ELECTION DAY: Future of Public Transit in Mecosta-Osceola Rides on Millage

It’s Election Day and a lot of important issues are at stake across Northern Michigan.

Including things like local school district funding and potential cuts in public transportation.

People in Mecosta and Osceola Counties will be deciding whether to keep their public transportation running.

9&10’s Christine Kanerva was live outside the Big Rapids Township Fire Department where people are showing up to cast their votes.

If the transit authority’s millage passes, a homeowner with a home valued at $100,000 would pay $25 a year for five years.

The new millage would reduce the price for riders from $5 to $2.

Hours would also expand from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., rather than closing at 6 p.m.

And for the first time, rides would also be offered on weekends.

For some people like Sandy, keeping this public transportation going is crucial.

“This is my only mode of transportation to get back and forth to the doctors and to take my daughter also and to do grocery shopping,” Sandy says.

But Executive Director Michael Tillman says if this millage does not pass, the Mecosta-Osceola Transit Authority says it will have to close its doors for good on Friday.

“If it does not pass, the only public transportation in either county will be the city of Big Rapids Dial-A-Ride,” he says. “They’re just within the city of Big Rapids. There will be no public transportation for residents of either county.”