transportation

Aaron Selbig

Drivers for the ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft are welcome back to the Traverse City airport. For the last month, the companies have been banned.

Public transit up for discussion in Emmet County

Jan 16, 2018
Emmet County

Emmet County commissioners want to hear from the community about adding public transit. Emmet is one of the last counties in Michigan that does not have a county-wide transit program.

The county received a grant from Networks Northwest to host two community discussions about the possibility. Commissioner John Stakoe hopes that it will allow other county institutions to share their ideas.

The big story at the North American International Auto Show is big vehicles. The spotlight is on the trucks: SUVs and crossovers that American buyers want. And that demand leads to questions about fuel economy standards, and whether automakers are pressuring the Trump administration to backtrack on strict rules set in the final days of the Obama administration.

Top environmental groups say Ford is part of that effort. Bill Ford, Ford’s chairman, says that’s not true. He says Ford is committing to spend $11 billion by 2022 to develop partially or fully electrified vehicles. Those fuel economy standards could be weakened by the EPA and by bills introduced in the House and Senate.

The proposed rail line route from TC to Ann Arbor.
Groundwork Center

The Groundwork Center in Traverse City has $120,000 to study a passenger rail line to Ann Arbor. The new funding comes from federal, state and local sources. 

Hans Voss, executive director of the Groundwork Center, says the study is a crucial step toward passenger rail service in northern Michigan. 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

A repair project at the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie is taking longer than expected. Workers drained the MacArthur Lock two weeks ago to fix a broken gate but then discovered additional problems.

Engineer Kevin Sprague says the lock was built in 1943 and is showing its age.

“Structures start to get fatigued (and) a lot of different issue start to happen. We’re seeing an increase in the amount of maintenance we have to put into these locks every year to keep up with their age.”

Sprague says he hopes repairs will be finished by August 19th.

Aaron Selbig

Division Street in Traverse City has long been considered one of the most dangerous roadways in the area. State transportation planners are working on a fix for the street. After collecting input from the public last year, the Michigan Department of Transportation plans to unveil several alternatives next month.

The Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce supports a sales tax increase to fix Michigan’s roads. That’s good news for the plan that has lost some key support in recent weeks. The higher tax would raise more than a billion dollars a year for transportation spending.

Critics say there was another option, one that did not involve new taxes. But Doug Luciani, President and CEO of the Traverse City chamber, says they looked at that plan too.

“It didn’t address the full load of the transportation needs,” he says. “It fell far short of what the transportation needs are.”

One way to prevent accidents might come from redesigning road signs. 

Bat not in the way of Cass Road bridge rebuild

Feb 16, 2015
New York Department of Environmental Conservation

A bridge south of Traverse City could be rebuilt starting next year, and it turns out a troubled species of bat will not get in the way. The federal government is still weighing whether to list the northern long-eared bat as endangered or threatened.

Some drivers thought this would be the year they’d see a two-lane replacement for the outdated, one-lane bridge on Cass Road. Grand Traverse County officials had said the long-eared bat’s federal protection could mean a year’s delay of the project.

You know how it can go: flight delays - angry customers - long line - baggage that goes astray.

A group of University of Michigan engineers is busy crunching a lot of numbers in the hopes of reducing the impact of one of the leading causes of flight delays: bad weather.

Amy Cohn is an associate professor in industrial and operations engineering at Michigan. She has a special interest in airline industry operations and she joined us today.

Listen to our conversation with Cohn above.

Americans care more about fuel economy than ever before, but did you know that the EPA does their MPG testing at their laboratory in Ann Arbor?

The EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality is located on Plymouth Road and employs 450 workers. It was created in 1970  for its close distance to the "Big Three." 

But cars aren't the only vehicle subject to MPG testing. From weed whackers to ocean vessels, anything with a motor must meet the EPA's standards.

With so many vehicles being released the lab doesn't have time to check all of them individually. Instead, the dealers themselves test their own vehicles and are subject to audits to make sure their own results can be matched when tested in the Ann Arbor lab.

Chris Grundler, director of the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, understands their work's importance.

The office is in charge of setting the standards along with enforcing them. Their testing is done not only to protect the environment, but to make sure consumers receive the quality advertised to them when investing in a new vehicle.

You can listen to our conversation with Grundler below.


Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, FCAwill hold a public stock offering to sell off 10% of Ferrari and dole out the remaining 80% of the company to current shareholders.

Piero Ferrari will hold onto his 10%.

Michigan Radio's automotive reporter Tracy Samilton discussed this sale with us.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is looking for public input on what to do with Division Street in Traverse City. The busy street has long been considered dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists.

It’s often difficult and dangerous to cross Division Street – a major artery that divides residential neighborhoods. The debate over what to do about safety and congestion on the state-managed street has been going on for years.

Todd Mundt/Flickr

 Downtown Traverse City has a parking problem, which has prompted city leaders to give away bus passes to people who work downtown. A new pilot program is offering up unlimited six-month passes to 50 people. The passes will be good from July through December on Village and City Loops (fixed routes) of the Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA).

Michigan's Transportation Director Kirk Steudle planned to bike from Lake Leelanau into Traverse City for the Smart Commute Week breakfast Monday. But his trip was rained out. Steudle says Traverse City is a leader in Michigan in building alternative networks for getting around.

Bus Changes Leave Some Riders Feeling Stranded

Nov 25, 2013
Tom Carr

The Bay Area Transportation Authority has taken recent steps to get a wider range of customers on board, but extending service to some areas has meant leaving others feeling stranded.

"The cilia in my middle ear are gone, so I cannot drive because I have no balance," says Sandee Brown. "So you don't want to see me on the road."


Mixed Reviews For New Northern Michigan Roundabout

Oct 15, 2013

Driving through the intersection of M-115 and M-37 east of Mesick recently got easier.

Or harder, depending on whom you ask.

The Michigan Department of Transportation has replaced a blinking red and yellow light at this busy corner between Traverse City and Cadillac with a roundabout.

Rich Howes, who co-owns a trucking company north of the intersection, says it’s mostly a good thing.