Happy New Year! 2020 is going to be a great year! Before we look forward, why don’t we take some time to review all of the great things that have happened for Public Transportation in Livingston County in 2019.
First and foremost, LETS has added an additional bus on Saturday for late afternoon to early evening runs for those who work or want to have dinner at any one of Livingston County’s many fine dining establishments.
Next up the Sunday bus was established. When talking with a driver just the other day, she told me that people love it for shopping, going to church, visiting family from brunch or an early dinner and some ride for work. The Sunday spots fill up fast since there is only one bus that does this route, so call LETS well in advance if you want to ride on Sunday.
The extra Saturday bus and new Sunday bus were just the start of our many victories to added public transportation with the support of the Livingston County Board of Commissioners.
In the summer the Hamburg Senior Center worked out a contract with LETS and the County to have regularly scheduled outings for seniors in the rural southern part of Livingston County. The bus that transports the seniors sometimes have to take multiple trips to accommodate the amount of riders! Popular Destinations are Costco, Meijer, Kroger, Walmart, Downtown Howell, and occasionally 12 Oaks Mall in Novi. This service has been met with very positive reviews.
Shortly after the approval and start of the Hamburg Senior Center Service, started the contract with St. Joseph Mercy Health Systems, University of Michigan Health Systems, Ascension Medical Center and LETS to provide non-emergency medical transport to and from Medical Appointments, Urgent Care and discharge from Emergency Room visits. This service has it’s own vans with the 3 medical logos on the side. The vans are equipped with a wheelchair lift and plenty of seating for multiple people. So far this service has helped Livingston EMS take care of some of the non-emergency calls they receive for transport to medical appointments.
With increased rides comes increased reservations. How did LETS combat this? They switched over to a higher capacity phone system and changed their hold music! This time when you call LETS: 517-546-6600 you’ll hear 3 options:
– Press 1 if you need to cancel your ride and you can leave a voicemail with your name and the time(s) that you need to cancel.
– Press 2 if you need to talk with Billing or purchase tokens.
– Press 3 to be put through to a dispatcher to reserve your ride. You may have to wait some time to get to someone. Be patient, your call will be answered!
An update to the phones is great, but more needs to be done! There are still reports of calls still being dropped. Callers have been asking to know how long they will have to wait on hold and where they stand in the queue. Stay tuned for more information on potential new software updates that will make reservation making and tracking your ride easier!
Additionally, with the increased ridership LETS had to expand and diversify their fleet. They are looking to purchase more smaller vans and busses to make rides more sustainable. Furthermore, LETS has been hiring drivers to compensate for the increased demand.
Another wonderful partnership that has flourished with the increased demand in our southeast region is the one with People’s Express. This makes it possible for People’s Express to handle the rides in Green Oak Township, South Lyon, portions of Brighton and Whitmore Lake. It frees up LETS to meet their demand for other rural/remote reservations they receive.
One of the bigger successes for Public Transportation in Livingston County is the contract with Michigan Flyer to have a stop in Brighton at the Meijer parking lot. The main purpose of this service is to take you to the Detroit Airport (DTW) and back. There is a secondary purpose for this service is some of the trips take you through Ann Arbor, so you could take this into Ann Arbor, or catch it on the trip to East Lansing. The bus can help you explore new cities and could open up job opportunities for those who can’t drive by giving them access to the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (AAATA) and Capitol Area Transportation Authority (CATA). .
in October, the first month there were about 800 riders who started their trip from Brighton. This is wonderful news and we look forward to having a long-lasting sustainable partnership with Michigan Flyer. If you want to book a ride go to the Michigan Flyer Website.
This has been all of the development that has happened within 2019. We want to thank the Livingston County Board of Commissioners, LETS, Greg Kellogg, Livingston County Transportation Coalition and the citizens of Livingston County for their support on implementing these initiatives, contracts and partnerships. We couldn’t have done this without you!
Now we look forward to 2020 and have some developments to come! Please join us at the Livingston County Transportation Coalition (LCTC) Meeting on Tuesday, January 14 from 3pm-4:30pm at Livingston Educational Services Agency (LESA) 1425 W. Grand River Ave, Howell, MI 48843. If you are reading this after January 14, these meetings are recurring every second Tuesday of each month at LESA from 3pm-4:30pm. Anyone is welcome! Stay tuned to movelivco.org for more updates!