metro directly by telephone or email for the most current and complete answers to concerns or questions.
A Growing Partnership
The partners are taking major steps to improve the program by building and deepening relationships in the community. “We started out thinking this was just about transportation but learned quickly that it is really about youth development in a larger sense,” said Steve Brown, Coordinator of the program’s supporter, The Foundation for Excellence. Brown went on to say, “KYD Network stepped up to offer vision and leadership around centering youth input, including organizing a Youth Mobility Affinity Group to meet moving forward.” The first meeting attracted 42 people, mostly students, providing feedback and ideas on the program. Future meetings are announced through the KYD Network’s Facebook page and elsewhere. The partners will focus their attention on gathering input, expanding outreach, and implementing program improvements over several coming months.
Youth Mobility by the Numbers
Since the beginning of full operations in August 2019, over 120,000 trips have been taken on Metro buses by 9 through 12 grade students at Loy Norrix, Kalamazoo Central, Phoenix, and Kalamazoo Innovative Learning Program (KILP). This represents 12% of all Metro ridership. A non-scientific online survey of young riders conducted by Metro this winter received over 1,000 responses, with approximately 70% coming from Central and 30% from Loy Norrix. Approximately 50% responded that they used the bus pass, with 64% using it for after school activities, sports, and tutoring; 37% to travel to and from work; 31% to travel to and from school. Over 50% students reporting using the pass multiple times daily.
On March 10, 2020, voters will be asked to consider a millage to support Metro bus system in Kalamazoo area.
WHAT IS THE MILLAGE REQUEST?
Voters will be asked to consider a millage of up to .90 mills for five years beginning in 2021 to support the Metro public bus transportation system.
HOW IS PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION FUNDED?
An important component of public transportation is voter approved millages which currently represent 36% of Metro’s operating funds. Additional funds come from Federal Grants (10%), State Grants (34%), Fares (18%) and other sources (2%).
HOW MUCH WILL THE MILLAGE COST A HOMEOWNER?
The cost of the 0.90 millage request for a homeowner whose home has a taxable value of $50,000 ($100,000 market value) is approximately $45 a year ($0.12 per day).
HOW WILL THE COMMUNITY BENEFIT?
Both the economy and the quality of life for people in the greater Kalamazoo community benefit from reliable transportation. Metro operates seven days a week, providing an important mode of transportation for employers and their employees, seniors and students, including those with disabilities. The fixed route bus system, along with the county-wide Metro Connect system, gives everyone in Kalamazoo access to public transportation that is safe and reliable year round.
WHY ASK FOR A MILLAGE?
Metro-provided surveys have shown that over 70% of Metro riders use the bus five or more days a week with 88% not having a vehicle available to access work, doctor appointments or shopping. The millage allows Metro to continue to provide a vital service to the entire community, making it so the service is here when needed. Rides were taken more than 2.8 million times last year. Even if you currently don’t use public transportation, it will be there when you do need it. Improved services will help people working later night hours and provide access to Sunday activities.
WHO GETS TO VOTE?
Voters in the cities of Kalamazoo, Parchment and Portage; the townships of Kalamazoo and Comstock (Precincts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7), as well as the eastern portion of Oshtemo Township (Precincts 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9), will be asked to approve the millage request on March 10, 2020. The millage, if approved, will replace the current 2015 millage which expires in 2020.
For more information, visit kmetro.com or call (269) 337 - 8087
Our new bus stop signs are popping up around town to gather feedback. Let us know what you think through our comment form at http://www.kmetro.com/contact or message us.
Here's were new signs are at currently: https://drive.google.com/open…
Highlights of the new sign include:
Better reflective sign for passengers and drivers to see.
Bus Stop Number for use with myStop Mobile app or when calling dispatch to provide location.
Text to Stop Information. With the new Text to Stop, the times are estimates for arrival times. Remember to be at your stop 5 minutes prior so that we can stop safely.
Contact information via phone and website.
Braille information on the bottom of every stop sign stating that sign is a Bus Stop. Location information is also being updated as well so that bus stop locations are accurate for websites using the coordinates.
For more information, call us at 337-8222.