In a project designed to serve as a case study for similar communities around the nation, Smart Growth America contracted Current Transportation Solutions to identify barriers at the federal, state and local-levels that stand in the way of improving transportation services in Muskegon County, Michigan.
Current Transportation assessed the area’s transportation services to better understand regulatory and non-regulatory obstacles to improving coordination, cost efficiency and service availability. The assessment included 23 interviews with stakeholders, including organizations that fund, provide, or need transportation.
The project report summarizes existing services and problems; goals for improved coordination and service; barriers to achieving these goals; and recommendations for local strategies as well as changes in federal policy. Results were shared with the federal HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities and with local partners in Muskegon County.
Using this study as a stepping stone, the County and Muskegon Area Transit System started improving services before the final report was released. They plan to add commuter service to manufacturing jobs outside of the urbanized area, hire a Mobility Manager, and apply for One-call, One-Click funding. Finally, a local non-profit organization hopes to raise funds from large employers to match federal funds.
This project was completed in 2012.